Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A Different Kind of Holiday

My parents & I had a great time in North Devon.  We stayed in a little village called Dalton in a cottage named “Warren Cottage”.


The village was very popular with hikers and it seemed everyone owned a dog.  Local people in the village were very friendly and accepted us as one of their own.  By the end of the week, I think we were on first name terms with everyone in the village. 


Every shop or pub in the village was within walking distance from the cottage.  This was great for me because I didn’t need to use my wheelchair and I got plenty of exercise.


The cottage was very idyllic.  I’ve only ever seen cottages on T.V programmes like “Escape to the Country” and they seemed very small.  I assumed this one would be, but first impressions can change.  I was amazed when I walked in at how spacious the cottage was.


It rained for the first two days, but then for the remainder of the week, the weather was glorious!  I even caught a bit of a tan on the back of my neck and arms while I sat outside in the beer garden of “the Royal Oak”.


We also visited the nearly villages of Taunton, Barnstaple, Okehampton and Exeter.


I had never been away in this country before for a summer holiday.  We usually go away to a European country.  But with the scorching heat of last summer, we decided we would not need to look far for sun.


I had a great time!  I would recommend his type of holiday to anyone who wants something a bit different.  It was really quiet and peaceful.  It was nice to be away from home, but then it’s always nice to com back.


The only bad thing was I could not get a signal for my mobile phone anywhere.  I used Dad’s, who luckily had free texts to use up.  Then, I rang Vodaphone and spoke to a representative, who said my phone was faulty.  Trust that to happen!  I only have a month left before my contract expires. 


I felt lost without my phone, I didn’t realise how much I had taken it for granted until it broke!  I can’t remember the years before I owned a mobile phone, and wonder how did I manage?


I’ve included some pictures from Saturday’s barbeque.  It was only a small gathering, but we had such a good time!  I think I needed to let my hair down after all the worry of exams!  Hope you enjoy the photos.


Have a good evening!


Saturday, 25 August 2007

Third Time Lucky!

Hi everyone!


Just a quick message to say I’m back from Devon.  I had a lovely holiday, but I find it’s always nice to be back in your own surroundings.  I’ll talk more about my holiday in later posts.


Thank you all for your messages of congratulations.  They are very much appreciated.  However, I am the bearer of more glad tidings: I PASSED MY MATHS GCSE! 


After three attempts in two years, I achieved a C grade.  The first year I had a U, then the following January I had a D and now I've achieved a C! 


Words cannot express how I am feeling now.  I am so overjoyed.  As the saying goes if at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again.  I passed on my third attempt; it really is the icing on the cake!


Mr. McGregor, my maths teacher would like me to re-sit again to get a B-grade.  I would like to, but I declined because it took me long enough to get the C. 


I would like to thank my maths tutor of 5 years: Mr. Ceri Davies for his endless help, support and encouragement.  You have been amazing!  I don’t think I could’ve done it without you.  Thank you for keeping the faith.


Thank you especially to Mr. McGregor for giving me the opportunity to re-sit the exam.  Thank you for having belief in me when I didn’t.


I’ve invited some friends over to celebrate my success.  I now have 2 AS Levels and 9 GCSE’s (from last year).  We shall be sitting outside in the garden and having a barbeque.  I intend to make the most of the sunny weather while it’s here.


Have a good weekend!


Friday, 17 August 2007

Taking a Break

Thank you all for the Congratulations sent in my last entry.  I am still over the moon, and the news has not sunk in yet.  It is very much appreciated.


I shall be taking a break from J~Land for a week.  Tomorrow I am going on holidays to a village in North Devon.  My parents and I shall be staying in a cottage.  I am so looking forward to it now as I have had my AS Results!


I hope the sun continues to shine for us as it is today.  I shall be taking my digital camera, to take lots of photos to show you all.  I have turned off Alerts because otherwise I will be overwhelmed by them when I return.  Please could you sign m Guestbook on my sidebar if you have not already?  Thank you!


