Say What You Think

I have never been one to beat around the bush, quite the opposite in fact. But recently I have found myself biting my lip and sometimes my tongue so hard that I nearly draw blood. A gruesome image I know but I just get so frustrated with things and at times I just want to throw a blunt object at a wall over and over again until I have forgotten what it was I was so upset with in the first place. Of course there are many places where you can’t throw said objects at said wall due to the fact it is frowned upon in many circles. I don’t know why it is frowned upon it seems perfectly fair to me to be able to release the tension without releasing someone’s head from there body. Of course this is wrong and I would never do it. So instead I bite my lip and tongue quite literally at times. I wish I didn’t but you can’t smoke on a bus or in the many other places I find this feeling a pure rage at other peoples stupidity. I realise this may sound as though I feel I always know best and for the most part I know this not to be true. I do have a sound understanding of many things in life but I also realise that one man can’t know everything. Not even Steven Hawkins knows everything. (OR DOES HE?)

It is not healthy to bottle up feelings, I find that if something needs to be said it is best off to just come out an say it. It could be a joke that has you laughing under your breath to yourself or it could be telling some you like them. In many cases the things that we bottle up are in fact negative feelings and thoughts to another person you are somehow close to.

The person could be a colleague, a lecturer it could be a mate. Whoever it is it really shouldn’t matter. Negativity is a bad thing and has no place in my world. So why am I not saying how I feel to people currently? All of my life I have opened up and just come out with it. Is this finally me growing up? I didn’t think this day would ever come. I am normally to busy coming up with my next one liner to think about other things that much. But here I am getting frustrated about to blow worse than a volcano that has been dormant for decades and still, the words do not come out. I don’t believe I have turned over a new leaf, this whole thinking before saying for me is like turning over the whole damn forest.

So in future if you ever see me right a comment on Facebook and I do not wish to divulge why that comment was written on my own page, then don’t bloody push me. If I have something to say it will be said.  But it will not be the 21year old Marc who would come out firing on all cylinders because the world owed me a favour. It will not be the 25year old Marc who was getting cocky as he thought he was just plain better than you. It will be the new and improved 30year old Marc who is old enough now to know better.

You have to ask yourself, why is that person annoying you? Are you to tired? Is it their fauly they are annoying you or is there some underlying issue that is out of their control? At the end of it all you don’t know and chances are you never will. So instead, write  a blog and hope it gets read. After all, I certainly feel better now.

That’s it for now,

All the best

MRWG

 

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Say What You Think

Blind Dating and Awkward Romance

Dating and romance, here we go, buckle up everyone, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. If you can excuse the pun there I would like to talk about the miserable world of dating. I hate it, I am not good at it and it makes me feel awkward. God I am a catch with my sweaty forehead and clammy hands. Ok, so I will take you out for a meal and you can watch me bat some peas around my plate and observe as gravy drips off my beard onto my un-ironed shirt because I was too afraid to burn my fingers. Good times indeed. Do you want me to walk you home? Tough, I can’t find my way home without you. This is just the start of the crazy world of dating that I have found myself in. It’s all well and good to pull out a chair for your lady of choosing or even opening the door for her,  but you got to find the damn thing first. So as your trying to impress her with your normal personality and charm, the inevitable problems of sight loss which you are desperately trying not to show to often all come crashing around you. The nerves jangle, the wine bottle get’s knocked over, you look silly groping around doors, you walk into the wrong toilets and you most likely trip over a step banging into the Jones’s on table four with their kids laughing at you. Great date, we should do it again sometime.

That’s it, you failed, better get back onto POF or Tinder too get rejected by every other unemployed single mum in the northern hemisphere. Ok, here we go again. I managed to lure the last one with some cheeky one liners, after a whole load of pointless pandering to each other we realise that yes, you are the one for me. So we do it all over again. Repeat stage one and fail all over again. This dating lark is tough.

If I can offer a word of advice, don’t ever do speed dating with out research first. The bars can be dark, and there is a lot of movement. Not the good kind of movement either. Check to see if there are mirrors on the wall, as good looking as you may be, you aren’t going to get anywhere by chatting up yourself in the mirror. lastly, try to be sure that the person you are talking to is indeed a of the right sexuality that you desire. It’s awful when you are chatting up someone thinking it’s a girl and then your mates come over to inform you that in fact it’s a dude with long hair and skinny jeans. These blokes should be banned. If you ask me. Its just too confusing.

So yes, I am still single. I don’t expect this post is going to help my chances of finding anyone anytime soon but hey, somethings you just have to get off your chest right? At the end of it all, I just find that online dating is very judgemental. It has turned me into a left swiper sometimes just because the girl is on there with a picture of a bloke, could be her dad for all I know. But for some reason my brain is going into overload and my finger just can’t stop but swipe left and say know. That’s another potential love match gone. Ah well, there’s only another three billion or so women left on the planet to get rejected by. But there is someone for everyone so she has to be out there somewhere right? If you see her can you let her know I am waiting. Chances are I will end up living with 52 cats in a bungalow crying into a pillow.

That’s it for now

 Just to clarify this is not a rant at anyone in particular, it is merely Real Life Humour.

