Friday, 28 April 2006

Better Late Than Never


Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe ~ what a partnership lol!     

Hello everyone!

I must apologise for the late posting of this entry. This fourth entry was meant to be posted on Sunday evening but my computer crashed and I lost all of the work. As my dad says computers can be wonderful things but when things go wrong they can be devils!


Started back to school on Monday. We have three weeks left in school and then I will only go in to sit my examinations - twelve of them in total. The Easter fortnight lasted only two weeks but it seemed much longer! It was nice to see all my friends, teachers and helpers once again. We had a lot to catch up on!

I had some good news on Tuesday. My Child Development coursework had been marked and moderated over the Easter period so I was anxious to get the grade. Reluctantly she gave out the grades and I had a A star!

When Mrs. Smith called out my grade I said "Pardon?" I thought I'd mis-heard her, As you can imagine, I was speechless. I couldn't believe it. The news hasn't sunk in yet. All those late nights paid off - I had done it!

In September I hope to go to college and enrole in a Childcare course. So now getting that grade has put me in good stead. I had my interview with the college in February but haven't heard anything from them since, maybe I should give them a ring and chase it up. When I am older I would like to become a Primary or Special Needs teacher. I would like to be a Special Needs teacher because I would understand the people more as I have a condition myself.

As you all know I am a member of the Viva! Council 'We Have A Voice'. We have all worked hard creating 'The Viva! News' and it is coming along great. Also we are currently revamping the charity's website. Just want to say a big 'Hello' and 'Well Done' to Nichola, Phil, Sara and All Council Members.

I am also a member of the Rhondda Youth Forum. There are approximately 25 members who represent different youth clubs/charities. Myself and Gareth represent the Viva! Project and its council.

Last week, our third annual monthly monthly meeting took place. We met the local Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taff for an arranged Question and Answer session. Councillor Jenkins has nearly reached the end of his term as Mayor. I thought he answered our questions very truthfully and honestly. I was nervous at the start because he is an important figure around this area but he made us all feel very welcome and we relaxed. We were given a cup each and Phil was given a smart, red and blue tie. Very dapper lol!

Tomorrow evening my Nan & I are going to the theatre to see 'The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas'. We are both looking forward to the show. I have been practising some of their songs all week to be able to sing along and for Christmas I had a DVD of their Las Vegas concert from Mum and Dad.


L-R Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra ~ alias the Rat Pack!

I like lots of different types of music but Easy Listening is one of my favourite genres. There seems to be more of a story attached to the song and the singers have clear voices so you can actually understand the words.

O.K. readers that's all for now. I will be back on Monday with a new installment. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Take care,

Love Leigh xxxx

Postscript (Saturday)

I thought the Rat Pack show 'Live from Las Vegas' was brilliant! It was very funny and they sang most of my favourite tracks from the Swing era.

My nan enjoyed it too. Her brother John was taken into hospital yesterday afternoon with a suspected chest infection. This has been the second time he has been ill this month. He is still undergoing tests, so the performance took her mind off worrying. I will report back when we have news of my Uncle's progress.

Nan had recently been attending line dancing classes with her friend Margret. She thought the exercise would 'be good for her hips'. She has decided to quit the classes because of other commitments.

I would also like to say 'Happy Birthday' to my friend Christine! Hope you have a great day tomorrow and don't get too drunk on the vodka lol! Relax and spoil yourself ~ you deserve it! xxxx

Also a big thank you to Ally for the animations link, I will be up for hours trawling through pages of graphics for my next blog entry lol! Ally also discovered a link to a very addictive game, which I'd like to share: Maze (go on have a go ~ I dare you!)


Comedy greats ~ L-R: Charlie Chaplin and double act Laurel and Hardy

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

A Week Later...


Hello dear readers,

It was a exactly a week today that I started writing my online journal and how quick the week has gone! I started to write a blog because a family friend said I had a knack for writing. She encouraged me to write for my school's monthly magazine. But as this might be my final term I didn't see the point! Anyway I decided to start writing 'Leigh's World' and I'm glad I did because in J-land I have made some wonderful friends. Special thanks to Lesley and her family xxx

I spent Easter weekend with my nan, watching T.V and playing cards. We decided to go out for a meal but decided against it as the weather wasn't very nice.

My uncle Robert came up to see us, with his girlfriend Maggi. Recently he has started a new job as a Financial Investigator. He is very happy in his new job. But having worked shifts for most of his life, he is finding it difficulty ajusting to working regular hours. At least with this job he knows that work finishes at a certain time and can plan around it. Good luck Uncle Robert and I wish you every success in your new job. Enjoy it!

Maggi made some lovely homemade Easter cakes which were absolutely scrumptious! Move over Nigella Lawson - there's a new "domestic goddess" in town! lol xxx

 Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson.

Did anyone see the film 'Chocolat' on Saturday night? It starred Juliette Binoche,  as a gypsy who opens a chocolate shop during Lent. I found it a bit slow but it was excellent. If you are a chocoholic like me this film is a must-see!

