Hungry Horse Review

I’ve never been one for fancy restraunts, pub food has always been my go to destination if me and my family go out for food. So on a family day out last sunday we went to the well know chain the Hungury Horse one of the ones basef in Milton Kenyes we had been their before and had lovely meals so I planned to write a review of my meal there as a reccomendation for you all unfortenetly i cannot do that .

When we walked in it was very busy as ecxpected it was a sunday afternoon however the problem came when most of the tables free were up on the raised level of the dining area so accessibility wise the restruant is accsible but because of the lack of flat entry tables and the pub being a family pub meaning there were a lot of push chairs the layout wasn’t convineant for me personally as a wheelchair user.

Another really important aspect to a place I choose to eat is cleanliness I wouldn’t say the place was dirty as all the cutlery and glasses were clean however the tables were sticky with food crumbs left on them which call me fussy but put me off my food a bit before i’d even chosen it!

Now on to the main event the food review!

I want to stress here ive had food at the Hungry Horse chain before and its been lovely so I dont want to paint to much of a bad picture however my meal was just ok/eatable!


I had two southern fried chichen skewers on a bed of onions and peppers which came with two sides I chose seasoned fries and a side salad. As I said before it was eatable but the chicken did not taste freshly cooked and without the bed of peppers and onions would have been very bland . The fries were two heavily seasoned for my liking but that may just be a personal thing as we all having different seasoning levels if you get what I mean.

Like I said I cant complain about the food there was nothing wrong with it but on the basis of this meal and the cleanliness of the place i would not recommend it also would not suggest people in wheelchairs or who are unable to go up steps visit at busy times on the disability and accessibility front thoe I should add they did have straws yay!

Why diversity in the blogging community is so important

#ILiveItIBlogIt

I like to think I am a person who advocates for diversity in society and is passionate about achieving equality for every person on the planet. So when I saw the campaign my friend John Sennett was running to promote divesity within the blogging community I was proud and excited  ( I may have even done a fist pump In the air) 

During my time being in the blogging community ive spoken to some amazing relatable people who understand the sometimes troubling times and experiences I have as a women  who is a wheelchair user, has epilepsy and a mental illness, reading there ecxpirence’s and how similar some are to mine has made me feel more “normal” and like I wasent alone in what I was going trough.

I hate using that word normal is this context but the truth is minorities arn’t the normal within society. The media has a big part to play in that . I see adverts promoting  diversity and they are really not! The most recent example I can think of is Boohoo’s #allgirls campaign that was meant to be promoting all girls right to enjoy fashion and have their own sense of style, within the campaign a women who was plus size or disabled was no where to be seen. This is just the latest example I can think of where the media have ecxduded women who are disabled or have a different apperence to what society would consider normal. And I am sure there a many other instances of diversity exclusion that I haven’t regonized because I am not in that minority group. 

We have a chance to change this us bloggers are part of a new wave of media, we can share our stories and support each other in our real lives warts and all without the glossyness that even many bloggers feel the need to present. Im in my 20s now and confident enough to most of the time being comfortable  with my disablities and mental health problems but at school I was not, but if I was to go into my school times it would be a whole different post. However can say that I would have loved to have someone older than me showing how life really is for them as a disabled person.

Let’s change this for the next generation let’s use the power we have as influences to share the life’s we live our real lives and support and love each other for who we are not the normal were told to be! Let’s all take part in the #ILiveItIblog it campaign and let that just be the start of embracing our diversity.

why volunteer?

PicMonkey Collage vollenterring

A photo of Oxfam and Do-it logos

Hi every lovely reader of mine!

This post is all about volunteering, my experience of doing it and why I think everyone should do it at least once in their life. The post was meant to go up yesterday to celebrate national volunteering week which was the 1-7th of June but it a bit late due to my rescheduling of post which you can find out more about here im going to start well at the very beginning (excuse the pun) and the beginning is why I wanted to start volunteering?

I’m not going to be a cliche and say it’s because i wanted to help people it wasn’t, now it is desire of mine to help people but when I started volunteering at the age of 15 it wasn’t a big part of my reasoning for wanting to volunteer. I chose to volunteer because I was a teen with social anxiety who felt alone and had no purpose because she couldn’t go out with all her school mates, due to her social anxiety I was isolated and has a result of this felt lonely affecting my self-worth. I just wanted to get out the house and contribute something to society after months of me trying to find a place and getting rejected my mum went into Oxfam and quite bluntly said my daughters 15 in a wheelchair, she wants some independence for herself and wants to volunteer and they accepted her offer.

