Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Photo shoot

So if you read my blog you'll know I did a "50 things todo" and I have recently ticked another of my list "have a photo shoot" so this is the story of this experience!

On Wednesday 17th June I went to style photography to have a photo shoot. Now I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been told to take some changes in clothes with me, what do I take? Well I ended up with two outs which included jeans, mufc shirt and a cream shire and then two black dresses! 

Sheila asked how I'd like my hair and I said curly as it's my favourite style on me and then we discussed make up and decided that something simple would be best as I'm not a huge make up wearer, it's a lot of effort for someone with minimal movement.

Now I was a little nervous so me being me didn't shut up! It took nearly two hours to just do my hair and make up! Why I hear you ask? Because I have a lot of hair and it takes a long time and plus I was talking a lot! Thanks go Sheila who was very good and understanding of my talking! 

Then I met Doug who was the photographer and he made me feel at ease. We did the photos with me out of my wheelchair, I was sat on a stall for the photos.

Sheila was very kind in helping me change my outfits as well, thank you again.

First outfit my jeans a mufc shirt! I had different looks done but I think my favourite was when I was holding the football! It was different! 

Second outfit was jeans and a cream shirt! Which I had mainly casual pics took! 

Third outfit was my black dress, that I like going out in! Sheila found some jewellery for me to wear for these photos. We used hats with this outfit both wearing and holding to show my eyes only! 

My fourth outfit was my lipsy dress that I has for my birthday to celebrate turning 30! They changed the background on this one to a Greek background! 

Overall I had a lot of fun and felt great! I enjoyed meeting both Sheila and dough and they made me feel so welcome.

I look forward to seeing the photos :)


Friday, 26 June 2015

Gary's walk for greyhounds written by Gary Lewis

Should someone with an arthritis carry out exercise?
Contrary to popular belief, the answer is usually "yes"; it's often a case of "use it or lose it", I have certainly felt better since carrying out exercise in addition to keeping and gaining muscle tone, it also helps with bone loss. In addition to Psoriatic Arthritis, I also have Osteopenia, which is a precursor to Osteoporosis.
Following on from Kilimanjaro in August, I left things slip, I'd picked up an injury which pretty much put the kybosh on doing exercise for a month or so, my motivation to do exercise had disappeared. On New Year's day, I decided to try and get back onto Pen-y-fan, the highest peak in the southern half of the United Kingdom. I got up ok, a little out of puff, but I got up.
In the next few months I was joined by my Brother-in-Law, along with his two Black Labs. Just a straight up and down, although, the last time we went up together we came down via, Corn du, and down to Storey Arms.
I also completed the "Walk for Al" which is a local, annual charity even walking from Maesteg Golf Club to Afan Argoed and back.
Last year, someone posted on Facebook that they wanted to do the Taff Trail to raise funds for Greyhound Rescue Wales. I thought "I'm up for that!" so I made enquiries, and as it turns out, there were a few people interested in walking the Taff Trail.  Various meetings took place, and training exercises took place also, in preparation for walking the Taff Trail. 
It was decided that the walk would take place over the weekend of the 19th to the 21st of June, to be joined in Bute Park Cardiff, by other greyhound owners and their dogs in a walk which is held as part of the "Great British Greyhound Walk" (GBGW). 
Friday, 19th June: This stretch was from Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil. We set of at around 9am, starting at the Theatre in Brecon, Powys, right next to the Brecon and Radnor Canal, we walked some six miles along the canal bank to Talybont, here was our first stop, I popped into the pub (the White Hart) for Liquid Carbohydrates.  The next part of the walk was up hill along the two major reservoirs, the first being the Talybont reservoir, followed by the Pontsticill reservoir. Very picturesque!
Following on from this the forest track became tarmac, and pretty much remained tarmac for the rest of the Taff Trail. The group then continued on to Merthyr Tydfil.  Spending the night in a Travelodge. Some 24 miles were completed this day, taking the group some 12 hour to complete.
Saturday, 20th June: This stretch was from Merthyr to Nantgarw, just north of the M4. We set off to start at the place we finished the previous evening. Then started back on the Taff Trail. An hour's worth of walking, and we passed the motel we spend the previous night. Through Merthyr, seeing some of the landmarks of the industrial revolution which pretty much started in this little corner of South Wales. The day progressed and we met a couple with their camper van who provided much needed support and sustenance throughout the day. We passed Aberfan, the site of the 1966 disaster when on the 21st of October a primary school was engulfed in slurry from a coal spoil tip on the mountain behind it, killing some 116 children and 28 adults.
We also passed a number of industrial units, and one very, very large sewage treatment works! With the trail also shadowing the A470, we also went through a couple of very dubious underpasses, complete with "street art", graffiti in other words.
Towards the end of the day, we passed through Pontypridd, a lot of the trail was through streets! However, the trail also went through Ynys Anghard park, a rare oasis in the urban jungle. The day finished in Nantgarw, some 21 miles later and some 11 hours walking. This days walking and the previous days walking was starting to have serious effects on the participants feet!!!
Sunday, 21st June: This was to be the last day of the walk, covering some 10 to 11 miles. We started where we left off from the previous day, in Nantgarw and started the walk down to Cardiff Bay. Once we actually got into Cardiff we did manage to walk through a number of Parks, first through Long Wood Nature reserve, then Hailey Park, Pontcanna Fields, Sophia Gardens. 
In Sophia gardens we met up with the Great British Greyhound Walk, these being greyhounds and their owners, a national event to publicise greyhound ownership. We then continued through Riverside area of Cardiff to Roald Dahl Plass, more famous for being the entrance to the "Torchwood" establishment! We, those who went along the whole length of the Taff Trail regrouped to walk to the finish together, greeted like conquering heroes at the end of the Taff Trail, 55 to 56 miles completed over three days.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Kent adventure 2015

