Tag Archives: inspirational

Mad Bloggers Aboard A Luxurious Yacht

13 Sep

Things have been so busy these past few months that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you all about a fabulous day out I was treated to back in August.

As some may know I won a Mad Blog award back in 2011 for the Most inspiring blog! This year I’m really excited at the fact I’m once more a finalist and will be heading to central London at the end of this month for a lavish awards ceremony.

Due to the fact I’m a finalist in this years awards, I received a lovely invitation from ‘HomeAway‘ sponsors of this years travel category.This invite was an invitation to attend a fabulous day aboard a luxurious yacht…. Yes yacht!

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Now, before you ask, I’m not a finalist in the travel category but instead the most inspirational, though I was actually nominated for travel I didn’t quite make the cut.

Of course my reaction to this nomination was one of laughter! I wondered to myself “who ever put me up for that?” You see, travelling is something I don’t do well with three kids in toll, especially when on is on the autism spectrum. Most of our tales of travel, consists of meltdowns and on my part… breakdowns!

So, you maybe wondering why I was invited to board this luxury yacht docked at the beautiful St Katharine’s dock near Tower Bridge? I know I did! Well, turns out that those lovely lot at HomeAway wanted to share the love and given they had acquired an entire yacht for a weekend, they totally wanted to make the most of it! I guess given that there is only 5 finalist per category, it made sense to invite a few more.

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I didn’t need asking twice, I actually juggled some plans in-order to ensure my attendance. I only had to look at the images to know this was a not to be missed opportunity. I’m your average mum of three who just doesn’t get invited aboard a luxurious yacht for a barbecue. Would this opportunity arise ever again? Most likely not, that is unless I win the lottery!

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I was really pleased that I was allowed to take my youngest Harley. The two older children had plans with their father and I was struggling to find a babysitter.

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The day arrived and despite having to get there with a toddler in a pushchair on the crappy London Underground, I was actually early! If you know me then you’ll understand why I had to slip that in! Was I blown away but this dreamy yacht? Hell yes, it was simply stunning.

At first I did worry the toddler would walk about touching things he shouldn’t. At one point I had this terrible vision of him lobbing people’s belongings overboard just to gain the satisfaction of hearing it go plonk (when your child has a thing about throwing everything down the toilet you can’t blame one for thinking it)! Luckily there was no such dramas and if anything I was amazed at how well behaved my little guy was. Harley loved our time aboard the yacht especially all the attention he got given.

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It was lovely to meet the HomeAway team and see some of my fellow bloggers and award finalist. Everyone was in high spirits, what with the beautiful weather, a delicious barbecue, strawberry and champers and a steady serving of pimms.

We all sat out on the top deck chatting as the sun went down. I stayed much longer than I had first planned and really felt relaxed and comfortable in everybody’s company.

It was a spectacular day aboard a spectacular yacht and I for one won’t forget it in a hurry.

Thanks to both the Mad Blog Awards and HomeAway for making it happen.

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A Mad Video Plea

16 Apr

Guess what? There really isn’t very long left till nominations close for the Mad blog awards 2012.

As many will already know, I was lucky to be nominated in two categories last year (blogger of the year & Most inspirational) and I was delighted to go on to win the title “Most Inspiring Mad blogger” 2011 back in September. 

Of course I’d love to be part of the Mad blog awards this year, not just because it was a lot of fun last year and I got a night off duty when attending a glitzy awards ceremony but it also helped me create lots of publicity for the blog and therefore the subject it’s built around, “Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome” It was truly rewarding being able to create lots of awareness for something I’m so very passionate about. 

I haven’t really done much in the way of drumming up nominations as I know the public can get a bit peed off with the constant “Vote for Me… Vote for Me” scenario!

So, I thought I’d hopefully come at it from another angle and share this video I created with you… After all its much nicer and I feel quite proud of it 🙂

Here’s hoping you’ll enjoy it and feel inspired to pop our blog on the nominations list. 

