Blogs

Audio Books – Bill Bryson – Walk in the Woods

Going shopping, reading social media posts and listening to friends, family and my soul mate has led to some new anxieties that I am looking for new ways to suppress.

I am sure that I am not on my own and know that keeping busy and avoiding the above is one way through the next 15 days.

However we all play a part in looking out for each other and need to listen and offer advice.

Advising people within these uncertain times is also interesting and can lead to new levels anxiety especially if you are uncertain that the advice you are offering is good. ie. please buy the largest bag of pasta you can get hold off.

At four am, I woke up in a blinding panic shrieking and punching fresh air. This is normal as do love a night terror! #DartmoorPony.

My dream was about catching “another illness” one that needs medical attention but not contagious. Then having to go into hospital for medical attention. The panic was about not getting treated and being left outside in the rain under a tent whilst I wait for attention! “How random our brains are”.

I went back to sleep and woke up a few hours later by my wife and main Team Imeson member getting up to go food shopping! This was Seven am!

What a positive thing to do, tackle the supermarkets before they become over run with “Hamsters” gather more pasta and cheeses than they need for a rumoured 15 day lockdown.

Anyway, my post is about a way to avoid the manic “New World”. I have downloaded from the “Libby” app a book all about Bill Brysons 1987 Walk into the Woods. This book is my second audio book and what a way to distract myself from the – Panicking New World. It’s kinda app, as it possible the closest I will get to an outdoor adventure.

Stay safe everyone and keep calm, avoid writing negative statements and make positive steps into the new world. We will be okay!

He Has 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere to Sell Them – The New York Times

Amazon cracked down on coronavirus price gouging. Now, while the rest of the world searches, some sellers are holding stockpiles of sanitizer and masks.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html

#WhiteCane the stick.

Last weekend Emma and I went to visit London and watch Ollie in his college performance of “Our House” in a theartre in Severn Sisters, North London.

The open scene from the 1980’s musical Our House featuring all those classic songs from Madness

The show was understandable brilliant. After three years of training at London’s leading dance and drama college @theurdang you could only or would only expect that.

Emma and I went to watch it twice and came home whistling those @madnessband songs and with that happy feeling of “Yes” that’s my boy.. the one who wanted nothing but to do drama.

#WhiteCane on a spring afternoon in London

Well done to all those amazing talented teachers and back room people. The theatre and so many more. Including @lotticalvert for taking the time and effort to come too.

The picture is a simple one of my trusted team member “WhiteCane”. It works like a treat in finding those steps, back of peoples legs and it’s best trick is how it can empty a seat on the @londonundergroundofficial..

Love, Peace and Family #teamimeson #teamrnib #disabilityawareness

Camping with a Guide Dog

Prior to my eyesight diminishing I loved to go camping, hiking and take on long distance walks over a few days. I haven’t stopped I just keep buying new kit and tackle the problem in a different way.

Teal asleep in her bed! How do you fit her into a tent?

With the arrival of a new member to Team Imeson, Teal. I have a chance to look for new camping solutions.

I have to admit I have a few tents and a new hammock kit that I wish to keep but simple do not know how to fit in Teal ?

My Options!

  • A tent for distance walking.
  • A tent Dofe remote supervising i.e. lightweight.
  • Fun and festivals is a great option to go large!

Long Distance Walking and Remote Supervising.

I use a lightweight tent that is aimed at three men, but they must all be under 5 feet tall and carry a plastic bag. I have this tent in my rucksack with a simple cooking and sleeping kit. Again, through the summer this is ready to go. I simple need to add food and clothes and go!

Fun and Festivals, including scout leaders hangouts.

A weekend camping kit, including food and clothes!
The Parachute escape room.

Hammock; I use the hammock on a free stand with a collection of storage boxes that contain all the kit. This approach is easy to get together and over the summer it is ready to go into the boot of a van. I simple need to add food and clothes and go!

My thoughts are do I look for an option to keep using my hammock and stand, flip back to a family tent or go for a new option and get a tipi big enough for both of us.

The purpose of this blog is to seek advice and ideas from others from around the world.

The UKs summer weather is usual warm and dry, but we can have some long periods of wetness.

The add on option. My though is buy new and use my Hammock kit, which is usually under our parachute.

This idea would keep Teal off the ground and out of midget attacks.
Simple – go to bed Teal… again, away from harm from wildlife and me falling over her when I need a midnight pee.
The Hello approach..l easily noticed and loads of room for us both.. however a big ask to through in someone’s van.

The Apache tipi is possible a solution, small and lightweight . Costs under £100 and hopefully enough room for both Teal and me and our kit.

As always, thank you for reading my rambling.

I look forward to your responses and if anyone has any possible solutions please give me a shout.

The Tails of Teal the guide dog. Plymouth to Paddington

Six Hours on a train in February 2020 and through a storm !

Platform 7 on Plymouth Train Station in February 2020

Team Imeson’s members Emma, Teal and myself Roy had personal invites to St James Palace in London to be honourable guests at the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ceremony. On Monday 10th February 2020.

St James Palace London.

The day before I had been working in Plymouth at a Building Plynouth careers event and decided the easiest way to get to London was ravelling from Plynouth. Travel arrangements when one of the team is blind can be a hassle, but we try to turn the hassle into an adventure. This trip certainly turned into an adventure.

Emma and I are new to both owning a dog and having a guide dog. imagine adopting your first two year old child. Then make it an intelligent one with some sort of special powers. Please don’t think of special powers as a bad thing. She can manage to turn left, right and stand in command. A special power most humans don’t have.