Last night was terrible the rain came down for hours and water was flowing down my ramp which is a really a unnerving because of when I was flooded in the past due to heavy rain! Then my bath started making weird noises because of drain, I actually thought sewerage was going to come up my bath plug! Which meant I didn't sleep too well, which is never good thing the night before traveling! Plus a cat under the quilt doesn't help when you move so much!

I had to get up early as I hadn't packed! Before I knew it I was I'm the car with my dad and off to pick up my cousin who was running late! I grabbed some cash out and then off to get the taxi. It took so long to get into Birmingham, it was raining and I think everyone decided to take there cars to Birmingham! Now I was really annoyed because I couldn't even use the toilet because of time and the fact the disabled toilet was out of use at new street, was I mad, actually I cried! 

Made it on to the train just about and waved goodbye to my cousin, bye bye! The journey to London didn't seem to take that long bar the fact I needed the toilet! I then waited at euston for andy to arrive and finally use the toilet lol!!!

We then walked over to kings cross because euston square isn't wheelchair accessible on the side we would have needed. Upon reaching kings cross and waiting for a circle train to Westminster we found out that they wouldn't be running! So we then ended up on the metropolitan line going all the way to Wembley!! After getting off the train and going across to another platform we were on our way to Westminster! After arriving a lift wasn't working but then it was!! Then off we went out the station with a dodgy sounding lift! What did we walk Into .. A nude bike ride through Central London!! We had a little walk along embankment to see the entertainment that was about that day! Before deciding to head back to Greenwich and the car! 

So back to Westminster only to find out that the lifts were not working! So we were told we'd have to use the emergency shoot (oh fun!) so after walking around the corner and down an alley we are waiting outside a big door for the man to come with the keys! He did come after about 20 mins and then into a lift, very roomy to be fair! Down to west bound jubliee line! Then all the way back to Greenwich and the O2! Then the long trip back to Kent! 

Sunday was a quite day and a relaxing one after the traveling on Saturday! Although we did go out for some lunch on Sunday! I decided to try a different place so we went to oyster bed which is part of the marston group. It was a lovely place staff friendly, loads of room to get around and didn't feel pushed into a corner because of the wheelchair, result! Also lovely food! Back and time to relax before heading for some much needed zz and my knee was playing up! 

Monday was the day I decided to visit Canterbury! A place I've never been! I decided that I'd really like to visit the cathedral which took over 2 hours! Most likely because I was snapping away with my camera and generally just taking in my surroundings! It's such an impressive building. The cathedral has tried to make it really accessible for everyone however they couldn't on one part which was a little disappointing but never mind, good effort never the less! Canterbury is a great place to visit, mind the cobbles are not great for those with joint problems!

