The about me post

 Can be found here!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Hospital visit

Well today was an immensely exciting event in my calender, my eye check up time, lovely stuff. so the day started with being driven to the hospital waiting around for hours then seeing the Doctor which was the most interesting bit.

Shockingly he was actually quite a nice guy, he said I was brave you no, anyway that's a bit off topic, he was looking at my eye test results for both distance and visual field, and informed me that they where below average for my age, well duuuur course they are, hello I'm partially sighted, its not a new thing I've been like this since forever!

Then the next interesting thing happened, before he had even checked my eye pressure he started saying that it was time to try new eye drops because they obviously weren't as effective.... then tested my pressures and to both his surprise and actually mine the where normal, which trust me is shocking, they haven't been normal in a loooooooong time.

Overall despite the doctor's slight insanity the visit went well, did find out that the prescription for my glasses needs changing, and I can try contact lenses but I have to wait 3 months for that.

fun fun fun

As if anyone could forget its my final assessment for a guide dog tomorrow, wish me luck everyone!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Rose and Jem's big Adventure

I'm going on an adventure!!!!

Me and a friend are going camping for a few days to the isle of Purbeck, its not til mid august but I'm excited! It's the first time ether of us have gone camping independently on our own, we are both experienced campers though me being a guide leader, Rose previously a guide and we have both done duke of Edinburgh. This however is like the test if we survive we'll do it again on a more regular bases, and we will no we both have the necessary skills to further are adventures.

Its going to be really fun, we have found a lovely campsite called Tom's filed (they have a blog, I've linked to it in my blog list!) its beautiful surrounded by Fields and within hiking distance of the Swanage steam railway, corfe castle , old harry rock and the notorious dancing ledge, all of which we plan to visit!

As an experienced camper I already had loads of the gear we needed, but yesterday I went out and brought the rest! I managed to get a bargain to, 3 gas canisters for the price of 2, and the gas burner itself is tiny it only weighs 195g which is good considering we are doing the trip backpack style, so everything has to fit in our 2 bags!

I also got some very scary matches, there called cyclone...which is I guess a clue they might be slightly scary. They are wind and water proof and come in a florescent orange watertight container, perfect I thought a) we wont lose them and b) they will even light in the rain. well when I got home from the shopping trip I got out the gas and the burner and the matches to check everything worked OK, which it did. When it came to lighting the match it was terrifying, I lit it and ....well I don't no what to compare it to it was like a sparkler the flame went racing down the match sparking, I tried to blow it out and couldn't, there wind proof , it was seriously near my fingers within a second so I threw it, as far away from the gas canisters as I could as I realised it it went out thank god! I guess I'll no for next time, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so ferocious.

Basically we are both really excited even though its 3 weeks away we are looking forward to it a lot!

We are both hoping we don't have to use are first aid skills, but with me going the likely hood is high. I'm hoping I don't have to peel my hand off barbed wire again!

Monday, 23 July 2007


I was going to blog about something,... it was something that bugged me.... something important, but for the life of me I cant remember what the hell it was!

Welcome to the really annoying part of my brain which has a non existent memory span, it drives me bonkers its amazing I actually manage to get anything done with a memory like mine.

Well I guess I can just give you a Jemma up date, because I'm very unlikey to remember what I wanted to blog about!

A few interesting things have happened.

  • Me and a friend have decided to go away camping in august together, no parents, just us my tent and a map.

  • My EMA bonus has finally been agreed and payed!

  • I still haven't got my large print copy of harry potter, this is what happens when your god mother orders it as a present for you! (OK its not her fault she just had a stroke) I love her really!!!!! <3

I think that's about it really, oh I just need to say one more thing quickly aimed at one specific person, Rose if your reading this just because you don't have a blog does not mean you cant post a comment!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

My Art

Recently I have rediscovered my love of art, I'm not your usual art lover tho, I don't get classical art all tho I am often in awe of those famous artists as there works are skillful, just not me. I'm partially sighted so my disability denotes that I am unlikely to be fabulous at art in the world of fully sighted people and if I'm honest the thought of spending my weekend looking at a load of pictures hung on a wall is not fun.

