Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 - A year on Raisie Bay

Today's post is a little self indulgent as I look over the year 2016. The year started a little crazy and I needed to remind myself of how life has changed for me and look at all the things I have done.

January 1st 2016. I woke up with pins and needles which wouldn't go away. As the day wore on they got worse and spread to other parts of my body. By the end of the day I was in a hospital bed paralysed from the neck down. This was the start of my journey with Transverse Myelitis.

In February I came fighting back with positivity. Despite losing my mobility and then losing my car I was determined that I was going to face everything full on. I was unable to get around much but we had a fun day at home when we played Popcorn Olympics.

By March it was apparent that I wasn't getting out much, I posted on my blog a lot more than I would usually have time for. I also started coming to terms with my disability. I think up until this point I'd been sure that my recovery was going to be quick. Now, it was time to think about how I was going to cope in the future.

In April I realised I'd become a little obsessed with the trees at the bottom of my garden. I was watching them to catch the changes between winter and spring. I guess not being very mobile meant I spent more time looking at these trees during the first months of this year than I had done in the previous 2 years of living here.


Also in April I was watching a weekly drama, The A Word. As a parent of two autistic children I was intrigued by the drama and how it portrayed a family dealing with autism for the first time. I wrote several posts about the drama and compared it to my experiences. 

May was a busy month. It was also the month that I first ventured out on my own when I went to Blog Camp Birmingham 2016. I also looked at why I blogged, it's always good to do this, especially if you have been doing it for a while and are not sure where you are going. It's also a good thing to do when you are just starting out so you can look back and see if you are still doing what you set out to do or if you have taken a different turn. My blog has gone around in circles but my Blog Manifesto that I wrote in May is still how I feel about it all. 

I also found out in May that I'd become a finalist in the MAD blog awards of 2016. I really have no idea how I've made it to the finals three times, I must have some really lovely readers who vote for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

One of my favourite posts of may was when I decided that I was going to add a lot more kindness in my life. Paying back acts of kindness, or even paying it forward, it's always such an rewarding thing to do. I also started a twelve and a half week course on personal development, or more accurately personal values development. I really enjoyed The Activation Game and would highly recommend it to anyone,

In June we managed to go on holiday to Blackpool. I'd booked a holiday at a Haven holiday camp in Devon last year before I got sick. I knew that I wouldn't make it so I rang them and they suggested that rather than cancel I could book another campsite that was easier to get to and was  relatively flat for my wheelchair. So we chose Blackpool. It was a great break but a very different experience. Looking back I don't know how we did it, but we did and we had a lovely break away. We also got to see Blackpool Circus at the Tower which is a great bonus, and they are wheelchair friendly.



Of course June was also the time of the referendum when we voted on whether our Country should stay or leave the European Union. We were a country divided on the whole debate and many friends and family argued over their opinions. The decision was made and a new word, Brexit, was added to the dictionary.

Then July comes along and the weather brightens up, well apart from school sports day when it's almost guaranteed to rain..well it has done for us for the past three years. This year the end of school for the summer was a little more special for us as it was Star's last year in primary school.
At then end of July it's Boo's birthday and this year she was nine. I normally do wonderfully executed parties with every little detail thought of, but this year it was different as I was disabled. I had no idea how I would cope with a lot of young excited children running around. I decided to keep it small and let Boo invite just a few friends to do some arts and crafts and enjoy the food and cake. It went really well and more importantly, Boo had a fantastic day.

Summer time, and in July we did, well, not a lot. I was still immobile and finding it difficult to come to terms with it. We had no transport of our own and public transport was a nightmare. We did have a fabulous day out at Hatton Adventure Farm though, to test out their new Water World feature.   Also, in August we have both The Little Man and Stars birthday's. The Little Man had a Minecraft Birthday party. Being the youngest I knew that his guests would be accompanied by a parent so I didn't mind inviting a few more as I wouldn't be in sole charge of them. I managed a few Minecraft themed activities. The photo booth was a big success as was his Sword in the Cake. I think he enjoyed his birthday.

