Exploring the world through the web

Experiencing life in any way you can.

Blessing 103 – Coming out of my shell on camera April 12, 2012

I’m almost at the end of my second week on the online video course I’m doing and we had a week of doing crazy videos, smiling to the extreme, changing out tone, emphasising out words, being someone else and finally being us again. It was hard at first, I felt really self-conscious; but it got easier and I actually had fun messing around in front of the camera. Something that I never, ever would have imagined a few weeks ago!

I’m actually discovering that I can relax more when I’m doing a video and let more of my personality, the real me, out in this safe, quiet environment. The side that normally only my family and sometimes my friends see. The quirky, goofy, silly me that I never really felt I should show others in case they might judge me. Turns out that I don’t need to worry. The ladies in the group have all been so encouraging and supportive that it just feels natural and very safe to let them see me. It actually feels really good to not be hiding or pretending. I have a feeling that this is going to change me in more ways than I ever imagined, or maybe not change, perhaps release is a better word.

 

Blessing 102 – Writing to release the ache in my chest

I’ve set myself the challenge of writing 500 words every day, I know I’m meant to be doing Script Frenzy; but unfortunately life’s been so busy I haven’t been able to start, so I decided to stick to my novel instead. I sometimes get this ache in my chest – don’t worry nothing physically; but its like there’s a whole, empty feeling that I couldn’t shift. I thought it was some kind of emotional ache, the loss of not being  able to do all I want to because of my ME. Then I started to write again and it felt better. I’ve realised its not something missing in my life, it’s all the words and stories trapped inside. If I take the time to write, I actually feel better, so much freer and lighter, it’s magical.

The thing is I have to do it every single day. If I miss one, just one, I go back to feeling the ache again. It is the weirdest feeling and one I’m only just realising. At least now I know I can do something about it; but I wonder if anyone else feels like they have to write every single day? If it’s as important a part of their day as  say eating? Maybe I’m just nuts, all I know is that writing not only makes me happy; but it seems to be keeping me sane to. That really does sound nuts!

 

Blessing 101 – Hitting the front cover! April 10, 2012

Today I woke to a tweet saying Disabled woman ‘s virtual holiday to London will bring the Olympics closer to home. It was sent out by the local newspaper Twitter account and I realised with a burst of excitement that my article on the new Holidays From Home virtual London trip must have been in. I was so relieved and pleased. I followed the link and saw the brilliant article. I was really happy with it, it covered everything I wanted to say.

I dispatched Mum to go round to the paper shop, where she got several copies; but I was amazed and slightly horrified to see my face on the front cover! That’s the first time I’ve been on a cover and I was on page 9 – my lucky number!

Front cover of the Evening News

Mum took me round to the shop later in the day because they had a board up outside with a headline about my being in the paper and I had to see it for myself. We even took a picture….

Holidays From Home in the Evening News, the board outside the paper shop.

 

When you send out a press release, you never know if anything will come from it; but I was so delighted with the coverage and very, very grateful.

 

Blessing 100 – 100 days of gratitude. April 9, 2012

Wow! When I started this blessing blog on 1st January I didn’t really think about getting to a hundred, despite deciding to do it every day for a year. The milestones don’t really occur to you, until you reach them. It’s been a challenge at times, not finding things to be grateful for; but finding different things to write about. The things I’m most grateful for: my Mum, my family, my home, my friends, my passions, they’re on going, I’m always grateful, at least I try to be; but keeping it fresh has been a  challenge; but it has also made me search hard each day to find something new.

Today Mum and I went into Norwich to do some shopping and visit the European market, which I think had a few British stalls, we ended up buying bread and cakes from a baker from London, I felt a little cheated! I did get a real French crepe with caramel which was gorgeous; but extremely messy to eat without cutlery, sheltering from the rain in the Royal Arcade. It was a little embarrassing sitting in my wheelchair, scoffing a pancake, in as discrete a manner as possible, while shoppers walked past; but I enjoyed it, so who cares?!

I was delighted because I managed to get a cake stand to complete my set from Lakeland. They’d sold out online and only had two in store, so I was really pleased. I’d got the large stand for Christmas and the cake store for my birthday, it’s cream china with little heart cutouts – really pretty and totally me! You can see it here http://www.lakeland.co.uk/43182/Amore-Ceramic-Two-Tier-Cake-Stand

Mum and I even stopped off at the new cafe in M&S which was great – I loved the concept of them serving the food you can buy down in the shop. I don’t know why I’d never really thought of it before; but it’s a great way to promote the products you already sell, showing people what they can do with them.

