It has been a few months since my last ‘Things I’ve Loved’ post so I thought it was about time I jumped in with a fresh instalment. There have been lots of things that have happened since August, but I don’t want to ramble on too much so I’m going to try and keep these favourites relatively brief. I’m also going to try and get back into a regular routine of posting these every month or so (fingers crossed). So let’s get into what I’ve been loving lately.
I’ve been on a few trips over the past few months, but Lisbon was the highlight. If you follow me on social media then you will be aware that I was invited on a press trip to Portugal with Tourism For All and Turismo de Portugal. It was a five-night trip consisting of three nights in Lisbon and two nights in Batalha. We got to visit lots of beautiful and interesting places that I can’t wait to share with you in more detail very soon. One of my favourite parts of the trip was getting the chance to finally meet friends I’ve known for years for the very first time as well as meeting new friends.
The group of accessible travel bloggers on the trip were all truly amazing and I can’t wait to meet up with them again. A highlight for me (and Allan) was finally meeting John from Wheelchair Travel after years of knowing him online. John is the ‘King of Accessible Travel’ and someone I’ve admired and respected for such a long time. It was an absolute pleasure to meet him and we enjoyed many laughs. It was amazing to meet the lovely Sanna from Finland who runs her blog called Palmuasema and the lovely Blandine from France who blogs over at Mille découvertes sur 4 roulettes. Please check them out if you don’t already, they are all fantastic and incredibly passionate with so much knowledge about accessible travel. They really are a great bunch (pictured below).
I wrote about my childhood love of Barbies in a post back in June all about disabled Barbie dolls and how inclusive toys promote social inclusion. In that post, I spoke about how little Emma would have loved a Barbie doll that looked like her all those years ago. Although I’m now an adult, I was still excited to see that there was a range of new barbie of all shapes, sizes, colour and disability was also represented too. Amazing. Then in October, I was so happy to finally have my own wheelchair Barbie’s. Massive thanks to Mattel for letting me relive my childhood and for bringing out an inclusive range of toys. I’m so freaking excited about this and these will be getting added to my collection.
You know we love a good documentary in this house and lately, we have been binge-watching true-crime documentaries. A few weeks ago we discovered The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. We were hooked instantly. The two-part series focuses on the case of Susan Cox Powell, a missing woman who is married with two young sons. The investigative journalist revisits the events and looks into the evidence, footage and speaks to everyone involved including police, family etc. The more they dug into the case, the more interesting it became with family secrets and strange behaviours. Her husband was named as a person of interest in her disappearance/murder, but to this day her body has never been found. Highly recommend.
We then continued our true-crime binge with The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers, The Disappearance of Maura Murray and The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon. All great and very interesting. We watched them on HayU through Amazon Prime. The next one in our watch list is The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
There have been lots of amazing music pleasing my ears the past few months. Here are just a few examples and in no particular order:
- Dermot Kennedy – I never tire of listening to Dermot. I’ve seen him twice and already booked another three gigs. Bring it on!
- Jordan Davies – the first I heard of him was a song called Cool Anymore featuring Julia Michaels. Love it!
- Teddy Swims – he has so many amazing covers. I especially like ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and ‘Make You Feel My Love’
- LÉON – her entire album. I honestly cannot wait for her to announce UK tour dates.
Due to having Muscular Dystrophy, I am unable to lift my arms above my wheelchair armrests so I have never been able to independently do simple tasks like putting something in the bin. A mundane task that many people take for granted. However, we now have a super cool * Eko hands free sensor recycling bin (gifted) in our kitchen that I am able to use. This now means I have no more excuses for why I cannot help Allan with the cleaning up.
Never thought I’d love a bin so much but this one is awesome. It is fully stainless steel with two handy compartments to separate your recycling and it fits neatly in any space. Our kitchen is quite small and it fits in really well and it looks good. It’s even fingerprint resistant, which is amazing because our nephew is obsessed with this bin. I’m all for everyday products that help make life easier when you have a disability.
It was my birthday last week. Another year older, but not sure if I’m any wiser. I’ve never been into big birthday celebrations. Small family get-togethers are more my thing so it was nice to go out for a meal to the new Monterey Jack’s restaurant that has just opened up in town. We were happy with the options available and the wheelchair access was good inside. The accessible toilet was fairly big too, which was great. I had a lovely time and finished it off my a fruity mocktail.
While in Portugal we stumbled across an outdoor gym across from our hotel. We were walking past on our way to the Batalha Monastery when I spotted the machine had a wheelchair symbol on it. It was wheelchair accessible so I had to give it a go. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to be able to turn the hand pedals on the hand-cycle exercise bike. If nothing else, it would make a cool photo to show it was accessible. To my surprise, I was able to turn the pedals with my arms and was amazed at how easy it actually was to operate. I felt like Super Woman with incredible strength. It was super easy to use and required very little movement from me to make it work. I LOVED IT! I’m going to look into the benefits of a mini hand cycle machine for myself as I want to know whether it will help me or do more damage to my already weak muscles. Here is a video of me trying it out.
What have you loved the most? Is there anything you are looking forward to next month?