Monday, 10 December 2018

Powerchair Update | 9 Months On

This update is about a month over due now but I have the perfect excuse, I've been so busy enjoying life that I just haven't had time to blog! I've been finding myself being in London several times a week, visiting other cities and doing some exciting interviews during these past 3 months. Now, there has been another update on my blog since my 6 Month update, and that would be because the Quantum UK team very kindly upgraded my Edge 2.0 powerchair to their Edge 3.0, just a simple case of switching the base and getting some fancy new matte black shrouds! This update covers August, September and October and get ready for another long blog post because they felt like the busiest 3 months of my year!


Musicals

We should probably start with the musicals I saw because that's where the majority of my time has been spent over these past 3 months, I saw 4 shows an undisclosed number of times and I truly feel like I'm living my best life! I said that when I got my powerchair I was going to make up for the lost years and the lost experiences and I really have delivered on that promise, perhaps a little too much! As well as seeing the actual shows I was also kindly invited along to the Eugenius Acoustic Press Evening at The Other Palace where we were treated to acoustic performances of several songs, as well as a Q&A from the creative team. This was my first theatre press event and it was incredible, The Other Palace is potentially the most accessible theatre in London so it was the perfect setting and for once I didn't feel separated from everyone else, like I usually am for theatre performances. I saw Eugenius 3 times during it's run, twice with my Mum, as we just had so much fun that first time! Getting to spend more time with my Mum outside of our home has been one of my favourite things about getting my new powerchair, we've always been really close but over the past few years we've done less and less together as my condition has worsened, so to be able to go and see shows with her just about every month has been incredible!

Six is another show that I saw multiple times over those 3 months, made even more exciting by getting to finally meet Pippa during one of the trips! We've known each other through social media for a long while now, and she was one of the people who really inspired me to start reviewing shows from the perspective of being a wheelchair user so it was so lovely to put a face to the name. I also saw Heathers twice during these 3 months and as you'll probably gather from my review, me and Heathers never really clicked, it just wasn't the show for me!

The biggest musical related thing that happened during these 3 months, that will stay with me for the rest of my life and was honestly one of the best nights of my life, was the Halloween Bat Out Of Hell Singalong. This was a true fan night. We dressed up as characters from the show, I went as my favourite, Blake, and we sang our hearts out alongside the cast. I have never heard a noise like it, the theatre wasn't even full but we were so loud, it was like an out of body experience! The atmosphere truly was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I also got complimented on the detail in my costume from the head of wardrobe and Ryan Anderson who plays Blake loved my costume too, which truly made my night. I wish I could bottle up that night and experience it all over again, it's certainly going to be a difficult night to top! Let's not talk about how many times I actually saw Bat during those 3 months though...

Leeds


It was my 21st birthday in August and as a little birthday present to myself I headed to one of my favourite cities, Leeds, to spend a few days there seeing friends, shopping and generally just relaxing! It was so lovely to have a proper catch up with Chloe, someone I could and have talked to for hours, if you're not already following her then you definitely should be as she's absolutely smashing everything she's been doing recently! I also met Ella for the first time whilst I was there, these past 3 months have definitely been the ones of meeting Twitter friends in real life.

Superhero Triathlon


August also saw me doing something that I never believed I would do, I took part in a triathlon! I teamed up with Lyndsay and Barry from Craven Complete Fitness to take part in the Superhero Series, raising money for InvisiYouth, a charity that supports teens and young adults living with chronic illness and disability. It was incredible to be in such an inclusive environment where the non-disabled people were the odd ones out for once! I was kindly lent a lightweight manual wheelchair from RGK  to use to wheel myself the 1km, after Lyndsay and Barry had completed the swimming and cycling sections. It was one of the most difficult, but rewarding, things I've ever done and I'm really hoping to take part again next year but this time, I want to do all 3 sections!

Filming with Quantum

Obviously one of the biggest things that happened throughout these 3 months which you already know about is that my powerchair got a bit of an upgrade! I had the base of my powerchair kindly changed over to the newest model, the Edge 3.0, by the wonderful Quantum team. The suspension is better, I can drive faster at iLevel, I've got new lights and even a second USB charging port now! My powerchair is also now matte black (after being matte blue for a little while), which is the colour I'd imagined my powerchair being from the very beginning, it just looks so sleek now. The changeover happened the day before we headed to Oxford to do some filming for the launch of the Edge 3.0, I was the first person in the UK to have the powerchair, which was a little exciting! It was so fascinating filming for the video, seeing how much work goes into something that's only a few minutes long. We did an interview and then headed all around Oxford to get different shots, it was basically a lot of repeating myself and different movements but it was a lot of fun! You can read more about it and see photos from the day in my previous powerchair update.

Shaw Trust

October marked the launch of the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list, a list of 100 of the most influential disabled people in the UK and somehow I managed to find my way on to it! It was truly an honour to be listed amongst so many people who have achieved so much, people who have shown me that my goals in life are attainable. It was so lovely to see bloggers being well represented on the list too, blogging has given me a voice that I don't think I'd otherwise have so it was nice to see people appreciating the work that disabled bloggers, youtubers etc do. It will definitely go down as one of my proudest achievements!

Sky Garden


I have this list in my head of things that I've spent years saying I'd love to do and I'm slowly making my way through it, ticking off one of them at the end of October! On the same day of the Bat Out Of Hell Halloween Singalong Mum and I finally visited the Sky Garden. Now, neither of us are quite the best with heights but it was something we really wanted to do and actually, it didn't feel anywhere near as high as I thought it would! You get the most beautiful views of London, and for free as well. The inside is stunning too, I can certainly see why a lot of bloggers have taken photos up there and I took advantage myself as well! We definitely want to return again, perhaps when the weather is a little better.

So, that was August, September and October! I really thought that when October came to an end I'd have some time to relax, actually do some blogging and start planning for Christmas but from then on things only got busier, but you'll hear all about that in my 1 year update post! I can't quite believe that it's nearly been a year, just yesterday my timehop reminded me that it had been a year since we raised the full amount needed for my powerchair, £11,500 in 3 months. I am truly grateful every single day to everyone who made it possible, I think it's clear to see how different my life is now and as a person I'm unrecognisable compared to who I was last year. I feel so confident and I am so excited to see what 2019 brings!
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