A boy with Aspergers would love to be nominated for blogger of the year and again most inspiring. It’s dead simple to nominate, just click HERE and enter our URL in the nomination box for blogger of the year (this is the only category you must nominate someone for! All other categories are optional). Click next and pop the URL in the most inspiring box. Only requirement is to include your name and email on the nomination form, though the Mads do not spam you so your safe. It really does take less than a minute to nominate and myself and the little man would really appreciate your support.

Thanks for reading and watching

Love

Claire and the one we refer to as the Little Man! xx 

Anna Kennedy & Pineapple Performing Arts School Presents… Autism’s Got Talent

14 Mar

Anna Kennedy is an inspirational woman and those who don’t believe me can ask those at the Daily Mail what with her being awarded with the Daily Mail’s most inspirational woman award presented by Samantha Cameron. Anna is the mother of two boys both affected by autism and as well as being the founder of a number of schools, charities and centres for those on the autism spectrum (including the school that my own son attends) she’s also busy working on a number of campaigns, Act Now and the Anti Bullying campaign to name but a few!

So, it’s amazing how this busy mum can possibly fit anything else in!

Well, she has!

On Saturday 12th May at the Mermaid Theatre, London, Anna will be presenting with the help of Pineapple Studios Autism’s Got Talent’.
Anna is bringing together a diverse group of talented people all on the Autistic Spectrum, with the aim of showing the public just how talented they are!
Anna state on her site “All too often many people in society make the mistake of thinking that anyone with a disability is capable of very little……HOLD THE PRESS…….on this evening we will be showing everyone just what all these great people really are capable of and just how good they are at it!”

The night which has been rumoured as a red carpet event, with some well know faces planed to make an appearance , will showcase talent in many forms, ranging from performers with instruments to singers and dancers. Stars will be performing not only as soloists but some will also be coming together to perform in a group (something that many people on the autism spectrum are noted to have difficulty achieving).

Anna has also said that because talent stretches way beyond the field of performance, the night will also celebrate those fantastic people who have done other amazing things, showing great skills in areas such as writing, art and even extreme physical endurance.
Anna hopes it will be a night that will open the eyes of those who previously didn’t realise just what someone on the Autistic Spectrum is capable of.

 On the night of the performance, audience members will be able to to view a number of informative dipslays including some of the art work and creative writing done by some of the guest appearing during the course of the evening.

Doors to the event will be opening at 6pm so it is encouraged that people come along at that time as to take advantage of the displays in plenty of time before the grand performance starts.
Tickets are being sold for the low price of £10 and everyone is welcome.

Note: A theatre/audience situation is not suited to all on the spectrum but this will be a very understanding and Autism Aware Audience so we don’t want anyone to feel that they can’t come or that a parent should automatically think they can’t bring a child with them. It is hoped that this will be an audience that is mixed of those on the spectrum and those that aren’t.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased now by calling 01895 619734 or enquiries to lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk

I’ve finally gone Mad & proud of it

21 May

Stop it, I know I’m not the full ticket, but that’s not here nor there!

This really isn’t about putting the milk in the washing machine nor falling asleep while stood at the kitchen sink attempting the washing up! This is a different kinda ‘Mad’ altogether!


Do you remember around a month or so ago, when I wrote my shameless, ‘SOS’, post that mostly consisted of a load of begging and up-front pleading form me? Well, I’m here to deliver my second dose of classy begging as last time your kindness resulted in me reaching the finals! Yes, I’ll repeat that incase you missed it! “I’VE MADE IT TO THE FINAL!” and the final I’m referring to that of the, ‘Mad blog awards 2011‘, in which I’m shortlisted in the category, ‘Most Inspiring Mad blogger‘, sponsored by ‘Mothecare’. I’m really chuffed to be shortlisted alongside such talent.

But hang on in there tiger! That’s not it! Hell yer there’s more! I also made it onto the shortlist for the ‘ Mad Blogger Of The Year 2011’ sponsored by the fabulous ‘Parentdish‘ this sees me placed alongside five other very talented parent bloggers, who have some fantastic blogs! This category is not decided by the public but instead a judging panel.

Wow! I have to say that I feel truly honoured and thank everyone who put me there in both categories. You’ve helped me achieve this big fat cheesy smile that’s currently spread across my chops. Gosh it’s gonna take a hell of a lot to burst this mummy’s bubble. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything which is why I’m holding onto this feeling with both hands.

