Sunday, 28 April 2013

Dewey's Read-a-thon 2013 (28 April) still going! , nearing the finish line!

11:32 AM: wondering what to read next…

11:52 AM I decided to read Star Trek the Next Generation: Triangle: Imzadi II by Peter David.I have a copy of Imzadi (the book before this one) and have read it a lot of times but haven't read a Star Trek book for ages.I bought it a couple of days ago from Amazon and it's now on my kindle application on my iPad I bought it because I really like Star Trek the Next Generationand also because I like Troi  and Riker as characters and think they have a great relationship .
  I'm already enjoying what I've read of this book so far.I hope I don't take very long reading it as I'm behind in the Goodreads challenge for the year.

12 noon: the Dewey's Read-a-thon is over until October. I'm really proud of what I've managed to read and I also managed to leave a couple of comments on people's blogs and Facebook pages. I think it's a really fun and relaxing way to spend a weekend. According to the Kindle application on my iPad, I've only read 1% of Star Trek the Next Generation: Triangle:Imzadi II, but a start is a start.
Roll on October 2013! I'll definitely sign up for the next Dewey's Read-a-thon! , And I plan to participate in as many as I can in the future

Dewey's Read-a-thon 2013 Day 2 (28 April)

10:15 AM: just about to start reading Six Geese-a-laying  by Sophie Kinsella.I had my breakfast early today but I'm   hungry again (must be all the reading!) I'm sipping some green tea as well while I'm reading and also doing some work on my Facebook page simultaneously.I'm really hoping to finish some more books today! I'm really enjoying the Read-a-thon

10:30 AM: broke off from my reading to put some make-up on and eat an orange, my mid-morning snack.I continued reading.

11:03 AM I finished six Geese-a-laying!.It's a short story and set around Christmas time and is about a group of women who go to an exclusive group to prepare for the birth of their babies. It  focuses on the last session they have together in which the mysterious guest speaker shows every member how the future with the baby is going to be and also the birth.  One one of them goes back home to find her boyfriend setting up a group for the baby (just like in the Speaker's slideshow) except events don't turn out exactly the same because she manages to stop it stop them by wishing him happy Christmas.the short story also contains the first chapter of another Sophie Kinsella book, I've Got Your Number. My impression of six Geese  a- laying  is that it a bit of a silly story compared to her other books. I've Got Your Number seems better. Here's the synopsis:

Utterly charming . . . Put Sophie Kinsella’s Number on speed dial.”—USA Today 

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.


Dewey's Readathon 2013 Day 1 and some of day 2

This time around ,  it wasn't hard to decide what to read, as I had already been reading my first-print-run version DEDICATION COPY of The Storyteller  by Jodi Picoult for a while, and so the first thing I did was try and finish it, this, as it happens is what I've just done – it's 9 30 AM on Sunday and yesterday I read 60 pages of the storyteller today I read the remaining pages, so I've already read 85 pages in total towards my Read-a-thon.
My aim is to read as much as I can before the deadline of 12noon  today which is when the Read-a-thon  finishes.I had wanted to finish The Storyteller  yesterday, but as it worked out I wasn't able to because I was too however, I was awake early so that I could finish it and start on a new book my view of this book was that it was really interesting and I think I found it interesting because I learnt about the Nazi period at school in my German classes. Jodi did a great job in this book of giving a very detailed account and I really like the way that the book was split into three parts, the first part being when Sage  met Josef at a grief group and the introduction of the other characters such as Mary,Minka ( Sage's grandmother)  and Leo and the atmosphere created by the description of the bakery and bread baking. Before reading this book, I had read the synopsis on the Goodreads  site, and on 25 March (the day before the high back was due to be released in the UK) I listened to an interview with Jodi Picoult  on Radio 2 in which she promoted the book. By that time, I had already pre-ordered my copy as I was desperate to read the book and have all of her other books
. This book was full of subject matter which made you think which was also very well researched.aside from the description of Nazi life and Sage's job working in the bakery.before I read the book, I read a couple of newspaper article reviews about it and it and they describe how how you could vividly imagine the smell of bread from the bakery and bread making process: this was true
. The   main themes are forgiveness,  right or wrong, trust, how our actions have consequences and how sometimes people are not who they seem and we may not know them as well as we think we do. At the beginning of this book , I was trying to work out who The  Storyteller  was, and I was interested in seeing the excerpts from a story at the beginning of each chapter and was trying to work out who had written the story . Also while reading the book I found I experienced many emotions: from anger as to how the SS guards treated the prisoners at the camps and I could imagine the atmosphere at the camps very well due to how Jodi  described it,  to sadness at the death of Sage's grandmother, and then happiness for Sage in her relationship with Leo. Relationships are also a theme in this book, and Sage managed to partly rekindle some of her relationship with her sisters during the time they spent together, you can also tell that she had a close relationship with her father, mother and grandmother.The  story is also a story of courage and what it takes to survive against the odds is the synopsis from Goodreads. I'd recommend this to everyone who loves Jodi Picoult books !

Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?(less)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

How I created my Facebook page Katherine Hayward my life with cerebral palsy

I've always liked people to be as aware as possible of my disabilities, and I've had different reactions to them, and different experiences of disability awareness .
This however was easier said than done, as people have a lot of  preconceptions about disability.
I  decided to start my page as I am conscious of the fact that people need to be more conscious of the difficulties that disabled people face every day of their lives. Watching  the London Olympics last year also made me think as to what I can do to make people more aware of my disabilities.I had always wanted to create a Facebook page but was unsure what to create one about. Talking  about my disabilities has always come very naturally to me and I am ready to talk to those who want to listen I didn't create my page out of pity, and don't like people pitying me I thought about what I like, Quotes music , colourful pictures and blog entries, and decided to use them on my Facebook page I post there  various times a day,  and am really pleased to have reached 100  likes (on 9/4/13).   I'm hoping 
to get many more in time and I also have a You Tube channel   related to my Facebook page where I have videos  about my life. It's called cpchick81 for those of you who don't know. 
Personal experiences to a certain extent have also played a part in my decision to create a page about my life with  cerebral palsy. Throughout my education, I was bullied due to my disabilities, and this was also true outside of school as people would stare and make fun of me, calling me "four eyes" and "spastic".
 I've always wanted people to be as conscious of my disabilities as 
possible, ever since I was 8 years old, which was when I first 
became more conscious of my disabilities.   The earliest example I can remember of me trying to spread disability awareness was when I was at primary (elementary) school. I can remember the visit that day was from Peter Shelton, the husband of Joy Shelton, who'd been  my Support Worker at the school since age 7. He had come to the school to talk about the St John Ambulance Service,  for which he worked as an ambulance driver. 
He wanted a volunteer to demonstrate having their blood pressure 
taken. No one volunteered, and to my surprise, I did. I remember 
the other kids' faces as my blood pressure was taken and I didn't bat an eyelid. I was used to having it taken as by then I'd been in and 
out of hospital alot due to operations on my hydrocephalus shunt. Peter them said " Katherine, tell them about your disabilities", so I did. I said in some ways we are all disabled, as there many of you who can't climb a high fence- that's a physical barrier. I just have "fences" (physical barriers) in my way every moment of every day and I need help from other people to climb them. What I meant was there are challenges we all face, bit I need more help than others to 
face them and live day to day because of my physical and sensory disabilities. Everyone clapped afterwards and I had a huge smile on my face. I suppose that was the first time I openly challenged people's ignorance about my disabilities. 
Like others with disabilities, I have been insulted, imitated, mocked. And judged. I became aware of my disabilities and the fact I felt "different" from others around me at about 7 years old. People called me "four-eyes" and "spastic" . At first, I ignored them, then I tried confronting them but that made things worse. I got teachers and care assistants to talk to them. 
Bit by bit, I got over this stage in my life and people started to see my talents. They saw I was great at spelling and reading and looked up to me a little. 
At home, I struggled as my sister is able bodied, and she made friends easier than I did. 
I often felt the "odd one out" , but tried desperately to fit in. My sister was very supportive of me and still is. 
As I went through life, I experienced a lot of ignorance,  whatever the situation. 
I've achieved things which I'm proud of:I have a University degree and I'm in a relationship. I speak Spanish and some German, and I've taught myself some Portuguese and Italian. I love poetry, reading shopping, meeting with friends . 
I tend to ignore those who don't value me, and value those who do. 
I have had disrespect, ignorance and misunderstanding from doctors teachers and acquaintances. 
My page is also a way of showing people I'm more than my disabilities . 
I also want to send a message to people to take me as I am as I'm worth getting to know too. My disabilities don't define me, but I'll respond better to, and feel more at ease around, those who accept them as a component of the package that makes " me" . 
I strive to make the page a reflection of me : my likes, views on things, life experiences quotes by me and ones I find reflect my opinions , or by people I admire. 
As I've already said, I created my Youtube channel, cpchick, which has videos about my life. These are just insights. 
If you want any more information or have any suggestions for my page or videos, please feel free to comment on my videos in the "comments" section corresponding to each video on my YouTube channel page, or leave a message on my Facebook page.  