I hope you all have a marvellous week readers and I’ll post again when I return.


Thursday, 16 August 2007

Good News!






Equivalent to

(average grade)


Health & Social Care 1 (examination)


59 / 100


Health & Social Care 2 (coursework)


56 / 100


Health & Social Care 3 (coursework)


66 / 100


Total mark





English Literature 1 – Shakespeare



45 / 90


English Literature 2 – “Cuckoo’s Nest”



63 / 90


English Literature 3 -

Heaney / Austen



84 / 120


Total mark





As you can imagine, I am very happy with my results!  It hasn’t really sunk in yet.  My family are very proud of what I’ve achieved.  So, I shall be going back to school in September and continuing with my courses.  The only bad thing is I may have to re-sit the Shakespeare paper for English.  I expected to get a low grade in that examination because we weren’t allowed to take our copy of “King Lear” in to the exam with us.  But overall, I am very pleased!


Now I can just sit back, relax and be reassured that my future is in safe hands.  Hope all is well with you, and you have a brilliant week ahead.




Wednesday, 15 August 2007

What Will Tomorrow Bring?


Tomorrow is the big day when I receive my AS Results!  I must say I am feeling confident about them.  This is strange for me because I am usually a worrier.  I’m sure doubts will start to creep into my mind later on though! 



Like every other British teenager, I really would like to pass!  I don’t want to have to juggle an AS re-sit and carry on with an A² course because it will be more work for me.



The A/S courses I have completed this year in English Literature and Health & Social Care is worth half an ‘A’ Level and the A² is worth a full ‘A’ Level.  I shall be continuing with my subjects at A² level in the hope of achieving a full ‘A’ Level.



I hope I do get the opportunity to continue my courses in Year 13.  I enjoy both my subjects and find them very interesting.  My fingers, toes, legs and any other body part you can think of that you can cross has been crossed in he hope I get a ‘decent’ grade.  LOL!  Every grade from A-E is a pass, though realistically I’m hoping for grades C and above.



My horoscope today read: “You have the expectation that everything will work out well and that is more likely to happen because you hold this belief.  This isn’t just positive thinking but a deep, inner belief that there is more out there for you…”   I rarely read Debbie Frank’s horoscopes, but it struck a chord with me today.  Do you think it’s a good omen?



Click the link below to find out more about AS and ‘A’ Levels:

~ What are A/AS Levels? ~


Wish me luck!


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Problem Is Finally Solved!


For a few months now, I have been having trouble connecting to AOL.  My router has been very temperamental!  Some days the i light on my router would blink orange instead of a permanent green.  This meant I could not connect to the internet.  As you can imagine, this used to really frustrate me!




After a while, I did find a solution.  I right-clicked the AOL icon on the taskbar, then clicked on “One-Click Fixes”, then “Redetect Connection Devices”.  Then the wizard ran and picked up the connection.  Sometimes, I have to repeat the above method a few times before the green light would appear.  Although this method works, it became very annoying because after a few days, I would have to repeat the same steps to achieve a successful connection.  Oh!  Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?



My friend, Ross came to visit on Friday afternoon and I told him about the trouble I had.  You see, I didn’t have any trouble with my Internet connection before the router was installed.  It bugged him why the router came blinking an orange light and was determined to fix it.



First of all I spoke to a representative on “AOL Live Help”.  I explained the problem, and then was sent an e-mail of instructions to follow.  The method suggested was already being done to connect to the service.  While I was half-way through typing this, the representative left the conversation.  Charming!!



Then on my behalf, Ross rang the “AOL Customer Services Helpline”.  The representative suggested plugging the router into the Master phone socket.  So we did and waited for i  light to turn green.  It did, meaning there was nothing wrong with my router.  It was the connection that was the problem!



It looked like I was going to have to pay £200 for a new phone line to be put in my room.  My mum did not seem very happy about paying out the money plus expenses, but she felt if we wanted the Internet, that was a sacrifice we’d have to make.



