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Monthly Archives: July 2007

This isn’t looking too good. It’s only the first week of my six week long holiday, and I’m already bored. And I’ve got at least another three weeks with nothing planned to get through. Great. 🙄
The real bugger about being bored is, that there are quite often plenty of things I could be doing, but I just can’t be bothered to do any of it.

So, instead of, say, tidying up the chaos I call my bedroom, or phoning my best friend to arrange when I can stay over at her place or she at mine, I sit in front of the pc, grumbling to myself about being so bloody bored and swearing at various websites and news feeds when there’s nothing new on them. Very productive, don’t you think? 😀

Oh well, I think I’ll go and see if there’s anybody on msn I can complain to about how boring holidays are.


Last week I went for a week to Kilog, a small village in Northern Ireland. I was with a Dutch organisation that provides holidays for children and young adults with a disability.
I didn’t know any of the other participants, so I was slightly nervous to start with. Fortunately they turned out to be a really nice and friendly bunch. There were sixteen of us intotal: eight disabled people and eight volunteers – all holidays with this organisation have one-on-one assistance for everybody.

It was a very active week. Amongst other things, we went to Belfast, visited the Silent Valley in the mountains near Kilog and made a trip to Down Patrick, another village nearby, where ST. Patrick is buried.
On Wednesday we had a barbeque and the owner of the youth hostel where we were staying arranged for a live Irish band to come and play for us. If I had to choose one particular part of the holiday as the best, I’d say that was it, though of course the entire week was great fun.

The main thing that struck me about the group was, how willing they were to keep me involved. If I hadn’t heard a joke someone made, the person next to me would repeat it. And everyone made a real effort not to make too much background noise so I could follow the conversation more easily.
At Bartimeus, I’m surrounded by rather impatient teenagers, and, if I don’t make an effort to ask someone what’s going on, they just forget about me. So actually not having to do this all the time was a real pleasure.
Plus, for once in my life, I didn’t feel like the one with the extra disability. I was just one of the group. In fact, I think I actually had one advantage over the others, being able to speak English fluently.

And the best thing of all: I’ve made a new friend. She lives quite close to where I’ll be going in a year or so, so we were already talking about going out together for a drink some time when I’m settled in my new flat. (see this post for more on my future accommodation.)

All in all, it was an unforgetable week, and right now, I think I might well book the same trip again next year.
I will be adding a more detailed page on my week in Kilog in the near future for those who may be interested.

On Thursday I went with my parents and my social worker to look at somewhere where I could possibly live in the future.
I was rather nervous to start with. It wasn’t so much the fact that I would be meeting new people – I always find that difficult. I was more worried it would turn out not to be suitable for me after all, or that I would be told I wasn’t suitable. So many things have gone wrong or haven’t gone the way I would have liked already in my life, so it’s hard not to worry about everything going pear shaped yet again.

Luckily, it turned out far better than I could have imagined. The accomodation is still being built, but we were told quite a bit about it.
There will be two blocks which can each house seven residants. One is meant for people who are already very independent, – so not for me – but the other is just the kind of setup I would need.
In this block, each residant will have their own little flat, but there is also staff on hand to help with i.e. cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. A residant can either cook for himself or eat in the communal area.
This would give me the support and safety I need, and also the space to work towards becoming as independent as possible. I’m definitely going to put my name on the waiting list.

We also had a look at a day centre and a work place located on the same premises as the accomodation. The day centre immedeately appealed to me, but I wasn’t too sure about the work place. The work was mainly very simple, repetative tasks like putting electric sockets together or binding braille books.
However the day centre provides far more varied and active activities, quite a lot of which I know I’d enjoy. And I figured that right now it’s more important to me to have something interesting and enjoyable to do during the day.

Now I’ve seen the place and know that there is a definite possibility for me to live there I feel a lot more relaxed and positive about my future. Until Thursday I didn’t really have any sort of firm idea of where I was going to live or work/study. I knew I could stay at Bartimeus until I am 25, but what came next was just a big empty hole. At least now I don’t need to worry about that any more, which is a huge relief.

Yesterday was also a tiring, but great day. I went shopping with my mum as I needed and wanted a few more clothes, mainly black summer trousers. I was also in urgent need of a decent pair of summer shoes in, you’ve guessed it, black. After stepping into a gigantic puddle on Wednesday I had realised that my current pair aren’t exactly waterproof. 😉

In the second shop we tried, we managed to find a pair in my size that were comfortable – I have unusually small feet and the souls can’t be too thick on my shoes so I can feel the tactile strips on the ground properly.
so off we went to hunt for trousers, which is also quite challenging as I am shorter than the average Dutch person.
When it came to trying stuff on, I had a very pleasant surprise. I have dropped from size Medium to size Small (big satisfied grin). I’ve been going to Weight watchers since March and it’s obviously having an effect.
But before anyone gets the wrong idea: I’m only five foot tall, so I don’t need to weigh that much to be healthy.

All in all it has been a much more positive week than the previous one. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I felt so good about my life in general. Let’s hope it stays that way for a good long time.