Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas...

I have decided that I am going to take a short break from blogging so I can enjoy the festivities with my family but also, I have some Uni work to crack on with. Plus, the adventures may be limited as I’m just at home over Christmas.

I’ll return on the 7th January 2013 when I’m back at Brunel so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I only set this blog up in mid-2012 so, as I have said before, I cannot believe the response in such a short time. I hope you continue to read and enjoy my posts next year. Hopefully, 2013 is a great year for Wheelchair Boy.

Bye for now!

Friday, 21 December 2012

My parents...

You’ll be relieved to know tonight’s post is not about me for once but instead about my mum and dad. They deserve a mention because, although I don’t always show it, they are amazing parents and I am grateful for everything that they do for me. I wouldn’t be the person I am without they’re support and guidance. So, I wanted to tell you (now the world isn’t ending) about how they are raising money for charity and just thought I’d ask if you’d like to help them.

As of January 1st, Paul and Ellen will be taking part in the Biggest Loser to raise money for Iain Rennie Grove House hospice care. You probably think losing weight is easy and it is to some but they are always under stress, not least because they have Wheelchair Boy as a son. My belly shows that putting down that chocolate bar when life get’s you down is hard. But, I know that they will lose so much weight next year because the thought of letting down the hospice will give them that added incentive.

Please spare whatever you can, I understand money is tight but if a student can sponsor them both, you can. Plus, if you go to the shops between now and Xmas, you’ll see that it don’t look like a recession.


Thank you, would make my new year as well as theirs.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Done and dusted...

Today, I finished off and submitted my essay that is due in tomorrow. It signals that I have completed my first Semester and now, I can finally reflect back on what has been an eventful (and long) term. I can also now relax sort of although I do have two essays to do over the break.

I have loved my University experience, most of it anyway. I did end up in hospital for a few days but that’s another matter. You could say I haven’t looked back although there were tears in the first week. But apart from these slight wobbles, I have really enjoyed myself. My confidence has come on leaps and bounds, I’ve met loads of great people and this whole journalism malarkey isn’t too bad either. In fact, it’s an amazing course. I’m so glad I screwed up my AS history exam.

Although I am not totally assertive, my change is really noticeable if you compared me before and after. Most of the time, this new found confidence helps me in life but sometimes I end up saying the wrong thing and making myself look like a fool. But, that’s another thing. I am less embarrassed. I know I’m in a wheelchair and have a dodgy voice that cuts out mid-sen…tence but I don’t care what others think. I went through school being so image conscious (didn’t have a headrest because I thought it made me look less disabled) which is ridiculous, I know. Now, I can just get on with life and don’t let things get me down (apart from Arsenal losing).

Like I said yesterday, journalism is about networking and I’ve been lucky enough to form relationships with some great people including my lecturers and guest speakers, who are just a plethora of wisdom and knowledge. Then there’s some great people in my class and last but not least, my flatmates who have had me crying with laughter. The random conversations are unbelievable. The only downside is the lack of girls.

So, there you have it. A brief summary of why I have loved these past few months.

Now I’m settled in, don’t be afraid to come and visit next years. I won’t bite.

Right, I’m off back to the greatest city of them all…St. Albans (no, that can’t be right)

“Driving Home For Christmas”

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Next year...

Journalism is one of those professions where it’s not necessarily about what you know but who you know. Of course, you have to be talented but making connections and building a network of contacts is a key aspect. I’m not amazing at doing this at the moment but I’m working on my confidence. However, my dad is doing a wonderful job on my behalf.

First, he put me in touch with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who, as regular readers will know, I had the pleasure to meet up with at Westminster the other week. I now hopefully have a great contact who said I can do Work Experience with her one day.

The next famous person my dad had in his taxi was esteemed financial journalist Martin Lewis who said that I should do work experience with next summer, So, my dad rung me and I immediately e-mailed them to accept the offer. He told me I should contact them in May to confirm dates.

There’s also a ‘Live Reporting’ weekend at Brunel in January so 2013 looks like an exciting year. Let’s just hope that the world doesn’t end on Friday because I have big plans.

Also, Arsenal won 5-2 so the title is back on. We’re going to win the league! And now you’re going to believe us…


Bye for now!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Call me Father Christmas...

Except Santa doesn’t have to queue up in busy shopping centres. I love shopping ordinarily and I was actually looking forward to it. Like I said before, I now enjoy giving more than receiving (if you just thought about oral sex like I did, you have a filthy mind).

This excitement soon wore off. I was still tired and, sorry for being graphic, slightly tasting the vodka from last night. But I’m hard-core so was fine. Without sounding like a Goth, it’s the people that annoy me the most. They’re so self-involved and busy rushing around but wonder why a wheelchair just run into them. Also, the lifts being used by lazy people makes me ‘shake my head’ as the kids say. There was a man waiting for a lift, he felt guilty so took the stairs. That’s fine. However, when using another lift, I was at the front waiting but when the doors opened, able-bodied people piled in. There was not much room but I drove in regardless. It’s their own fault if I run them over. Please use the stairs next time.