Its amazing I can deal with even the thought of being artistic, the scars from school art lessons, being the only partially sighted one. In junior school I was the one who's drawing was never as good as anyone else's, or the one who's waterfall looked like a heap of wet newspaper. The other kids didn't really understand there was a reason I was so rubbish at being creative. Actually at some points the teachers didn't even get it I remember distinctly when I was in year 4 at school and my teacher said to the class 'people with glasses can see more than people without so they are even better at copying art'. I have no idea where she got that idea from, but I seem to remember it annoying me!

In secondary school it was little better if not worse, the art staff where patronising, really patronising, they gave up on me before I had even picked up a pencil, they could just tell, probably because of my disability that I would be rubbish. I had to endure the head of art pretending to no what my picture was of, getting round it by saying ' I like the way you have created movement' when I had actually drawn a rock. One of my favorite lesions of art (NOT) was when we where doing something, I can't even remember what it was but we where using very fine pencils and pressing very lightly, that was the idea anyway. So me, nose to paper forced by the teacher to use the same pencil as everyone else tried my best, what I ended up with was a landscape of hills and mountains and sky , my teacher actually said it was one of the best pieces I had done all year and gave me a merit. I was surprised but to be honest couldn't really see the whole picture so assumed it must have been sort of all right. well in next weeks lesson we where doing some painting type thing I opened my art book to the first available page did my art. Teacher came up to me to look at it and we where both shocked to discover I had actually painted all over last weeks work, I couldn't even see it was there.

So school art was pretty horrific, I mean that was a brief selection of the horrors, not including things from the other pupils!

I only really got in to art and thought i could do something constructive, possibly even good, after I brought my graphics tablet. For those who don't know a graphics tablet is basically a small pen and pad which you plug in to the PC and use instead of the mouse to do arty stuff. Its opened up a whole new world of creativity for me, I haven't been able to use my graphics tablet since my PC blew up last year, at that time I lost all my work, everything I had created.

Now finally on Thursday I reinstalled the software and shock horror it worked!

since then I have really realised just how much I missed not having it, I cant stop creating, doodling and generally making a virtual mess.

I have created a number of images (which can be seen in the slide show under the title of this blog) One of them I have even entered in to the mind M.A.D art exhibition. its called 'A world of brightness' and here it is.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Guide dog : the full story!

Well by popular demand by Seahorse I am going to tell you the full details of my application for a guide dog and some background.... i am most probably going to bore you all stupid.


Well in case you hadn't already gathered I'm rather partially sighted, I was born with cataracts, squints and really small pupils lots of surgery later I have Glucoma as a result of the surgery's and my pupils can't react to light and dark, meaning I'm night blind and struggle to see when its sunny and glare is definitely an issue. I also live in a hat (you might have seen my entry titled hats and pubs here).

My eye condition is genetic, my mother has it to. The surgery she has was very unsuccessful, as a result my mum is registered blind and can only see light and dark she has a guide dog called Ian. (there both in the pic on the left)

I also have a Blind auntie, who can see more than my mum and a partially sighted cousin... so theirs lots of us in the family.

Guide dog : the journey so far.

On my 18Th birthday I had a conversation with my mum and dad about applying for a guide dog, they where slightly sceptical but said they wouldn't stop me so on the 31st of October last year I made the call to start the ball rolling.

My first assessment

was all about what its like to own a dog and to give me more information about applying and what the process entails, its just a friendly chat about how the organisation works. Also I received a self declaration medical form, this is to insure that I'm fit and healthy enough to train with a dog, in my case they then wrote to my GP to check they agreed I would be able to train. Also we talk about my lifestyle and my future and start to get an idea of what dog would be suitable, if I get that far.

The mobility assessment

This was the bit I was most worried about. In this assessment the mobility assessor does a quick assessment of vision, field vision and asks lots of questions about what I can see whilst out and about and about the routes I do on a regular basis, and what forms of public transport I use. More lifestyle questions and then the bit I was most worried about, the assessment walk. on this I demonstrated my long cane skills and my pace, straightness, and road safeness. also there was a traffic assessment to see when I can see and hear cars coming and weather I can see cyclists and stuff.


well that's all I've done so far, slightly abbreviated.