The picture is of my ticket.. which is apparently with London Overground and not Great Western Railway. Ie you cannot claim for a refund!

We arrived at Plymouth train station via taxi and in time to allow me to take Teal for a pee on the grass verge by the station. After her dance routine along the verge she did a pee and we entered the station.

Once in the station we were allowed access to the train that was sat on the platform, this enabled us to get settled, turn on our ipad and start to watch the tv programs we had downloaded in the hotel. Just picture us, at a table loads of leg room, warm and dry as the storm around us battered Great Britton. The term I would use is “snug and a bug in a rug”.

The next thing, over the intercom, the news was shouted out… “this train has been cancelled due to a lack of staff.” This followed by “please exit as soon as possible”. This is were for Mrs I and I, a massive panic started.. For me, it was what do I do with Teal! She will not understand why we are getting on and off a train. I imagined in my head her thoughts…. – .. “is this part of my training….”is he mental”.. “why didn’t I try harder at doggy training college and pass as a police sniffer dog” ….-

Mrs I’s panic was more …”when will we get to watch the rest of Eastenders”…, “what do I do with these two”.. “when is the next train”… “do we abort this trip?

We gathered all our stuff together and made our way of train. We then stood outside on the platform in the stormy weather and watched our warm, empty train drive off! Apparently, the train found staff in Exeter and traveled up the country as scheduled….. arses…

An hour later we had another message – “please can all the people on platform 7 make their way to platform 5 and board the train”. Well… in a true British Manner the people waiting for the 9 coached train on platform 7 ran towards the stairs and under the platform, up the stairs and jumped onto the 5 coached train as if their was a winning golden ticket to Charlie Wonkers factory hidden under a seat on coach A or B or C and so on.

This announcement led for yet another opportunity for Team Imeson to panic…….

Never mind the blind bloke with his new guide dog, wife and two bags! We suddenly found ourselves being dragged along. Teal did her job and Emma ran ahead saying loudly to try to get into people’s minds that Teal and myself were behind! I simple shouted the only dog command I could think of at the time in this panic “Steady…Steady”. I was nearly shouting it after the first few minuets of this stampede for train seats….

The train station staff! Well they said, bare in mind it was stormy..ie windy, raining cats and dogs and that we had been stood in the platform for an hour “be careful of the wet platform!” Had they cared, they could of offered me assistance and let us board the empty train earlier. #GreatWesternRailway.

Well, this tale is nearly over; we boarded the train and set of at 1215 and arrived in Paddington at 1730 ish. Teal managed to keep her patience and hold her bladder. The people on our carriage were fun and very British, sharing food they had bought prior to boarding. When we arrived into the station I went in search of more grass to help Teal with the bathroom stuff.

I think I have both a brilliant dog and new hobby – ie. working out when and were my guide dog can have a pee. #thatswhatdogsdoo

My new hobby- Finding Grass in a City for Teal to Peee

Guide Dog Training – day one

Updates from the Cliffdon Hotel – Teignmouth Devon UK.

Day One and a bit.

Well after I gave myself a 5 Litre cold milk leg and foot wash yesterday Tuesday the day got better.

I went to help with the work related workshop and arrived back in Teignmouth without any issues.

I went in my first training walk and learnt the five different commands.

Today I am off into Dawlish for two walks. This time I will try to get the commands in the correct order.

My instructor also showed me a useful tip for measuring out Teals food. The use of a tin can!

Basically the tin can is the same amount of food per meal.

Apparently Guide Dogs have a weight issue.

I can relate to that!

Final Figure for our 12 months of fund raising.

Thank you to everyone that supported our Epic Expedition. It’s been an amazing demonstration of support both, financial and your love towards Team Imeson.

The whole “Two Teenagers and a Blind Bloke” has been an amazing experience and loads of activities and fund raising all for the RNIB.

We have banked the final bits of money raised from the following

1) Charolette Cook’s hair cutting fund raiser. Charolette has been growing her hair for a few years and wanted to help two charities and the RNIB was one of them. She is an inspiration to young people and her gift was so heart warming.

2) George and Dragon pub quiz. Ilfracombe’s local pub where John runs a weekly quiz for a different cause each week. I had to book my date 12 months ahead. A great quiz and a great landlord.

3) Alison Homa’s Bingo. Alison is a local scout leader who helps me and the rest of Taw Explorers offered me one of the six nights in the summer where she ran bingo in a new venue. What a star!

We have added the money to the amount we raised in the Summer for our “Epic Expedition” and are amazed to have the final figure of £2’200.00.

I must thank Ilfracombe Lions for supporting our travel costs.

Taken at the top of one of the 7 peaks

We self funded everything else and received help with a food parcel from Pat Preston (my Mother-in law).

The owners of our accommodation in Yorkshire were amazing and even gave me a gift of cider which was amazing as we had come to the end of our expedition and hadn’t thought about celebrating the end. I hope to go back again and spend a little bit longer exploring the area as it’s beautiful. Please visit their website to see. http://www.gauberbunkbarn.co.uk/

The journey into blindness is not over and the work the RNIB do to support is continuing beyond what was on offer when I started with failing eyesight. I have visited their offices in London and recently volunteered to help them where needed. Please watch this space for more information!

I will continue to keep blogging about my adventures and once I’ve written my version of events it will be published on this site. I hope you have enjoyed the story and feel part of Team Imeson?

As always if anyone has any questions or wants to have a chat please contact me. In the meantime thank all!