Star doesn't like birthday parties so we did the same thing we do every year and take her to Pizza Hut and Build a Bear. She also spent some time at her new secondary school which she loved and she was so excited about attending in September.

September was really busy so brace yourself... First up I got my new car and had to learn how to drive using my hands rather than my feet. It was pretty terrifying at first but I soon got used to it. September was also Transverse Myelitis Awareness Month so I was giving a lot of thought to my condition and how it was affecting me and my family. At one point I became worried that my being disabled now would ruin my kid's childhood so I gave it some thought and came up with Ten Steps to Giving Your Kids a Happy Childhood. There are many ways you can make childhood happy and it's the simple things that they remember most.


Although it started in August, September was the Great British Bake Off week, and I have to admit I'm totally addicted and have to bake along with the show every week. This is my bread week effort which I was really pleased with. 




Also in September it was the MAD blog awards in which I was a finalist...thank you again.
I was concerned because I knew I couldn't make it to London and the awards by myself so I asked my partner to come with me, and he was then invited to join in the celebrations too. I was so grateful for this because although it looks like I'm managing to cope, I'm a very good actress and would probably fall apart if it wasn't for my partner's support. Anyway, we made it, the awards were fantastic and I got to meet Helen Lederer, who was lovely. Unfortunately I didn't win, but I never expect to, there are far too many excellent blogs out there. It's a fabulous experience though. 


So September was a full and exciting month. Along with all the ups I did get down thinking about how my life had changed because of my condition. If you are interested in reading more you can find all my posts under the Transverse Myelitis tab at the top of this page.

October was busy on Raisie Bay because I took part in Blogtober where you were asked to write a blog post each day on a pre-chosen category. I didn't manage every single day but I do have 34 posts for October! If you want to check out one of my Blogtober posts how about this one...One Thing I Can't Live Without.

At half term we had a fantastic day out at Brick Live. We got to meet up with some lovely bloggers while there and also had the premier viewing of the Lego Scooby Doo Haunted Hollywood movie.


Onto November and first up we were having some problems with Star at her new school. She was being bullied by some boys in her year. They hadn't hurt her but where threatening to do so and she was really scared. We managed to talk to the school and eventually the problem was solved. Within just a few weeks she was really happy again and enjoying school. 

I also got to review the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies cookbooks which I loved, my favourite recipe was the Night Terror Torte which was absolutely delicious. I also made these adorable Toe Nail Dusted Sweet Cakes.


Then at the end of November it's my birthday and although I did receive a few really nice presents and cards the day was overshadowed a bit by a bigger event..I got married! It was the most amazing day and I hadn't felt so happy in such a long time. I even walked down the aisle with the help of my brother. 


Then along came December and suddenly the year felt as though it had flown by. I'd had so much to get used to this year and as the anniversary of my illness approaches I've started to feel very low. At first I thought it would take weeks to get better, then I resigned myself to months. Now, I've had to accept that it's going to take years, one year has passed already. To stop myself from feeling low I look back at all the things I've achieved this year and that's what this post has been about. My blog is my tool for recording my life and although it doesn't contain every little detail, it does give me a perspective on what I've done and where I've been. To me it seems like I've climbed mountains, and I can hold on to that and hope that one day I'll be able to do even more. 

Thank you for reading this far and for sharing my year with me. I'd like to leave you with one more post, our Christmas day out visiting Hatton's Winter Wonderland. We had such a lovely day and we also had a lovely Christmas.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year. Life always has it's ups and downs but you only get one chance at it so be the very best you can. Smile as much as possible and offer your kindness to others, be happy. xxx 



I'm desperate for just a few more subsrcibers on my You Tube channel to make it up to 100, I'd love to have you on board. 


A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay



Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me...is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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