 Juilette Binoche with co-star Johnny Depp.

Another film we watched was the thriller 'Panic Room' starring Jodie Foster. It was about a burglary going wrong and Jodie Foster's character getting caught up in events. This film got awarded 5 stars by the movie critic for 'What's On TV'. Five stars? I found it really slow and predictable. I felt like putting a rat behind them to speed things up. lol! We even had a scene where J.F. was taking asprin and urinating. lol! What are other people's views?

Tomorrow I have been called into school for a Drama rehearsal for two hours in the afternoon. Our scripted examination is taking place on 11th May (My dad's birthday, a good omen I hope!). Four of us are acting a few scenes from a film called 'Stand By Me'. The film is based on Steven King's novella, 'The Body'.

The film stars Wil Wheaton, River Pheonix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland. The group of friends, sensitive Gordie, tough-guy Chris, flamboyant Teddy and scaredy- cat Vern are in search of a missing teenagaer's body. They hope to become heroes in each other's and their town's eyes and set out on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery. One of K.S's more familiar roles is Jack Bauer in '24'.


Kiefer Sutherland as CTU agent Jack Bauer in '24'.  

I play the role of Vern Tessio, who is overweight and easily scared, which makes him an easy target for school bullies. I am really scared about playing this character because all the other members are really good actors. I just work really hard during rehearsals and nerves just get to me on the day, so rehearsals seem to be a waste of time and effort!

In my other roles I have either died so I didn't have much to remember or my nerves get to me. I am okay singing on stage because the song is catchy and I can associate with it in one way or another, but the characters are not me just lines! My drama teacher has confidence in me, says I should believe in my own abilities a bit more.

OK that's all for now readers.

Leigh xxx

Friday, 14 April 2006

Easter holidays!

First of all I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a "Happy Easter". Thank you also to those who sent me wonderful Easter e-cards.

Special thank you to Jeanette and Sugar for the links. I was up for ages last night browsing through pages of animations. xxx 

On Wednesday it was the first time I saw my lovely god-daughter Eloise since Christmas. She is 8 years old now and I was amazed at how tall she's grown.

She loves listening to music, singing (like me!) and dancing. She can also play the guitar and piano. She attends Stagecoach workshops on Saturdays with her mum. When she was younger she used to be a shy little girl, I feel these workshops have made her a more confident and out-going character. Also like all girls she loves clothes, shoes and accessories!

I am a member of the Viva! forum called "We Have A Voice!". Each Thursday evening, 7 members (including myself and three staff) discuss how to improve the service and our community. Currently we are trying to produce a newsletter and website. I will let you know when it's all up and running so you can take a look!

Last night Viva! held a presentation evening in the Y.M.C.A to raise awareness of the charity and the services which they provide.

I was surprised by the number of parents in the audience. All forum members had to attend. My mum, my nan and her friend came along to support me. My nan and her friend June were hoping there might be bingo going on, they'd even brought their lucky dabbers!

I was told I might have to give a speech about the Viva! forum, but I didn't have to thank goodness! I get stage fright, you see. Tell you all about the stage fright another time.

Last Thursday (7th April), I went on a school trip to watch a production of Willy Russell's 'Blood Brothers' at the New Theatre.

What a coincidence this production is on tour now as I am studying it in GCSE Drama. I am also studying the set text 'A View From The Bridge' by Arthur Miller and 'Walking With Shadows' by Ben Myers.

I really enjoyed the show but from where I was sitting in the Upper Circle, things were a bit blurry (shortsighted) and I'm terrified of heights! I thought I was going to fall frontwards. I mentioned it to a teacher who replied "It's all in the head, love!" lol!

For most of the second half I was enjoying the production so much I forgot how high up I was. When it came to the end I was having movements in my arm and I was so stiff I couldn't wait to get out. I can't sit down for long periods. Despite it's problems I did enjoy the show lol, it was funny!

For my Easter treat, Nan is taking me to watch 'The Rat Pack Live In Las Vegas" at the end of this month, and Nan also wants to go and watch 'Buddy' in May. I'm so excited I can't wait! 'The Buddy Holly Story' is on tonight at 12a.m. on BBC2.

One thing I'd love to do is to travel up to London and watch a show. Did anyone see the show on BBC1 a few months ago: 'The Sound of Musicals' where a group of celebrities and well-known West End stars who sing songs from well-known West End productions. It was amazing! What a difference a live orchestra makes to a show.

Another two shows I like are 'Strictly Come Dancing' (celebrities are paired up with a proffessional dancer) and 'Strictly Dance Fever' (featuring members of the public). I am fancinated by all the glitz and glam outfits and the wonderful dancing. I would love to be able to dance like them but would never be able to do ballroom dancing. Maybe freestyle??


(L-R 'Strictly Dance Fever' host Graham Norton, 'Strictly Come Dancing 2005 champions ~ cricketer Darren Gough with dance parter, Lilia Kopylova)

Series 2 of 'Doctor Who' begins tomorrow evening. Can't wait for that. David Tennant is taking over from Christopher Ecclestone as the new Time Lord. He will be the first Scotsman to play this role. I missed his debut in the Christmas special, 'The Christmas Invasion', is he a good replacement?