It was the perfect end to a really great Easter weekend and one I’m sad to see over.

 

Blessing 99 – Wisdom in a horoscope – who’d have thought it? April 8, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012 — Claire @ 10:31 pm
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“Each decision will get you where you need to be; but each choice will render a unique experience on the way.”

That was the sentence I read in my Mum’s horoscope yesterday – she’s a Gemini and not a typical one; but we always read the star signs in newspapers and magazines, in fact it’s one of the first things I turn to! I know all the “mass-produced, general, relevant to everyone” comments; but I often find they say what I need to hear at the time, or I read what I want into them. Either way I end up feeling uplifted. I’ve never read one that I liked as much as this though. I love the sentiment and it ties in with my belief that everything happens for a reason and that there are so many things that are just meant to be. When you’re going through hard times and bad things, you can’t see it, feel it or believe it; but when you’re on the other side and life is so much better, you understand that it was necessary, that you got to where you were always meant to go and are doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing. Every horrible thing in my life has led to so many better and more amazing things. I wouldn’t want to live through them again; but I wouldn’t trade the good things to take away the bad.

 

Blessing 98 – Hunger Games – waste of good mascara. April 7, 2012

I got my Easter wish and Mum and I went to see the Hunger Games at the cinema today. I saw the trailer when I went to see The Help a couple of months ago and it prompted me to read the books. I thought they were amazing, I loved the first one, the second was clever; but I wasn’t as keen on the third. As with all book adaptations I’m always a bit concerned when I go to see them; but I think they did a really good job.

I cried at points in the book – yes I’m a total girl!- but for some reason had not expected to cry at the film. I knew things didn’t bode well when I was in tears within ten minutes of the beginning. I don’t want to put anyone off, I think it was because I’d read the books and had such strong connections to the characters that it made such an impact. Mum wasn’t upset like I was and she always cries at things. It made me wonder if you actually miss out on things if you haven’t read the book first. I used to think it was a blessing, so that you wouldn’t have preconceived notions about the characters and story; but today I really felt that I could enjoy the film more because I understood the subtlety and the nuances which you just wouldn’t appreciate if you hadn’t read the books. There were so many layers that they didn’t cover, that at times had me muttering inside my head that they were wrong; but I also think you couldn’t appreciate the character’s relationships as well.

I’d be interested to know what someone who hadn’t read the book thought – I can’t ask Mum, she doesn’t like those kinds of films generally, she only came with me because no one else I knew wanted to go! Mum’s are great like that!

 

Blessing 96 – The Support of Others – Ventures into video. April 5, 2012

This week I started my video rockstar university course and I was really nervous when I signed up. Sitting in front of a camera sounded horrifying and completely terrifying. Turns out it’s not as bad as I imagined. In fact I kind of enjoy it! I’d never have guessed it.

It’s much easier sitting with just you and a camera than having to ring someone up out of the blue. When you realise that you have all the power, you can edit, delete, do whatever you want with the footage, the fear factor just disappears. I still get a few butterflies and worry I’ll go blank; but then I just go for it.

The great part of the group is being able to share the experience and the journey with others who are going through exactly the same thing. Everyone is so lovely and supportive, they boost your confidence no end. It also helps seeing other people’s videos because you can be more objective and use that knowledge to apply to your own. I realised that it’s fine to stumble on words, to pause to think what to say, not to stare the camera down the whole time and that relaxed and normal is so much more engaging than word-perfect and polished, in fact those people feel more real and approachable than any professional video I’ve ever seen.

This week we had to make a 1 – 2 minute video a day, which was hard going at first and then got easier, especially as I didn’t always use a script. I played around with lighting, being inside, outside, even doing one with no makeup on which was the scariest one of all, I felt so vulnerable; but it came out okay and everybody was really lovely about the results.

I can’t believe I’m only one week in and I already feel so much more confident about the whole process, I can’t wait to see what else I learn during the rest of the six weeks! It started as a tool to help make videos for Holidays From Home; but it’s really helping my confidence as a whole.