Then Ross wondered whether a DSL Filter had been put on my Sky connection.  It had, but the person who had installed Sky for me had put it in wrongly (like Dad, last summer hehe!).  Ross put it in the right way, and I have had no problems connecting since.



I would like to say a big thank you to Ross.  You really are clever when it comes to computers and the Internet.  Where would Jen and I be without you? hehe!


Sunday, 12 August 2007

A New Hairstyle & A Night Out


Thank you Donna for yet another perfect graphic!  I had to snag this because it looks so much like my pet cat, Chewy.  Pop over to her journal “This, that and Hockey” and say “Hi”.


I sit here at my desk looking staring at a blank Word Document.  I don’t know where to begin this entry, because so much has happened since I last posted an entry.


On Tuesday, I finally had my hair cut after four months!  I went to a professional barber in Cardiff because my local salon is still under renovation.  The barber used an old-fashioned razor to cut my hair, it’s the best haircut I’ve ever had!  What do you think of it?


Usually I don’t put gel on my hair.  I find that I don’t have time to put it on in the mornings.  It’s easier for someone else to do it because I just make a mess, LOL!  The barber said I must make an effort to put gel on now, because it is short and my hair will look like a cloud if I don’t, hehe!  I've included a pic of my 'normal' hair, which do you prefer?


Then later on, I went out for a meal with my family to celebrate my Uncle’s 47th birthday!  It was the first time we had celebrated my Uncle’s birthday together for four years because we’ve always been away on holiday at this time of year.


It was such a treat to go out for a meal mid-week!  I had a great time catching up with relatives and the food was superb!  I had a mild chicken curry with rice and chips, followed by some blackcurrant cheesecake for dessert.  Yumm!  I savoured every bit of that because I don’t usually have afters in a restaurant.


As you can see from above, I was armed with my camera!  No-one is safe when I have my digi-cam, LOL!  My uncle is a keen photographer, so he took a few pictures (unknown to us).   Hope you like them!


I hope you've all have a good weekend.


Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Congratulations Mum!


Mum joined Weight Watchers in January and now, eight months later has lost 50lbs!  Mum is on a diet called “the Core Plan”, which was introduced to Weight Watchers eighteen months ago.


“It’s a brilliant plan which enables me to eat a wide variety of food.  But you have to be organized and think carefully about your meals.  It doesn’t even feel like I’m on a diet, which is great, I’m eating the foods I love.  I’m also fitting into clothes I haven’t worn in years.  I feel so much more confident, sexy and comfortable in my own skin… I don’t get breathless anymore.”    

~ Mum.


“Heather joined our group last January and since then has lost so much weight.  The results are fantastic!  She is such an inspiration to me and the rest of the group.  I hope she continues to lose weight and reaches her goal.”

~ Group leader, Sandra.


Mum, I am so proud of you for what you have achieved.  You look so different to what you used to be.  Your self-confidence and self-esteem has risen and you are so much happier within yourself.  Good luck on losing the other 14lb, you can do it.  We’re going to be with you every step of the way!  I love you xx



Monday, 6 August 2007

It's Time to Conquer My Fears


Isn’t it nice to see some sunshine at last?  I hope the weather stays like this because in a few weeks I’m off to Devon for a week.  *fingers crossed*



I was thinking of taking up another hobby: swimming!  I have not swum properly for about four years.  I think it’s about time I conquered my fear and started swimming again while I have more time and the weather is nice.



My teachers at junior school used to say I was such a confident swimmer.  They described me like a fish in the water.  Every Friday morning, my class would go to the local swimming baths for two hours, then return to school for dinner.  I used to really look forward to it!  It was the highlight of my week!



When I started at the comprehensive school, I love for the water decreased quickly.  I used to change into my swimming costume, and then go into our pool for what seemed like fifteen minutes.  Then get out again.  I began to loathe swimming.  I thought P.E lessons were a complete waste of time!



Then after my operation (which was four years ago now) my physiotherapist wanted me to spend a couple of hours in the swimming pool every day to strengthen my legs.  I loved this idea at first.



