Confidence and Perception! Smile and the world Smile with you!

Hills, Coastal and Riverside Walks

Losing one of your senses definitely changes your perception on your personal safety. I am not sure what makes you suddenly start to think about personal safety. For me, I think I may be all those presentations on ”Risk Assessments” to the Dofe candidates at Taw Explorers as we put them through the training for their own expeditions or it’s been the little trips and slips I’ve made as I walk along?

Over the past few weeks, I have completed three different walks, a hill climbing with Laura and two lone walks, one a coastal path walk and yesterdays riverside walk. The three have made me realise that I need to review my own personal safety and look at methods of saving myself from injury.

I have taken some soul searching steps before accepting using my cane more often. The few slips and trips helped, even on the flat riverside pathwalk. #Potholes

The obvious change has been that I have increased the use of my white cane. Walking along the narrow paths swinging my cane from left to right has helped me, this is to make sure:

  1. I do not fall off the path.
  2. Paths can be uneven and this swinging action helps to identify uneven services and foreign objects in my way.
  3. Helps others notice that a blind chap is heading towards them although this is causing other elements of stress.

Please imagine what this looks like, walking along roads and train stations people expect and accept to see a blind person but on a beautiful, path they don’t. Is it that peoples perception that blind see nothing?

My personal vision is demonising but I should always have some elements of colour and clear 20/20 bits that the brain is able to complete a picture although it is always going to be less than the average.

I do wish their was an alternative tool to use as the look and reaction I get from passersby is off-putting. Then the questions that young children ask their parents within my earshot ”why has that man got a ball on a stick”? Can become off-putting and reduce my confidence.

One method I have used to block out the questions is to wear earphones with some podcasts playing gentle into my ear. This helps but when I’m in a crowded area, such as a high street I need to use my hearing to avoid getting run over.

I do hope that the more times I go out locally with my erected stick the better I will feel about using it.

The plus side to this is I still love being out and about walking and if your looking for a partner to walk with please get in touch.

River Taw February 2019

River Taw between Braunton and Barnstaple, a flat and tarmaced stretch that is about 10 kilometres long.

The south west costal path, this is over 300 kilometers long. Locally we have many different spectacular stretches. This picture was taken just outside the nearly abandoned village called Lee.

Coumtesbury Hill, 434 meters high with a climb from Lynmouth in Devon the the adequate car park at two Countys gate near Porlock.


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