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Monday, 10 October 2016

Do your homework!

About a year ago, we spent a week in Cardiff. We chose Cardiff because my brother lives there. He's doing his PhD at the uni and will be there for a good few years. I never got to see his place in Kent, where he did his degree, so we wanted to see his new place.

We stayed in a cottage in Porthcawl, which was cheap and was all on the ground floor. It was an absolute nightmare for me! Getting in wasn't too difficult - there were a couple of steps but I managed. The bathroom was the worst thing - shower over bath, nothing to hold onto, and the bath moved, making me feel very vulnerable. Neil had to help me every time I showered, taking all my usual independence and making me feel quite low.

This year, I was more careful and did my homework... thoroughly. We're in Cardiff again, this time for my son's graduation (more on that later in the week). We're staying in a lovely, accessible apartment, with wheelchair access and a wet room.

Picture looking through from living area, through dining room to kitchen. All wooden floors with plenty of space for a wheelchair to get through.Picture of our bedroom in the apartment, with wooden floor, double bed (quite low) and plenty of space.
Picture of living room with huge brown leather sofa.

Picture of kitchen, where Neil is making dinner. Tiled floor and open layout.

Picture of shower in wet room, with curtain and tiled floor.

Words cannot express the difference it makes, having somewhere that is right for my needs. This apartment is not perfect. The wet room could do with some support rails for the toilet and shower. In general though, I can do stuff without needing much help, and that gives us all a better holiday.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

4th adaptive skiing lesson

This week, I was in a training session about Ofsted and lesson observations. The main learning point was ILP! Impact on Learner Progress. Ofsted don't care how you teach, what methods you use, how good a performance you put on. They want to see evidence of learners making visible progress. Well, if that's all true, Adam, my skiing teacher, must be outstanding!

After a couple of warm-up runs from half way, we went up to the top. The first good thing is that they've got a new lift puller thingy. The old one broke and they borrowed one but the quick release sometimes didn't release and sometimes released when you didn't want it to. The new one is really good. It stays on until you pull the string and then it releases. Brilliant!

The first run down on tethers was scary! I wasn't sure I'd be able to control my turns. It's alright when you've turned and you're going sideways across the slope but at some point, you have to head straight down whilst turning in the opposite direction and that's a panic moment. It was okay though the first couple of times, because Adam kept the tethers quite tight and short, so I could still feel that he was there.

Later in the lesson though, he loosened the tethers and stayed further back. I could feel occasional help with speed but I think I was doing the turning completely by myself. That was really exciting! For the first time, I realised that my dream of skiing completely independently is possible. Adam still insists that I would have to switch to a monoski though and that's less scary now but still quite scary.

This is what I want to be able to do:

In this video, biskiing or dualskiing looks quite possible and I do think it gives me better balance. Maybe I'll have to try it at a resort some time. I'm definitely getting the urge to go skiing in Levi. There are some slopes there that I think I could manage with minimal help. Children's world (lastenmaa) could keep me entertained for a while.