Sadly Billie Piper (who plays the Doctor's companion Rose Tyler) won't be appearing in Series 3. She quit the series in fear of being typecast. Christopher Ecclestone quit while the first series was being broadcast for the same reason. Let's hope David stays around a little longer! 


(David Tennent as the Time Lord with Billie Piper as Rose)

O.K readers I have got to go now but I promiseI will be back with a third installment soon. But before I log off I just want to say...

to a few friends of mine!

  Kayley E a.k.a "Tiny" (16/04): Happy birthday K-girl. Have a great day whatever you're doing. See you soon xxx

 Shaun! (19/04): SURPRISE! LOL! Happy birthday mate. I know your a 'Star Wars' fanatic but... Have a great day!

Any comments or suggestions will be greatly accepted. Thank you.

Leigh xxx

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Hello everyone!

Well the Easter holidays are here! I can't believe how quickly they've come along. Christmas only like yesterday.

Today I went on a daytrip to Porthcawl with some members of the Viva! Project.

Viva!* is a registered charity working with disabled young people aged between 11 and 25, who live in the Rhondda Valleys in South Wales. The charity was established in 1992 to create and facilitate leisure and training opportunities for young people with disabilities.

I have been a member of the Viva! Project for about 3 years and participate in various activities throughout the year.

I have a condition called Cerebral Palsy. There are three main classifications and I have Ataxia, which particulary affects my legs. I used to be in a wheelchair a lot of the time. But I had an operation in May 2003 which has made my legs straighter and improved my walking greatly. Since Christmas I have been attempting to walk using one walking stick, which is very scary. With all the bad rain and the snow, it's been quite scary to let go lol. People say I'm like a magpie attached to shiny things lol. I am trying to go back to using 1 stick, depending on where I am in school. I don't see what I have as a condition but it means I can't socialize as often as my friends. I want to improve people's understanding of C.P. 1 thing is I don't like people seeing others as a condition rather than an actual person. Just because we have a particular condition it doesn't make us any less human. We haven't got a contagious disease. Feel free to ask any questions.

One of my dreams has always been to go Orlando, Florida. In October 2001 it finally came true. This is all thanks to a charity called Dreamflight. Dreamflight is a registered charity which takes seriously ill children on their "holiday of a lifetime" to central Florida. The holiday lasted for 10 days. I was a member of the Pluto group and each day we would go to a different theme park: DisneyWorld, SeaWorld, Blizzard Beach, MGM Studios, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (we didn't even have to queue!). 

Before we went in Heathrow we met celebrities such as Sir Cliff Richard (who is a patron of Dreamflight), 'Ground Force' presenter Charlie Dimmock (a year later she became an helper for Dreamflight), 'CBeebies' presenter Chris Jarvis, 'Top Of The Pops' executive producer Andi Peters and stars of ITV's 'The Bill': Alex Walkinshaw (Sgt. Dale Smith), Rene Zagger (PC Nick Klein) and Gary Grant (DC Paul Riley).

I made lots of friends and we still keep in touch by phone, letter or e-mail. I will never forget when the Pluto group went on 22 rides in one day. It was an unforgettable experience and was really was a holiday of a lifetime! Big hello to all the Dreamflight helpers and children of Dreamflight 2001. Hope you're all well. What do you like the site? 


Anyway, the weather today was absolutely terrible, heavy rain and gusty winds. I was almost blown over by the wind as I walked from the car into the arcade. I had some food: a cheeseburger, fries and a drink for £2.99 (value for money!).

Because of the weather conditions we decided to stay indoors and have a go and some games. For about 20 minutes I was on one of those 2p machines. I was wary at the beginning but it was worth it because at the end I won lots of 2p's (a money bag full to be exact), a lollipop and a dice on a keyring lol! (Childish ain't I? lol!)

I had a good time today. Obviously, I would've enjoyed it a bit more if it was sunny, but you cannot predict the weather!

I came home and noticed in the paper ITV were repeating a classic episode of 'Coronation Street' every evening this week, in tribute to the character Mike Baldwin, who died of pneumonia on Friday after being in the show for almost 30 years.

I think the week-long tribute should be made to Lynne Perrie who played battleaxe Ivy Tilsley. She died aged 75 last month after suffering a stroke. Ironically, her character died of a stroke in 1994. 'Poison' Ivy was one Street legend who will always be remembered!

As well as 'Coronation Street', I like 'Only Fools and Horses' and '24'. '24' is so addictive, like chocolate, at the end of each episode, it leaves you wanting a bit more.

OK thank you readers better go now.

Happy Easter to you all!

Leigh xxx


 A big thank you to Jeanette, who helped me add pictures to this entry and bring colour to it! xxx Also thank you to those who have sent comments, it is very much appreciated! xxx

*Click on the red words in bold. This will take you directly to the website for more information.

I thought this graphic would be appropriate considering the bad weather conditions earlier on.