So, that is why the words ‘Christmas’ and ‘Shopping’ do not go together. Luckily, I’ve bought all my gifts so can relax now. I wonder what I’ve got you?

Bye for now!

Friday, 14 December 2012

What motivates me...

I was lying in my warm, comfortable bed this morning and I really did want to get up. I could hear the rain outside is so could not face going outside. It then got me thinking about what motivates me and why I’m not a lay about.

I did haul myself out of the covers this morning albeit because I had an exam that I could not miss and I'm going to end up with a stupendous amount of debt so I may as well get a degree at the end of my course. People often wonder what drives me on in life, especially in regards to education and working. The simple answer is that prejudice actually helps me and I'm glad it exists in a way.

I know that no one expects me to achieve big in life. You may say that you do not think this way is a lot may not consciously but, just as I have said previously about the phrase ‘Wheelchair Boy’, the thought exists within society. And it's true. Why should I bother? I have a rare disability so everything is much harder for me. I may as well conform to society's view and live off the welfare system for the rest of my life. However, everyone that knows me personally will be aware that I do not behave in that way.

It's because I am out to prove a point to the rest of the world that anything is possible (I realise that I sound like an Adidas advert). I want to show that I can become the successful editor I long to be. That is what brings me to life on a cold Wednesday morning after watching the Arsenal lose the night before. It sounds a bit cliché but I love the haters and people at secretly think I can't. I know that I can and will.

Another thing that motivates me on my long journey is the way in which the public view journalism, particularly at the moment. I want people to start trusting journalists again and not see them on the same level as bankers or politicians. I am determined to win back the respect that this industry deserves by giving my all.

Bye for now! 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The only journo in the village...

Before I forget, I’ll tell you about my little journalistic adventure last Friday. During the first term, we have been learning how to construct professional articles in a News Writing module, run by the fantastic journalist Rachel Sharp. It has been my favourite part of the course as it gives you hands on experience of what it’s like to work in a newsroom to deadlines. I’ve picked up so much knowledge and tips from Rachel. I’m sad the module is over.

Last week, Rachel made it a live reporting day so everyone in my class had to pick a place name out of the hat and produce a decent sized (300-400) article by 4pm so we had six hours. You’d think it would’ve been easy. Yes, if I got Uxbridge or Hillingdon but I didn’t. My ‘patch’ was Harmondsworth, the only place I had never heard of. Turns out it’s a village in the middle of nowhere (or so it seems) and it’s a 20 minute bus ride from Brunel. Guess what? Nothing much happens. The first local I spoke to told me it was “boring” and I really struggled to find a story.

After what seemed like hours looking around the quite village and speaking to people who didn’t even live local so knew nothing, I spotted a poster about a historic barn, which needed donations to survive. I researched it briefly on my phone, took a picture and spoke to a local resident who answered some questions. There was a number on the poster so back at the Uni, I made the relevant calls which enabled me to write up a piece.

It was a stressful experience as I drew the short straw and couldn’t find a lead for ages but it taught me not to give up. I got there in the end.

I’ve got a News Writing exam in the morning so time for a little bit of last minute revision.

Bye for now!  

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A little bit over the top...

I am sorry for yet another football related blog post but I think the evil and sadistic ones among you may enjoy hearing about my reaction to Arsenal going out of the Capital One Cup.

I had a feeling everything was going to go wrong all day but my mate reassured me Arsenal would thrash the league 2 side. I strongly disagreed. He wondered why I was getting agitated when we had not scored in the first 10 minutes. Then, I was proved right and Bradford scored. And it remained 1-0 until two minutes from time, Vermaelen popped up to rescue us. As Bradford were visibly tiring, I thought we’d steal the victory in extra time. Although we were awful again and it would’ve been daylight robbery, I somehow figure it was possible. I was so wrong.

Penalties is mainly luck but also about bottle, which Arsenal clearly lack that apart from Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain (no coincidence that they’re both English). Right, picture this. Hands covering my eyes as I can barely bring myself to watch. Bradford score 2. Arsenal miss 2. I let out a shriek of pain before sinking back in my chair. “Arsene, you’re going to get the tin tack”. I was so distraught that I was turning into a cockney. Szczesny saves 2 and Arsenal score 2. I let out a little smile. Another reprieve? Surely, our captain will tuck this away to make it 3-3. NO. We were out.

I didn’t make a sound this time. My face just dropped and I entered a new level of depression. I was just staring into space and the world stopped around me. My friends were speaking to me but I physically couldn’t open my mouth. My eyes were filling with water and I wanted to sob but had to hold it back to avoid embarrassment. You may think I was melodramatic and I should be used to it by now but the thing is, now I’ve got no hope to cling onto. Normally, the wheels come off in March but in December. It’s tragic. I haven’t got anything to look forward to.

Roll on next season and I dare say it but without Wenger.

Bye for now!