Monday, 19 April 2010


I wasn't going to write about this, but have decided I will as I told myself I would be as open and honest about Ushers as I can be.

And now I've decided to write about it I have to do so now so I don't lose the nerve/bottle at a later date!

Yesterday morning I was waiting for a bus to get to work. The sun was really bright and despite having my sunglasses on the glare was glaring in a glary manner! Now, for those who don't have or know about Ushers, sun glare can be a right pain in the jacksie. You know those really over exposed photo's, it's a bit like that. plus my eyes water a lot when it's like that, so I have to contend with the blur that watery eyes give as well.

The bus came, the doors opened and I went to step on.

Before my foot hit the deck someone, a man, barged into me so HE could get on before me.

Because at that precise moment I was on one leg it knocked me sideways. My shoulder hit the side of the bus. I stacked and ended up on the road between the bus and the curb.

The man spun around and started shouting at me!

Apparently I should have been looking where I was going. I was taking the piss. I was making it far worst than it actually was. I was trying to make him look bad. I was a fool. I was f*cking waster. It was all my fault.

He then went and sat down.

The bus driver didn't anything other than look at me.

Behind me a group of teenagers were laughing.

No one asked me if I was ok. No one helped me up. I got up and walked away.....

I have never been so humiliated in my whole life. I have never felt so ashamed to be me. I have never felt quite as vulnerable as I did then.

So much so I didn't tell anyone at work once I got there. I didn't tell any of my family that evening.

No one wants to admit this sort of thing happens to them. But I am going to admit to it, because it takes a fair bit of bottle to do so, and I reckon I got that bottle!!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Buses and trains.

I recently had cause to think and write about trains, it's not as geeky as it sounds.... And I'm not a closet train spotter..... Honest!!

And it got me to thinking about public transport in general. And how much of a pain it can be.

A train journey can be a stressful experience at the best of times for most. Overcrowding, delays, cancelations and last minute platform changes can make the most patient of people lose their rag! Throw into the mix a duel sensory loss such as deaf/blindness and suddenly it’s an absolute minefield!

Announcements over the tannoys can be difficult or impossible to hear, especially when train announcers seemingly specialise in white noise and mumbling!

It can be disconcerting when everyone on the platform suddenly runs, jogs, hops, skips, barges and elbow their way to another platform as if they have received a telepathic message that you have somehow missed out on. The boards show no changes, your train shows no signs of appearing, you know the train you're waiting for is the last one of the night OR the one just before the massive crush of rush hour..... So you make the decision to find someone who might be able to help you!

You stride down the platform looking frantically left and right looking for the man or woman in a blue coat with yellow trim, and they're nowhere to be seen! You reach the barrier and there's no bugger there either! So you end up hanging around, either totally on your tod, or with thousands of people pushing pass you to get to where they want to be. It's stressful..... Sometimes it makes you panic a bit cos you feel like you have no control what so ever. Eventually you find someone and ask what has happened to your train,

‘There was an announcement’ you are told brusquely,

‘Yeah, I didn’t hear it though because –‘ you start, but before you have a chance to finish you're told

‘You should have listened to the announcement, you’ll have to go back to the main station to see when the next train is.’

You try again to explain you didn’t hear the announcement, and that going back to the main station could be very difficult, as you are also blind.... Deaf/blind in fact..... But you're just met with a blank gormless face and a shrug of the shoulders.

Buses are just as bad. You get on, pay your fare, settle down with a book only for the bus to stop two stops later and about 15 stops before yours, with the whole bus filing off!

When you ask what's going on, more often than not you're told the next one will be along in a bit..... And of course you can't get on that one cos everyone bundles in front of you, shoves you out of the way and when you FINALLY get to the door it shuts because not a single other person could possibly squeeze on!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Bat in the shower!

A few years ago I worked in Wales. It was absolutely gorgeous! The building was a 400 year old farmhouse and set in the middle of farmland, at the foot of Pen y Fan.

There was only one spot where I could get mobile phone reception, right slap bang in the centre of a window sill, and only if I balanced the phone on it's side! Other than that if I want to make a call or send a text I had to go for a little ten minute walk!

