Monday, 29 May 2006

Bank Holiday Weekend

I decided to go and visit my Nan this weekend.  She has suffered from osteoarthritis (arthritis from head to toe) for nine years.  This weekend she had a bad hip, so she spent most of the time lying on the settee with her leg up on a cushion to ease the pain.  Nan said that she has had twinges in the past but it has never affected her as bad as this before.


She is on medication at the moment to ease the arthritis but it is not working.  The doctor has given her patches, which release a painkiller into the bloodstream every hour.  Also they have to be inserted on the same day at the same time so the painkiller can work.  A three month course of acupuncture helps also.


Nan is frustrated at the moment as she cannot stand or sit for long periods of time.  This means she cannot wash the dishes and she hates the sight of untidy worktop.  She has a very important bowls match on Wednesday and really wants to play.  If Nan doesn’t participate, she feels she will have let the team down.  I have assured her that the team will understand if she cannot play in the match.  Most of her companions will emphasise as they have been in the samesituation.  Let’s hope those painkillers work their magic!


Usually on Monday evenings I go to youth club with Viva! But it’s Half Term so the venue is closed.  During Half Term Viva! run a different programme of  activities during the day and it throws me off-track because my daily routine is messed up.  In youth club you can play pool and basketball. There is a gym and computer room.  I usually avoid the basketball court but I have a terrible phobia of being knocked over by a basketball!  I go there to chat, socialize, meet new people and try new things.  I am usually shy around people I am not familiar with but I am going to make an effort to get the know them!


Tomorrow I am going to have my haircut.  I really can’t wait!  It has been eight weeks since the last cut and it is so long.  In the mornings I look like a porcupine ~ not a pretty sight lol!


That’s all for now readers.  I'm off to enjoy some sunshine now before it disappears!  Have a lovely afternoon everyone.




Thursday, 25 May 2006

Positive Thinking Makes Things Happen!

Sorry everyone I am a bit late posting this entry.  I tried earlier but AOL wouldn’t let me access my journal.  It took several attempts but here it is…


The three examinations I sat this week were successful.  They were B.C.S (Business and Communication Systems), English Literature and R.E.  In exams I am given 25% extra time, an amanuensis (someone writing for me as I dictate the answer) and an enlarged paper because I am shortsighted.  I can write but I am a very slow and articulate one.  I have someone writing for me if there is a lot of writing involved in the exam.  If I didn’t I probably wouldn’t even get half-way through the paper.


I managed to complete all three papers within the time given, so I am chuffed about that. One question on the B.C.S exam was ‘Give one advantage of using a fax machine’.  I just put anything down as I’ve never owned a fax machine in my life.  The R.E exam was about Christian and Islamic views on weddings, festivals, symbols etc ~ most of that was common sense.


I worried about the English Literature exam the most, as we had pages of quotes to learn.  Those people who know me will tell you my memory is like a sieve and I worry a lot lol!  I liked reading ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestly and ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck. I had to write two essays on each book, I had to stop myself from writing reams and reams (Minimum length was 3 sides).  Both were very interesting reads.  If you have not already studied these for you English Literature exam or coursework, they are strongly recommended.


I do not have another exam until 6th June and that is English Language.  Paper 1 involves a comprehension and writing an imaginative story.  I will continue to revise hard over the Whitsun holidays and hope that Lady Luck continues to be at my side through June.  Although my philosophy seems to be working so far: ‘Positive thinking makes things happen!’


I tried to book tickets for Margaret and I to go and watch ‘My Fair Lady’ at the end of July.  The new stage version stars Amy Nuttall, who played Chloe Atkinson in ‘Emmerdale’.  Unfortunately the only available seats were at the back of the theatre and these are no good to me as I am shortsighted.  I am disappointed at this news but the show will come back to Cardiff sometime in the future so I will go and see it next time.

Who has been watching the latest series of ‘Big Brother’?  I’ll be honest with you; I only watch the programme because most of my friends watch it.  It is also a good topic to bring up in a conversation.  I have decided to do weekly updates.  This journal would become boring if I wrote an entry everyday on BB7!


I have discovered a new game-show on S4C/Channel 4 called ‘Deal or No Deal’.  It is presented by Noel Edmonds.  There are twenty two boxes sealed containing sums of money.  On one side are red numbers (high) and the other blue (low).  During each round the contestant must eliminate the low numbers.  It is the highlight of my afternoon (when I’m not in school).     