But as I was lowered by hoist into the pool, my legs felt as if they had gone numb.  As I tried to swim, it felt as if I was being pulled underneath the water by a strong, magnetic force.  I was petrified!  It felt like I was drowning.



I have rarely been in the water since I was discharged from the hospital.  If I do go in the water, I can’t go in there on my own.



I really should start again because it’s good exercise.  The longer I postpone it, the harder it’s going to become.  If I don’t attempt to conquer it now, when will I?  Never – so I have GOT to do it!  I need to face my fear and overcome it to become a stronger person.


Have a good evening!


Saturday, 4 August 2007

Standing At the Crossroads

"Which path should I follow?"


I always thought I had my life mapped out in front of me.  I did well in my GCSE examinations last year, gaining 8 A-C grades.  I’ve gone on to study A-Levels in Health & Social Care and English Literature.  Where do I go from here?


My ambition has always been to become a teacher.  I’ve always wanted to do that ever since I was small.  I wanted to follow the footsteps of my father’s family, who are all teachers.  The reason I wanted to go into this profession was to make a difference to young people’s lives, and I liked the idea of having a position of authority.


While I was on work experience last October, one of the teachers said “Leigh, I’m going to be frank with you here, I don’t think you would make a good teacher”.


When asked why she replied, “It is very physically demanding.  It wouldn’t be a practical job for you because of your disability”.  I could see her point of view.  How could I run after a group of energetic 7-8 year old pupils?  How would I manage standing for long periods of time?


However, she did suggest I become a Learning Support Assistant.  Then, I would be working with pupils on a 1-1 basis or in small groups.  She said it would be less challenging for me, but still rewarding.  Bingo, nine months later, I get offered a job as one!


I would like to accept the job, but I don’t know what to do.  The job would be a great experience for me.  Plus, I’d have my own wage!  It may not be much money, but at least it’s a wage.  Also, I would like to go to university to get a Degree, but in what subject?


I haven’t really thought about going to university.  I thought I’d accept the job offer and go to university later on in life.  My parents and friends say I should go to university in a year with familiar faces, and get it out of the way, LOL!


I don’t know what career I’d like in the future.  You need to have one in mind when choosing a university course.  I need to apply for six universities (if I’m going) by September.  


My careers advisor has always stressed about back-up plans, I don’t have one.  I always thought I’d like teaching.  I feel lost and insecure because I don’t know where I’m headed.



I’ve still got one more year to decide, and a lot can happen in one year!


Thursday, 2 August 2007

Laughter is the Best Medicine


Well, my wish has been granted!  In South Wales, we have had six days of sunshine on the trot.  I’m so happy to see sunshine at last!  I did not think it would come after all that torrential rain we had.  Dare I say it, but I think summer has officially started!


I decided to go to the local cinema yesterday afternoon.  I would’ve liked to have seen the musical “Hairspray”, but unfortunately the bus was twenty minutes late!  I do agree with you Ste, buses are a real pain in the ass!


We arrived at the cinema five minutes before the film was due to start.  I was really hungry by that time, so decided to go to McDonald’s for a bite to eat.  I took my time eating, didn’t see the point in rushing.  I’m not that fussed with McDonald’s food, and rarely visit the restaurant.  But I did enjoy every mouthful of my Chicken McNuggets!


Then, we decided to go and see the much-anticipated “Simpsons Movie”.  I used to be a big fan of the show when I was younger.  The movie has received mixed reviews from critics, so I was a little sceptical about it.  I found the film very funny, it appealed to the young child within me, LOL!


Although, sometimes I found myself thinking “Oh man, what am I doing here?”  There we go, I’ve seen it now, and I needed a laugh, hehe!




Next week, I am going to see “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” with mum.  I can’t wait!  As many of you know from previous posts, I started reading the book, and I finished it on Sunday.  Now I am progressing swiftly through Book Six.


That’s all my news for now, dear readers.  I’m off now to enjoy the remainder of the sunshine.  Hope you all have a very pleasant day!