I got a letter through on Saturday saying that my final assessment will be on the 1st of august. In that assessment I will travel to the nearest center and meet a GDMI (guide dog mobility instructor) and go on 2 assessment walks, where I will work 2 different dogs. it will be very nerve racking stuff. At the end of the day the decision will be made as to weather I can go on a waiting list for a dog.

I'm both extremely nervous and excited about the prospect, I will be absolutely gutted if they say no at the end of the day, if they say yes I will be smiling from ear to ear.

8 random facts about Jemma

Zepher , over at Arthritic Young Thing has tagged me to do this ...(by the way sorry its so late Zepher I've been on my hols) and it would be rude not to! And I actually love doing random things like this!

Here's the rules.

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

1. I don't drink or smoke, but I completely understand people that do and am quite happy to go down the pub and watch everyone else get completely drunk.

2. I HATE clubbing and other places that are loud and have flashing lights... the inability to see in the dark combined with photophobia (the inability to see in bright light) and then inability to here due to loud music and I'm doomed!

3. I never eat vegetables I hate them all, I don't eat much fruit ether I no it's really bad for me but I cant help it. the smell of fish makes me heave, and the only meat I eat is chicken. yes I'm a very fussy eater

4. I absolutely love camping and hiking and the great outdoors, I also have an obsession with buying camping equipment, I own 3 sleeping bags, a very lovely flowery tent, travel towels, various hiking rucksacks, 2 pairs of boots (one of which doesn't even fit!), some very dodgy water proof trousers (I had to by them 3 sizes to big so they would be long enough).

5. I am 5ft 10 and 3/4 and have a 35inch inside leg, which makes it difficult to buy trousers. also I have very wide size 9(UK) feet which makes it very difficult to buy shoes, on top of that I have to wear corrective orthosoles in my shoes, all that means I live in trainers.

6. I mentioned earlier that I love camping and hiking and stuff, well I do but when hiking I fall over ever few minutes my balance is awful, because I have a bone condition, bilateral twisted tibia's, twisted pelvis, twisted hips and knock knees. The worst hiking falling over incident I have had was tripping and staying on my feet but with my head stuck in a thorn bush above me and my hand stuck on barb wire. I got my head free then had to peel my hand of the barbed wire!

7. I really like Harry Potter I love the books (especially as they are available in large print) and the Harry Potter books are the books I have read cover to cover of my own will, and i have pre-ordered the last book already!

8. I got the letter through on Saturday that my final assessment for a guide dog is on the 1st of August!! exciting stuff (I've been dieing to blog about it but didn't think it warranted a full entry so this counts)

In return, I shall tag: Dave from Chewing the fat , Seahorse from the beauty offencive, Goldfish from Diary of a Goldfish , Damon from Do your worst , Pole to pole: the secret life of a manic depressive, L^2 from Dogs eye view, Lady Bracknell from The perorations of lady Bracknell and TDF at Blogs from the dogs

Saturday, 14 July 2007


well today I'm madly trying to distract myself from thinking.... this is ether delaying the inevitable or 'helping me battle the storm', but I have to try.... I can't listen to the things I'm thinking.

I've been away for a few days hence the gap in activity in terms of the blog. I went to Slough, in Berkshire (England) its where I'm from originally and it was good to get back to my roots, see old places, I bumped into a few people I used to no.

There was quite a bit of shopping and I spent far too much money.... this is bad because its my Dads birthday on Tuesday and what have I got him? Nothing! And I'm skint now , I have £2.95 in my Bank account and about £5 in lose change so I think its gunna be a cheap box of chocolate.

last night I came home and watched telly and chilled out, then when everyone else went to bed I drank neat Pimms, and quite a lot of it,(I'm not supposed to drink on the anti-depressants) got the most drunk I've ever been and then went to bed.

I guess it's true alcohol is a depressant!

Today I have been out twice to try and escape the thoughts and I have been doing different distractions all nite.