Have a good Bank Holiday weekend!


Leigh xxx


Sunday, 21 May 2006

Harry Ramsden's and Sunday Lunch

Yesterday I went on a daytrip to Harry Ramsden’s with the Viva! Project.  I was picked up at 10:00a.m by Leanne and Neil in the Blue bus.  We picked up six other passengers and made our way down the M4.


The woman in the car next to us started waving madly to attract our attention.  Leanne waved back, thinking this woman was just being friendly.  Then we realised something was wrong ~ we had a flat tyre!   


We pulled up as soon as we could.  Neil attempted to change the tyre, but he wasn’t allowed to.  The boss said they weren’t insured if the bus fell on top of him!  Claire arrived and took us, in three’s, to the nearest service station.  Neil had to wait for the AA men to turn up and change the tyre.  Claire was worried if they didn’t fix the bus by 12:10p.m, we wouldn’t be going anywhere!


However, they managed to change the tyre by 12:00p.m and we were on our way again!  We arrived at Harry Ramsden’s place in plenty of time.  Then we all had some fish and chips and a soft drink of our choice , followed by ice-cream.  What a treat!  I have only been there once before and will definitely go again!




My father is going to watch a football match this afternoon in Cardiff ~ Leeds vs. Watford.  It is raining heavy here in the Rhondda Valleys ~ maybe it will be different there. 




My mum and I have decided to go out for Sunday lunch for a change.  It is very rare that we have Sunday lunch together, as I usually go to visit my Nan over the weekend, so it will be very special to me.


I have three more exams this week. They are Computers (paper 2) tomorrow, English Literature on Tuesday and R.E on Wednesday morning.  I have 12 more examinations to sit after that.  I wish I hadn’t been so hasty and taken so many courses.  At the time, I just wanted to get as many qualifications as I could.  I didn’t realise how much work would be involved!! The sooner the exams are out the way, the better.  Trust me lol! 


Wish me luck! 


Leigh xxxx


Postscript (Sunday, 18:32p.m)

I had a lovely Sunday dinner with Mum.  Mum had lamb and I had chicken, with roasties, mash potato, yorkshire pudding with a selection of vegetables.  For dessert I had vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and Mum had apple crumble with custard. Yum!  Also Dad didn't go to Cardiff, he missed the train so he watched the match in our local pub.  Watford won 3-0.  Dad came home disappointed at his team's (Leeds) performance.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

The Second Outing

My youngest cat, Chewy woke me up this morning at 8:00a.m.  Every morning she comes up the stairs and scratches at my bedroom door until I let her in.


Then she will sit on my windowsill, next to my stereo and watch the next-door neighbour’s Labrador in the garden. If I fall back off to sleep, she will paw the glass repeatedly which makes a very loud squeak ~ annoying!! 


If all that fails then she will meow and cuddle up next to me on the duvet. Unfortunately this happened this morning and when I woke up it was 9:30a.m!! Mum walked in shouting my name. THAT woke me up lol!


Margaret had already arrived and was half-way through a cup of coffee by the time I arrived downstairs.  After a piece of toast and a cup of tea we set off for the train station, five minutes away from my home.  The train we intended to catch was pulling off from the station as we arrived at the platform!! We spoke to the guard and he said thenext train was in one hour’s time.  Time for Plan B, me thinks!!

We strolled home and mum suggested going over Hannah Street.  I had not been over there for ages as the Council had been redesigning the pavements.  It has not been safe for me to walk over using my stick.  Today we used my wheelchair ~ it gave me some practice of pushing myself around, to build up the muscles in my arms.


I managed to find a suitable Father’s Day present for my Dad.  Just a reminder, Father’s Day is on June 18th 2006.  I bought a CD for myself called ‘I’m Not Dead!’ by Pink*.  Her latest release includes the singles ‘Stupid Girls’ and ‘Who Knew?’ and is a more mature sound than her previous releases.  It is already becoming a firm favourite on my iPod, as I can associate with the lyrics.  I also bought a bouquet of flowers for mum.


Pink, real name Alecia Moore has had Top 10 hits with 'Get The Party Started', 'Just Like A Pill' and 'Trouble' to name a few!!


July 2nd will be my next session with Margaret and we have decided to go to the pictures.  Margaret will be taking me out to different places once a fortnight. Later that month we might go to the Millennium Centre and watch a production of ‘My Fair Lady’, which stars former Emmerdale star, Amy Nuttall (Chloe Atkinson) as Eliza.