Well, given that it worked last time it only seems logical to do it again, “begging that is” which is pretty much made up of…

“PLEASE, PLEASE, LOOK I’M ON MY HANDS AND KNEES!” or “PLEASE VOTE FOR ME, I’LL LOVE YOU ALL FOREVER AND EVER!”

On a more serious note (though the above was no joke), I would like to state that what really touched me is the fact my readers took them two minutes or so out their day to vote for little old me! I really mean it when I say you guys are totally ace.

I remember when I first embanked on my blogging journey, becoming part of the mummy blogging gang. Of course I didn’t see myself as part of anything at that time, I purely found comfort in writing down my thoughts, fears and hopes. In all honesty I never really considered it being of interest to anyone but me! After all, Who want’s to know? Then you get that very first comment! I remember mine clearly, a fellow mother who had a child & hubby on the autism spectrum! She reached out and without actually knowing so, she reassured me, “I wasn’t alone & showed me that,Yes people were interested in the blog”

As for the diagnosis, its like a roller-coaster of emotions! You don’t only learn a lot about yourself but those around you. Some become closer but some of the closest disappear.

There was a point at the time of diagnosis and that leading up to it, when Little man would not attend school (full on school refusal). This wasn’t dealt with by offering some form of support, but instead by taking me to court. It’s ironic really given my son has been school-less for the past 7 months due to mainstream no longer meeting his needs & no other school willing to take him on. The school attendance officer had written in a formal letter to our CAMH’S practitioner,“I can’t see why she would cry! Her son has a cousin with autism” This was in response to a letter the practitioner had written informing her that he considered it likely that Little man was on the autism spectrum possibly with Aspergers syndrome (which he went on to be formal diagnosed with just over a year later) He wanted the school attendance officer to know this alongside my reaction to the news, stating that they should reconsider court action, instead offering support wherever needed. Her comment was a great example of ignorance in its boldest form, sadly there was plenty more to come.

What I’m trying to get across to you all is that this blog came about in one off our darkest hours! Amazingly though its now become a real positive platform that also opened so many doors, one being to the wider community of mummy bloggers (with or without children on the spectrum).

Although a large number of us have faced some laborious situations, hurdles with a string of challenges to over come, and those constant battles to obtain the basics, such basics that without your child having ever received a diagnosis you would properly never have believed such necessities could be restricted from any child’s reach. You find out what really lies behind the school gates, you sit in the head-teachers office at your child’s school more often then you did your own when you were a child. Nonetheless I hope this blog shows that no matter how hard things become, you do get through it, and do so that bit wiser, stronger and if anything more determined.

What started as just my own personal diary changed over time. Although I still blog about the day-to-day life of parenting three children, one with Aspergers, I wanted to be sure to share anything of use, hear what others had to say and offer support where possible. It became my aim to reach out to parents of diagnosed children, especially those of newly diagnosed children as I was quite aware of that feeling of isolation that nearly always accompanies a diagnosis of autism. I also wanted to connect with those on the spectrum, and anyone else willing to listen. Importantly I wanted to try and remove some of the stereotype views & stigma surrounding autism & aspergers, that often lies with those who don’t have the privilege of knowing someone on the spectrum.

I want my writing to empowered other parents to speak out or to simply see that a diagnosis of autism doesn’t have to be a bad thing (after all that diagnosis entitles your child to services that were previously beyond their reach) If my story has helped just the one family, that’s an achievement itself.

Someone once told me “To beg is not classy” Now when did you ever hear me say I was classy? I’ve thrown all caution to the wind by deciding to get fully involved in the awards, “which I must add are totally amazing” If this involves getting down and dirty with the self-promotion then so be it! After all I’m proud of my little space and if sharing it makes it that bit bolder. That can only be a good thing.

So please If you fancy making this mummy’s day then please visit, ‘The Mad blog Awards 2011’ and Vote 4 me Aka, ‘A boy with Asperger’s as the ‘Most Inspiring Mad Blogger’


Lots of love Claire


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