This was one so please forgive the typos!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Infuriating visit to the GP

Apologies in advance as this is most definitely a terribly written rant about my negative experience at my doctors surgery today, wich was truely infurating!

Today I had to see a GP to get some more anti-depressants, I was supposed to be seeing my own GP on Thursday but I'm going on holiday tomorrow, so I had to move the appointment. I then couldn't get another appointment with my GP so had to see a locum.

I arrived at the surgery with my mum who had to see the nurse briefly, my mother is nearly totally blind, and the receptionist was really really unhelpful!

In our surgery there is a LED board type thing that displays the patient name and where to go, it is a visual symbol but there is no audio announcement apart from a small beep, really helpful if you cant read the screen!

The receptionist said she would tell my mum when it was her turn to go in and then didn't. Another patent told my mum it was her turn so my mum went to the desk with her guide dog Ian to ask for assistance, to find out where to go the receptionist ignored my mums existence, despite my mum asking her specifically if she could help! Again another patent had to step in and guide my mum to the room! that should not happen!

Then when it was my turn to see the doctor I too had the same problem with the screen again another patient told me it was my turn, however this time I went to the desk and did get some help. On leaving the surgery I was informed that they didn't realise I was visually impaired, long cane, thick glasses and wobbling eyes not a big enough clue? Apparently it has now been put next to my name that I need assistance, great.

The problem with the screen system was pointed out last year when the surgery opened, my mum even phoned the RNIB to get them to speak to the practice manager who was less than helpful, and said that there was not a problem. clearly there is.

When I finally got to see the Doctor it was a very irritating appointment, I explained the situation that I needed more anti-depressants because I was going to run out before I got to see my GP. I then had to listen to the GP going on about how I'm very young to be on anti-depressants (I'm 18 therefore in the eyes of the medical profession an adult) and that she wanted me to be taken off them as soon as possible. I was very much against this, they have helped but not solved the problem, I'm on a waiting list for CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and counselling, taking me off them before getting me the right treatment could be bad.

In the end she gave me a months supply, completely refused to give me a repeat prescription and told me to see my regular GP when I got back.

The only problem with that is, as of Friday my GP is on holiday for three and a half weeks, so I will probably end up having to see another locum, whilst waiting to see my GP.


It's all so irritating!

Sunday, 8 July 2007


I have been rather busy, on Friday I went to beaulieu (yes I had to look up the spelling of that) it was great fun, we went on the monorail and on the old bus. we also went into the house and the Abby. The whole place was strangely un-accessible tho it did make me wonder how they got away with it, there appeared to be rather limited wheelchair access. only a few of there steps where marked...which was hazardous, there where lots of overhanging bushes and my most embarrassing "they could have done better on the access front" moment was there doors, when you pay for your entrance in to beaulieu you walk through a set of clear glass doors, I did not realise they where there! Anyway moan over it was really fun we had ice cream looked round gardens, got stuff blown every were in the cafe, went on a slightly scary monorail and looked at nice cars. we also went on the wheel thing where you look at the history of cars was really cool.

Then on Friday evening I went back to my friends and we played swing ball and a bit of catch and then had a very lush Chinese, it was a really lovely day!

Then on Saturday I went to a family anniversary party all my dads side of the family where there and it was my half-cousin's 5th wedding anniversary and it was really fun, I spent a lot of time holding some very sweet baby's, and giving them back when it was toilet time, did do quite a lot of nose wiping tho!

To be honest I'm writing this trying to hang on to those good things, I've been pretty down and alone, even wen I'm with other people

I'm finding the holidays harder than I thought, I never for a million years thought I would say these words but I'm missing college. At college there are places to go, things to be done, people to talk to and most importantly it's a reason to get up in the morning, to make myself get up.

Anyway I'm doing better than I was on the last anti-depressants I think these ones might actually be we will see how it goes...only time will tell.

To end on a positive note, I'm going away on Tuesday!!! its only to slough which is most peoples idea of the most hellish holiday destination ever but I'm going to see my auntie and her partner and her dog so its good :D

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Hats and pubs

I've just been shopping this is indeed one of my favorite pastimes I could bore you in the delights of my many purchases but I fear I may lose any readers I actually have if I where to go in to detail!