WOULDN'T IT BE LUVVERLY?: Audrey Hepburn as Eliza in the film, actress turned classical star Amy Nuttall is starring in the new stage version.


Enjoy the rest of this fine weather, readers. I hope we are getting the sunshine too soon!




Be back soon!!


Leigh xxxx


Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Computers and Cardiff Bay

 Just smile, smile smile!

Hi everyone!

How are we all today? Weather is terrible here in Wales this afternoon ~ depressing!

 Perfect graphic for a 'perfect day'.

Last Wednesday was a lovely sunny day and in the evening weather conditions quickly contrasted to thunder and lightning! I always worry about my two cats when terrible weather happens. My oldest was sprawled out on top of the stairs oblivious! But my youngest (who is scared of any sudden noise) was running around downstairs like a headless chicken, scramming everyone in the process. Any animals don't like loud noises as they have sensitive hearing and everything is ten times louder so I feel for any animals in that situation, or when it's Bonfire Night.

  A colourful graphic to brighten up the page.

My Business and Communications Systems exam was this morning. In a nutshell, B.C.S is using a computer to produce documents like a letter etc. It's I.T. with a big, posh name!

  ... when it's working!!

Anyway, it was a success! The exam lasted for 2 hours but I have 30 minutes extra time as well. I flew through the paper, using 10 minutes of the extra time to check every before giving the folder in. I was so pleased to complete the paper and finish the exam!!

I have to go back into school for revision sessions on Friday. B.C.S (written ~ Human Rights etc),Maths and Biology. 

Biology is one of my favourite lessons. I find the subject fascinating to learn! It's amazing to learn about the Human Body and it's functions. I'm on my way to gaining a Double Award qualification (two C grades) in the Sciences.

Tomorrow I am going on my second outing with Mageret (care worker) to Cardiff. I am hoping to go to Cardiff Bay and have a walk around. I have never been in the Millenium Centre so would like to take a tour around the building and have some fish and chips in Harry Ramsdan's if the weather's nice.


My nan is enjoying her week away in Porthcawl. She went on a bus trip yesterday afternooninto Porthcawl Town. She got on the bus and was gutted to find that she'd left her bus pass in the caravan!! lol!!!

O.K. everyone, that's all for now.

Take care.

Leigh xxx

Sunday, 14 May 2006

More Good News!

Hi I'm back!

First of all I would like to congratulate my friend Lauren, who passed her driving test on Friday! Loz, I knew you could do it ~ well done 'sis'! xxx


My acting exam went well on Thursday after all that worrying. I managed to remember all my character's dialouge for once. Usually I get stage fright and my mind goes blank but this time I was determined not to let the cast down. Relief flooded through me after the performance, it was a success!

My father had a lovely birthday ~ working! In my opinion there should be a law allowing people to take a day off to celebrate their birthday. Anyway I bought my dad a Sudoku puzzle book and a DVD called 'The Island', starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Haven't watched it yet. Any readers seen it? What's it like?

I am now on study leave. I only need to go into school to sit examinations. We had a Record of Achievement ceremony in school. Local football heroes (and former pupils) Morgan Stoddart and Scott Young were there to present our Progress Files. These contain certificates and other important documents, like a Personal Statement, to show future employers.

I was very proud to go on the stage to accept my Progress File. I walked across without using my walking stick.


L-R: Pontypridd FC ('Dragons') centre/full back Morgan Stoddart, Cardiff City ('Bluebirds') defender Scott Young.

Yesterday my Nan and I went to the theatre to watch 'The Buddy Holly Story'. The show was good but we missed half an hour of it because we couldn't park the car! We didn't miss much of the production, it was his early life and how he started out with 'The Crickets'.

   Rock & Roll legend Buddy Holly.

Over the weekend Nan was wondering whether or not to go to Porthcawl for the week with the Sun holidays. Her brother John was taken back into hospital last week after suffering from chest pains. She has decided to go and enjoy her break. Get well soon, Uncle John! xxx

I hope Lady Luck will continues to be on my side during the next few weeks as my GCSE exams begin. My first exam in on Wednesday and it is Computers. The exam will involve creating letters, memos, spreadsheets and databases etc. I am confident that I will do well.


Wish me luck!

Leigh xxxx