 

I was happy and nervous, I still remember my first day all these years later! I went into the shop which was a book shop to be greeted by 3 volunteers who were of the older generation, I was so nervous I felt about 5 years old not 15. I was first shown how to label the books it was a small shop in my town so they manually wrote in the codes and prices which i think is really cute. I used to check i’d wrote the codes in right about 3 times I had no faith in myself but over time I got more confident and did that with ease, I got more comfortable with working with the other volunteers I talked philosophy with the gentleman worker and the women were always trying to get the gossip on my love life which of course there was none. They may have been in their sixty’s and seventies  but for the first time i felt a part of something I invited to  dinners out even if i was known as young Courtney.

When i was 17 I got moved onto the tills this was a big step for me as I had to interact with the  general public something if i’m honest i never got comfortable with, I got better but the anxiety never truly went away.  However being on the tills gave me even more practice in social interactions within society which is what i needed.

Overall the confidence it gave me in my 4 years working there was invaluable and it gave me an experience that I loved and wouldn’t have had if i hadn’t volunteered.

So that’s my experience but here’s why I think everyone should have the experience of volunteering:

  • Skills gained: can be personal progression skills  but they can also be work skills that are transferable to  a variety of work places which is needed these days when every employer wants experience.
  • To make a contribution to society and help others:  I fully accept that some people cannot work due to illness or disability but volunteering roles are so varied there is something everyone can do. I had doubts I could do it being a wheelchair user with epilepsy but they made adaptions for me such putting the books I needed to work with on a stool so i could reach them, putting me in charge of stocking shelf’s that were only in my reach and moving the till forward for me so i could get round with my wheelchair. Don’t be put off and remember charity’s need help  so they will probably be more than happy to make adaptions for you.
  • You can do something your passionate about and enjoy:  because volunteering is so varied there are so many causes you can work for, it doesn’t have to be a charity it can be in a local school or family center if your passionate about education. I even knew someone who was passionate about animal care so volunteered  at a zoo there really is something for everyone.
  • Its easy to find an opportunity: the website do-it.org  has a large data base of volunteering opportunities around the UK that can be tailored  to your interests and what roles you would like to do.
  •  As always thank you for reading. I’d love to hear in the comments if you have ever volunteered or your thoughts about doing it in the future
 The images used in this post are the logos of oxfam and do-it all rights go to the respective owners

The Vamps bringing disability into mainstream media

Hi guys! Sorry for the lack of posts been so busy with uni, but its almost summer so it will probably go from one extreme to the other soon and you’ll be sick of me posting.

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I had to post  today though as I’ve just watched boy-band the vamps new video for there current single middle of the night. I was pleasantly surprised to see the main actor and actress in the video using sign language to communicate. I say pleasantly surprised because i have followed the vamps career for a while i wouldn’t say i’m a fan-girl but I’ve seen them live many times when they were support acts for the wanted, and have always respected them as musicians and enjoyed their singles as well of live sets i have seen.

Their position in the music industry from when i stated following their career has grown hugely they are now one of the biggest boy band in the UK and that brings with it people admiring them and respecting their opinions. Meaning bringing disability into the mainstream media on the big platform that they have  will make an impression on a huge audience and make disabilities more widely seen.

What was great about this video is the song wasn’t about disability it was making no political statement just two disabled people in a normal situation breaking up or meeting up after a break up i cant decide tbh! But this is amazing making advisability visible in terms of everyday normal situation and not just hired as disabled actors just actors ( if they were actually disabled that is, which i hope they were)

So thank you to the vamps this video may seem to some as just a video that wont make much of a difference, but i see it as visibility for disabled people as the humans that we are and not our disability.

watch the video here

A very honest account of whats it like to have Epilepsy

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not my image

Today is purple day a day to recognize epilepsy as a serious condition and raise awareness of it. I am very passionate about raising awareness for epilepsy because it affects my life substantially but the reason i dont speak about it on my bog like i speak about having social anxiety and being a wheelchair user is because i don’t really know anything about it! The reason for this is im always in an unconscious state when i have a fit so i dont know what it feels like to have one i personally have no warning of it and cant do anything about it so because of my anxiety and needing to be in control i feel if i read up about it i would be even more frustrated  i have no control, in this case ignorance really is bliss.