On the way back we stopped at some roman ruins called reculver. Now we had to go up a step hill to get to the ruins and boy was it windy up there! We went right near the edge which was a bit scary and I could see out into the sea and to margate from the top. We then had Togo down the hill and my dear wheelchair has a mind of it's own so I lent forward to help with the weight distribution.

Monday evening was really clear so off we went down to the coast to watch the sunset fall and it was such a fantastic sight and my very first sunset, I was clicking away with my camera, I got some fantastic shots, if I do say so myself! 

Tuesday was a day to discover the Kent coast! First up was margate, well kind of! We drove around Margate and saw the beautiful coast, however we couldn't get out the car as there was absolutely no disabled parking! We also went to the outskirts of ramsgate. We decided we would try broadstairs! Now it's hilly but so lovely, a beach with wooden path so you can get on the beach if you wish, a lift as well! It's so lovely well bar the seagulls there was so many! A nice magnum as it was really warm! Then onto a spitfire museum, which is found really interesting seeing lots of RAF memorabilia and a spitefire in the building, I really enjoyed it! 

We then took a drive towards Dover and stopped at pegwell bay where I saw the Viking boat. We also drove through sandwich and other villages along the coast. We stopped in deal and I took some pictures of deal castle and the beach however I was pebbles so no getting out for me! 

Driving down Jubilee way you can see Dover harbour coming into sight. Which was fab! I could see the ferries coming in and out of the harbour and as we came into Dover I saw the white cliffs, hurray, I can knock that off my list now! We stopped in Dover by a small harbour to take some pictures and looked in Braddli Whaf to look in the shops, I didn't buy anything! We drove up and out of Dover stopping so I could take some pics of Dover castle.

Today I finally got my prescription it only took from Saturday, boy did I miss my own prompt pharmacist!

As we had been out all day I decided we should eat out as it was a lovely warm day! So we went back to oyster bed which turns out to be my favourite place to eat! Excellent service. On that matter the disabled toilet facilities were ok but the flusher was un reachable as on the wrong side! But a large space none the less!

Wednesday morning was a day to relax and I literally did that! I then packed my little bag that I took with me filled with my shoes and dresses hung up! Then off I went to style photography to have some pictures taken! I met the lovely Sheila who did my make up and hair she did a great job and made me feel really lovely. Then I met Doug who took my pictures which he did fab with doing different lighting techniques. All the pictures were taken out the wheelchair which was great, I had 4 different outfits which were, my Manchester United shirt with jeans, my cream shirt with my jeans and then my two black dresses. I had a really fantastic time and made to feel "normal" and not like Im just in a wheelchair and hopeless. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures when they are ready! Thanks again to Sheila and Doug

Thursday was a day for shopping!!  We went down to ashford to the designer outlet centre! Now I got really excited at the thought of shopping, I mean who doesn't like shopping?! More importantly though the handbags! Now I have been in need of some new jeans as I only have one pair that actually fit me, as I can only wear boyfriend fit jeans. So after much looking I finally found a new pair of jeans hurray! My brother will be pleased after he has been helping me look for well months!! I also got a Christmas present as when you see it you've just got to buy it! On the way back we went back past a lovely old gate house which was from the east well manor.

Friday and my last day in Kent! We went to Westwood cross, more shopping! I needed to get my dad a gift for Farthers day which I did get hurray! Then we went back to margate and hurray we could a parking space! We had a walk down the harbour and it was pretty chilly at the end of the harbour! We then went to the Turner art gallery, which I really enjoy seeing different types of art.

Saturday was the day to go home! Now a long journey was not great as my rheumatoid had decided to flare up! I certainly didn't enjoy the M25 traffic jam! The m40 was a relief to see however the heavy rain was not! Finally I made it home for cuddles with Ben and the cats and to be fair the cats are still ignoring me! 

As you can see I've had lots of mini adventures! Which has been lots of fun! I will be doing a couple of other posts about access and of course I knocked off another of my 50 things todo so I will do a full post on the photoshoot!