MRWG

Blind Dating and Awkward Romance

Fancy a Game?

For as long as I can remember I have loved sports, both watching and playing. After losing my sight playing sport became a little bit of an after thought, I mean I was blind, what sport could I possibly do. Having no idea that there is a whole world of sports adapted to suit disabled people. Now I use that term very lightly indeed. Disabled should not be a word used to described some of the incredible people. Talented beyond belief. Differently abled is more suitable. People with disabilities yes, but the ability to play sports at a higher level that I could even dream of when I was fully able bodied.

So, not that I had any aspiration to be anywhere near Paralympic level, I started trawling the internet on my tiny mobile phone which was pretty well useless. Tech at the time was no where near what it is now. My efforts to find some kind of sport I could play in resulted in me playing tiddlywinks at an old peoples home. Mrs Smith had the years on me and beat me every time. I am sure she was cheating some how. Don’t even get me started on Reg and Arthur. Those boys knew every tiddlywinks trick in the book.

I gave up looking for what I could join in the end and decided I  had to take matters into my own hands. After a lot of hard work and getting the group which is now known as Outlook off the ground I, along with a few others founded the Gloucestershire Visually Impaired County Cricket Club. A sport I had never played before one late summers day some five years ago now. It seems like just yesterday.

Blind cricket you say? You must be mad!!! Well, the truth is, I probably am a bit mad but you have to be to start such a venture. Cricket after all is a game played with eleven players and at the time we had 6. Great squad numbers I know. At the time I was dubious, many conversations would take place between myself and the coach at the time about whether or not we could get it off the ground and make it work. It seemed unlikely to ever happen when we turn up a the ground for only 3 or 4 people to be there most without any knowledge of cricket at all. But hey, you have to start somewhere right?

Over the years we have grown and attracted players from far and wide. Even people from the mighty cricketing nation of Wales. It is advantageous to have Wales so close as they do not have a blind cricket team these day’s. We are close enough for people to jump on a train and come to join us so thank you Wales.

So the team now known as the Gloucestershire Growlers after one infamous afternoon in a wooden shack in Gloucester have developed into a good unit. We have our moments of brilliance where very few batsman can touch our bowling, we have our moments of epic fails where we can lose a game on the last ball as someone runs when it was wiser not too. But with all of the mishaps and all of the good cricket our motley crew produce, it is always fun. The bus journeys are full of laughter, the banter is always on point and you can always guarantee a good pint after the game (or before in some cases) not that we endorse it.

At the end of it all when I look back to all of the struggles and the hours spent to form the embers of what is now a club burning brighter and brighter every season, you have to say, it was all worth it. Friendships for life are formed, exercise is always good and my trophy shelf has some welcome additions which for a while I didn’t think would happen. After all there is no prize for winning tiddlywinks at an old persons home.

That’s it for now

Speak soon

MRWG.

 

 

Fancy a Game?

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Today I want to talk about the good the bad and the ugly sides of being partially sighted. I am going to look at some of the more interesting aspects of the journeys I have been through, be it emotional or physical.

Granted to many it would probably seem like there are very few upsides to being partially sighted but you would be wrong. For one thing I have a free bus pass. Well free to a point at least, before 9.30am and after 11pm the bus companies seem to think we have magically been given our sight back so the bus pass becomes obsolete, just sat in my wallet craving attention like the Nectar card that hasn’t seen the light of day since I first got tricked into having it. Don’t even get me started on the Matalan card. But hey, for every other journey it is totally free. Thank you HMRC.

A second up side is the tax allowance, an allowance of £2000 on top of the generous £10500 of our hard earned money that we are allowed to keep. Good work Nick Clegg. (if memory serves). Fair play the Lib Dems didn’t do much with the small amount of power they managed to blag somehow but I do believe raising the tax threshold was their idea. Thumbs up for that one.

Blind sports is another brilliant upside. I simply love team sports, I always did and I always will. Being able to play cricket with sight loss for me is incredible. I used to be quite good but then my sight got worse and now I see double all the time and I am never quite sure which ball I am meant to be hitting. This would be one for the bad sides. Double vision is a real pain in  the arse. I have always said since its onset, I can live with sight loss but the constant double vision just gets on my nerves. It makes me feel dizzy. This brings me onto my second downside. Sight loss and a dodgy ear. Not sure if these go hand in hand, there is no reason to suggest it does but my left ear is useless. As such my balance is awful. I could be completely sober but look like I have been on a bender with a group of randy darts players. I do try and be as positive about as many things as I can be so I keep downsides to a minimum and to be fair randy darts players does sound like a fun weekend.

The left eye not being straight to me is ugly, I have seen it close up in a photo and I don’t like it. In fact I hate it, this brings me to the ugly, now I haven’t seen myself in a mirror for nearly 10 years, when I look into a mirror for all I know I am looking at a blank wall. In fact I am quite sure a lot of the time I am. But I do know one thing, the ugly side of sight loss is not from looking in the mirror at my once perfect reflection, it is from the narrow minded people that treat you like second rate citizens. Many times I have been out with friends or family members and people find it fun to hurl abuse my way for whatever reason. It used to really get me down until I realised that ugly is exactly what they are. There’s no decency to a person that can talk to a total stranger in such ways, just ugliness.