I cant give information on where to get help, meds to take like i do with my other conditions cause with epilepsy i just do what my consultant says. I cant even tell you what it feels like to have epilepsy.  I can only tell you the ways it affects my life.

The lack of control affects my life massively every-time i cross a road on my own or do anything of that nature i’m constantly thinking what if i have a fit? This actually happened to me in the summer of 2016 i was driving my electric wheelchair on the path and i had a fit and even though i was unconscious because my hand was still on the stick i carried on driving straight onto the road. Because i was unconsciousness my body had no way of saving itself  and i ended up dislocating my shoulder breaking my arm and a bone in my foot. Luckily this was not a busy road and i had someone very kindly stop and divert the cars that did come away from me.  But every day i think well what if next time im not so lucky?

I said id be honest so ill admit that an aspect of no control is also no control of my bladder. Now this is one of the problems with my epilepsy that i find bearable still embarrassing and annoying if i’m out and have no spare clothes but its ok. In my teen years this was a lot more distressing a lost count of how many times i was crying in the toilets because id just wet myself in the canteen or in class. Not only was it out of fear of being teased but its also psychologically hard when your having the conflict of being in-between a child and an  adult   and you wet yourself making you feel like a toddler.

It also effects my life socially I cant go and watch 3d films or sit at the very front in the cinema which again not to much of a big deal but i do miss out on social gatherings with friends. The flash of a camera, getting to hot both things that tend to happen on a good night both trigger a fit for me.

Lastly because of my epilepsy i cant drive now im only 20 so this hasent affected me so much yet but i know it will because most work places require you to have a drivers license. I wont be able to drive my kids to school or rush them to the hospital if needed.

Im a very positive person and my anxiety and disability that makes me a wheelchair user suck but i can see qualities in myself that i like because of them so there is a positive outcome from it. But epilepsy nothing i get no feeling from it no learnt experience it only restricts who i am as a person not develops it and for this reason if i had one wish in life i’d be more than happy to stay in my wheelchair i just want to get rid of my epilepsy.

I’d like to dedicate this post to lovely girl Amy who i when to school with and  sadly passed away  during an epileptic fit.

Courtney

Winter Wheelchair Problems

Winter has ended *cheers* most people hate the winter its dark and cold but when your disabled and a wheelchair certain unique problems can present themselves. There are many but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 3 problems for wheelchair users in the winter:

1.Pain related symptoms get worse

Not everyone with a disability or in a wheelchair gets pain related symptoms but every disabled person I have spoken to does and they get worse during the winter aswell so id say this is a pretty safe generalization to make. For me personally I get painful spasms a lot when I’m cold so in the winter I basically hibernate I have friends that so come out the drink will take the pain away and granted on the night but for the following days when I’m so tight I’m struggling to move im hugely regretting going out no matter how good the night was but most of the time I still go cause you know FOMO.

2. Our hands get cold

This one is specifically wheelchair related but god do our wheels get cold every morning in the winter when I first touch them without fail I jump even though I know what it’s going to be like! And if someones around me at this point I occasionally go into to what looks like a toddler’s meltdown by saying to someone I’m with at the time “feel my wheels feel how cold they are *person gives strange look* FEEL THEM! ” always met by the response oh they are colder than I thought they’d be.

And for electronic wheelchair users, the cold hand problems still exist but only on our hand that we use to operate the driving stick which for me and my bad circulation results in one normalish looking hand and a purple hand, yer it’s not a pretty sight!

 

Snow= stuck inside

The whole of Britain has a panic when it snows but for wheelchair users, it is a panicking time and it pretty self-explanatory why we cant move because of a wheelchairs design. When I was a kid this was upsetting when everyone else was out playing now as an adult I see it as a good excuse to stay inside and get other people to do things for me.

Saying that though one of my best moment were had in the snow when I was 12 I went on a school trip to wales and was pulled up a mountain on a wheelchair that was designed like a mountain bike with wheelchair support it was pretty clever and one time I felt like nothing not even Winter weather could stop me.

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