My mother and I decided to go to a pub for lunch with the smoking ban now in England it's great , you are no longer confined in a room full of people lighting up forced to do damage to your lungs due to passive smoking, my asthmatic mother loves it, and as an avid non-smoker so do I.

I don't drink , well let me rephrase that statement I'm not supposed to drink on my medication. I still enjoy sitting in the company of others and watching them get drunk or just socialising.

pubs often do nice food as did the one we went to today had a really nice chicken and bacon melt thing with BBQ sauce and cheese in a roll , it was really nice the chips where crispy and everything was perfect.

In fact my entire day would have been perfect if it had not been for one incident, and it is such a common one that happens practically every time I go on an evening out or out for lunch.

I was asked "can you take your hat of please?", this is something I have a real problem with.

I understand it's a measure to try and prevent crime, like wearing a hat is going to have some chemical effect on your brain which combined with possible alcohol consumption will result in a transformation like that of the hulk, from ordinary bloke to giant green destruction machine.

I just think its rude to ask another person to remove an item of clothing (in a public setting) and for me specifically its awful , having to say no i cant remove my hat I'm visually impaired I need to keep it on. OK I do admit that I sometimes keep my hat on not due to my V.I status but due to the fact I feel awkward without it, self conscious , naked and venerable, I'm emotionally attached to my hat collection. There's also the great ability to hide behind it, not in a criminal sense but in a self conscious sense, I'm fully aware that my eyes don't look "normal" my pupils are different, I have scaring and I don't have to much control over there movement so I guess i would rather hide behind the hat than have people think I'm giving them funny looks.

I mean do the owners of pubs even think of people with disabilities, it's not just little visually impaired me this could affect there's people with scaring, cancer patents and people with body dimorphic disorder, to name just three groups that might want to wear a hat.

I don't like it, it happens everywhere I go. I don't like it!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


Well me and my... What to call him.... It's a very new relationship...erm boyfriend, went on a date last week. We went for lunch and then back to mine(briefly) and then to the beach and a really nice little cafe which my friend owns/ manages to get ice cream, then on to the local park.

Whilst surveying the various offerings of iced delight, I had to consider not just the taste but the likely hood of me spilling it everywhere and the possible embarrassment this would cause, so i decided to be safe and go for a Ribina ice(other brands are available). "It's in cardboard I can't possibly spill that can I?"- I thought away merrily to myself.

Well to my boyfriends amusement I got purple blackcurrant everywhere all over my white top, and very sticky hands. A couple of people sitting opposite saw me spill it and laughed at me. I went to the toilet to try and clean up a bit, that was hugely unscessful. I had to walk home with blackcurrant stains all over my white top!

The worst thing about this was it wasn't even because of my disability so I couldn't use that as an excuse, my boyfriend (for want of a better expression) is also visually impaired and he didn't spill any. I'm sure the ability to spill ice cream cant be linked to my mental health issues, or my issues (yes i ahve lots of issues) with balance...but ...yes I've cracked it an excuse for looking like a small child and a fool.

Are you ready?...Sure?

The nature of my visual impairment leaves me unable to judge distances thus my co-ordination is impaired!

yes a justified reason for making a mess! I love it!

well im here

wow wasn't expecting it to be that easy to set up a blog and well I'm here basically!

so why am I here wasting your time, money (you pay for the broadband don't you?) and energy (mouse clicking takes energy you no). well I have been inspired to blog, well properly blog by the ouch blogger's if they can do it so can I . Here I am for you properly blogging. I say properly blogging because I have blogged before, I am not a blog virgin! I have a blog on my, my space and I have a rather neglected one on my windows live space, jemmieville which was my very first blog, aww the memories of being a blog virgin.

so why the name? I hear you yell at your computer, well I didn't have a clue what to call my blog so i decided upon that, I like monkeys, I'm a bit nuts and this is sort of a diary so it kinda worked! it was nearly " diary of a dog " but I thought monkey was more exotic and exciting, bit like me really!

Google search