I had a bike, and it took about 15 mins to ride into the local village, and about an hour and half to ride back up the steep hill back!

Buses came by on the hour every hour, but there was no bus stop near by so you stood on the edge of the road and waved like a lunatic to get them to stop and pick you up! And, once you sat down someone would always start a chat with you. Bare in mind, I'm a London girl born and bred and the first few times that happened I was a tad weirded out!!

I lived and worked with two other people, and obviously all the people that came to stay, but it was myself, Cheese and Beef who were the main people there!

Sometimes because of the way days off fell, we would be there all on our lonesome, and not have any guests because it would have been silly!

I can honestly say there was only one time when I was terrified....... It wasn't the time I was in the building on my own for a couple of nights and a lone man came and tried to convince me to let him stay, calling through the windows

'Cooooome out, I promise I wont hurt you!!!'

Yeah mate, I've watched those horror films where the girl on her own lets the man in because he's cold, tired, hungry and only wants to sleep, and then he rips out her intestines with his bare hands!!

It wasn't the time when I'd gone on a little walk and after half hour of walking sprained my ankle and thought that there was no way I'd be able to get back.

And it wasn't the time when there was the biggest storm I'd ever seen, heard or felt in my entire life!

No....... It was the time when I was naked, in the shower and discovered that there was a bat in there with me!!!!!

How on earth did this happen I hear you ask?! Well..... I will tell you!

The barn that was adjacent to the farmhouse has just been converted, so me and Beef had been moved in there, very nice, bigger room and a nice new shower room.

We'd been there a few days and had settled in, and so far there were no mishaps at all. I had reached the end of a morning shift and toddled back to have a shower and then laze around because it was raining and I didn't fancy schlepping around the mountains!

So I went into the shower room, got undressed, took out my hearing aids, took off my glasses and put on my shower cap.

In I stepped and turned on the water, wishy washy washy wishy..... I turned round and glanced down.

'What the.......???' On my shampoo bottle there was a big brown lump! I couldn't see it properly as I didn't have my glasses on. My immediate thought was

'OH MY GOD............!!!!! Beef has poohed on my shampoo bottle!!!!!'

I have no idea WHY I thought Beef would do that, he hadn't done anything previously to make me think that he would, but..... It was my first thought and I felt disgusted and violated!!!

I then thought to myself, not only would Beef NOT do such a thing, but there was no smell so it couldn't be a pooh!!!

So, I crouched down to get a proper look at whatever it was, having not the foggiest as to what it could be! I leaned in closer, I didn't want to touch whatever it was until I knew what it was! I leaned in closer still when all of a sudden.....

It stretched out it's arms/wings, reared back, pulled back it's mouth and showed me fangs the size of tombstones (but much sharper!), snarled at me in a menacing manner and clawed in my general direction!


I screamed.....

'AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!' It was a high pitched, blood curdling, terrified scream of a London bint who had only ever seen bats on nature programs before.

I leapt out of the shower, grabbed a towel as I ran out of the shower room, slammed the door shut, ran into my room, got my key, ran back and locked the door shut!!!

I then ran out of the building in just a towel and shower cap and ran sans glasses to the other building where Beef was! Barefooted and not really able to see I stubbed my toe, fell over in pain and cut my knee.

So when I burst into the reception area I gave everyone a shock, and by everyone I mean Beef and the group of about ten ramblers who were booking in for the night!

There I was, in a towel, with a shower cap on, bloody knee, hopping because my toe really hurt, screaming far louder than I would have normally screamed because I didn't have my aids in


And of course, because I was slightly panicked, my saaarf east lahndahn accent was coming out far stronger than it normally does!

AND I was just screaming this in the general direction of the people because I couldn't SEE Beef!

The group of ramblers must have wondered what on earth they'd let themselves in for, and if the local mental hospital had had an escapee in the past few hours!!!

I went running through reception to the back and sent Beef to sort it out.

Of course it wasn't all that big, or scary looking, it was according to Beef quite cute and no bigger than a jam jar lid.....!