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Happy World Health Day

I only literally found out today that it's World Health Day, as I saw a post on my Facebook feed. Everybody knows that there are rich and poor countries throughout the World, and that health varies within a country. 
This is interesting to me, both as a person who has studied Geography and as a person with disabilities.  
Today was also the first time I'd been on the World Health Organization's website. The headlines that  jumped out at me were "measure your blood pressure, reduce your risk" " improve maternal health" "combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases" "reduce child mortality" "FAQs for influenza". All common health issues the world over. 
I saw also that there is to be a tobacco ban at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  Not that I like football at all, but I really can't take being in places where people smoke. I've known people who smoke, and I have to say I think it's a very expensive and dangerous habit. I never have smoked and never will. When I'm in an area where people smoke, I get a headache easily and the smoke makes my chest feel tight as it makes me cough. At least there are more laws being passed so people can't smoke in public areas. 
Looking on the website also got me thinking about subjects that interested me at University and still do, such as infant mortality (the number of children who die in a particular country or region before their first birthday) . A fact sheet about newborns on the WHO website has these as it's key  facts: 
Every year, nearly 40% of  deaths in children under five are amongst babies, within the first 28 days of  life , or the neonatal period.  Three quarters of all infant deaths occur in the first week of life. 
In developing countries, nearly half of all mothers and newborns don't receive appropriate care during or after birth. Up to two thirds of newborn deaths can be prevented if the correct measures are provided during birth and the first week of life. 
The guidelines given for sick newborns are that they  are hospitalised and that low birthweight babies should be kept warm and closely monitored. 
In my case, I was lucky to have the care and support I needed, as was my twin sister Natalie until she died. I always tell myself how lucky I was to have been born in the UK, a developed country. I've often talked to Alfredo about the possibility I'd have survived had I been born in Lima. He tells me there are good hospitals there and good doctors. He also has told me that shunts for hydrocephalus  are, in many cases, shipped from the USA to South America, and that there are people who are lucky and those who aren't so lucky. He knew a lady who had a little girl with untreated hydrocephalus who died before she could get a shunt sent from thee USA, let alone fitted. I remember how I felt when he told me this, shocked and sad. I then thought how lucky I am, to have a working shunt (for now: that said, it's been ok for 20  years) . I had flashbacks of everything I went through when my shunt failed or fractured and all the time I spent in hospital. 
The WHO estimates 15% of the world's population have "some form of disability" and "2-4%  of those have significant difficulty in functioning". It talks about the first eve WHO World Bank Report on disability which addresses the measurement of disability, and then health, rehabilitation, assistance
 and support  , enabling environments, assistance and support. 
I've downloaded the report and will talk about it in another blog post, as it is quite long. 
Something else Alfredo told me was that he'd seen people in Peru who didn't have enough money to buy a wheelchair or other equipment. They either were housebound or made makeshift wheelchairs. He once told me he saw a lady using a regular chair like a walking frame , pushing it in front of her as she walked. Or of a lady who's son had cerebral palsy and who had leg braces and couldn't walk. She carried him on her back to and from school each day until he grew and was able to use crutches. 
I'm always interested in those TV programmes you see about health problems in other countries. Health even comes into Geography - it's called Medical Geography. I remember studying things like the distribution of certain illnesses in the world, or the battle to treat an illness. In terms of TV shows, I liked the episodes of ER ( such as Chaos Theory in Season 9) where the Dr Kovac and Dr Carter were working in Africa. 
That said, there is so much that needs to be done in the world on a large scale and a small scale for health improvements to be made.