There are many more positive things I will talk about in the future but I can’t give all of my secrets away straight away now can I.

Until next time

All the best

MRWG

 

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

It’s True What They Say!

Kids say the funniest things don’t they?

I am not a parent, I am an uncle. So maybe I shouldn’t be preaching but hey, never mind. I did say there may be a little controversy so here goes.

Parents please listen, if your child is asking mummy what’s in that mans hand? when they see me guiding myself using my white stick, JUST TELL THEM. There really is no reason to be coy or embarrassed by it, In fact I am embarrassed for you that you can’t tell them. Most of the time I feel like turning around to educate the little critters myself but I am not sure how the parents would take it.

How are the future generations going to learn about disabilities from such an impressionable age if you don’t as parents help them along the way. There have been very few times when the parent does try to explain to the child what it is for and I say fair play to them. In fact some explanations can be pretty funny when you hear a parent trying  to explain and the child uses that magical word ‘WWHHHYYYY?’

For the rest, it for me begs the question, do they not know what it is for themselves?

They wouldn’t be alone I am sure, parents are getting younger maybe there parents never taught them, and so here is the problem. A lot of people with disabilities get set to one side of society at times treated a second best and incapable. Clearly that isn’t the case. If disability was being taught from the youngest of ages possible, I don’t think this would be the case.

With the Paralympics coming up, I urge you to watch some of the most awe-inspiring acts of human ability you will ever see. Sit down with your children and explain things. Get behind GB and embrace the remarkable people that are out there all around you.

That’s it for now

All the best

Me!

It’s True What They Say!

Is everyday life really inspirational?

Recently I was chatting over a few alcoholic beverages to a friend who’s comments bought me to tears. We were in the bar having the usual light hearted banter as is often the case on a Friday evening after a long week in the office. Maybe it was the beer talking, maybe it was genuine. At the time I wasn’t sure. However this is what happened.

So, the person in question has changed her life around dramatically over the last few weeks and she accredits having the will power to do it to the man that enjoys independent life living as a legally blind man. The man in question was me. For someone to say these words and mean them from the bottom of there heart for me was truly humbling.

I spend most of my life helping people with sight loss both professionally and voluntarily but to have such an unexpected impact on the life of a sighted friend makes me really think about life.

After losing my sight I never wanted to be a stay at home do nothing kind of person living off benefits and getting life paid for me by my once fellow tax payers. So I set about trying to find work. in 2008 just 2 years after losing my sight I started working for Insight Gloucestershire. I made it one of my main ambitions within my new role to set up a support group for younger visually impaired people so there was no body else that had to feel the social isolation that I once felt. Seven years down the line and that group is still going and from it we have spawned the Gloucestershire Growlers and the Insight Glos Goalball team.

These groups are great but I wouldn’t have the will to do it without having my escapes in life. My ways of relaxing. Before sight loss I used to play a lot of pool. I like to think I was pretty good at it. in fact not being able to play pool was for me more devastating than losing my sight in the first place. Not only is it a good challenge it is also really good for social interaction and I find it a great way to relax after work. So after a while I started trying to play again. I taught myself a new way of playing. Use the shadows, so I pick up my pool stick look at the white ball and assess the rest of the balls. You never lose the knowledge of how to pot a ball. Once I realised I could do it by using the sometimes generous lighting my whole world started to feel more and more like I was just another face. So practically day after day I would go into the bar, order a nice cold pint and play pool by myself trying to re-perfect my craft until I felt ready to play other people. Pool was a brilliant way to get to know people and a great confidence builder. Of course some people would think I was taking the p**s but hey. I didn’t care, I was able to play pool again and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought.

The way I see it is, my sight loss doesn’t stop me living a normal life, it just slows me down. If anyone finds my way of living inspirational then I find that quite amazing. To me, life is for living and I think I do a pretty good job at it. It’s incredible how simply playing pool again gave me the confidence to be the man that I am now.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading.

All the best

Me!

Is everyday life really inspirational?

Welcome

So I have been meaning to get round to this for quite some time now. A little blog to keep notes on my life and to give you all all an insight to the life and times of a visually impaired man from Cheltenham,

Hopefully there will be the occasional joke or two, you never know. What I can guarantee is some open and honest opinions on the world I see or rather don’t see around me. Probably  the occasional bit of controversy, but hey who doesn’t like a bit of that.

 

So a bit about me, I my name is Marc, I am legally blind, I suffer with a condition called LHON. Basically it means that my central vision is rubbish although I can see shapes and outlines of things, detail perception is totally gone.

I am 29 years old and I live in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. I love sport. I am a Manchester United fan and I also play cricket for Gloucestershire (well, the blind side anyway).

I work for Insight Gloucestershire which is a charity that helps visually impaired people in to remain Independent. My role is to run the low vision technology centre. More on the in the future. I am also the founder and chairman of the Gloucestershire Growlers. The best blind cricket team in Gloucestershire.

That’s it for now, keep your eyes peeled for the next blog soon.

 

All the very Best

Me!

 

Welcome