two big glasses of gin embellished with fruit and mint

There are so many things I love about being a blogger, but the number of gin-based events it seems to entail is definitely a plus. Over the last few years, I’ve gone from being a naïve (non-disabled) 18-year-old student in the club, yelling my order for a G&T to make myself heard over the top of heavy dance tracks and sweaty lads yelling about their ladishness, whilst shotting cheeky Jägermeisters and throwing some seriously criminal shapes, to learning to appreciate the subtle differences in taste and textures, allowing me to smugly ask after my favourite gin when ordering in a bar and pretending like I’m classy.

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girl in jeans and t-shirt in wheelchair on an outdoor balcony

After being diagnosed with a chronic illness halfway through my time at university, one of my biggest achievements to date has been continuing my studies, and graduating with a 2:1 BSc degree from a Russell Group institution in 2016. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was only the beginning of the battle; that the subsequent search for accessible employment opportunities would be even more difficult to navigate. View Post

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I first met Erin Siobhan Hutching through my work with Scope, and obviously jumped at the opportunity to have a natter about inclusive theatre with her: the following post has been published with the permission of the Scope Stories team and The DH Ensemble. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

On stage photo of two women stood up with one hand raised in the air: one woman looks confident and the other more uncertain

Going to the theatre is an experience enjoyed and cherished by many families, particularly over Christmas and the New Year. However, like many other recreational activities, theatres and shows often fail to be wholly inclusive of disabled people. Although the accessibility of venues has now begun to increase, the content and suitability of individual productions for those with specific impairments continue to exclude multitudes of disabled people from enjoying these shows for themselves. View Post

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pile of books with candle on top

Throughout 2017, I’ve indulged in some absolutely brilliant reads, and I looked forward to writing this Books You Need In Your Life post in particular: October- December marks cosy reading time, with cosy reading books, being all kinds of cosy reading goals. However, October in particular was a really disappointing reading month for me: I did read a lot, but none of the books I encountered over the month really stood out as ones I’d recommend. There are fewer books in this reading wrap-up than usual, however don’t let that take away from the wonderful works included below: two of them are also two of my favourites of the entire year…

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

‘The Hole is not as bad as it sounds. In the grand scheme of things, it’s definitely not a big deal. But it’s a tradition, and traditions are a big deal in a place like this. And if, to an outsider, it sounds a little bit like torture, all I can say is that boarding school can be a bitch’.

Girlhood was my first experience of Cat Clarke’s writing, and I can now safely say that it certainly won’t be my last. Clarke’s writing style is right up my street, and that, combined with such complex subject matter that I’d never seen tackled in any YA book previous to this, made for a really brilliant, refreshing read. Had I the time, there’s a huge possibility that I would have devoured this entire book, cover to cover, in one sitting.

I’ve always been fascinated with stories set in boarding schools, with Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series being a huge comfort read of mine. In a way, Girlhood is like a 21st century Malory Towers, just with less teamwork and hockey tournaments, and more passive-aggressive friendship drama, vodka shots, and complete disregard for authority figures. The subject matter combines family trauma, mental illness and manipulative friendships into a plot that simply sucks you in: the background information about the characters provided in the first few chapters alone was enough to have me invested in Rowan’s story right from the very beginning. I loved how Clarke was fearless in showing the main character’s faults, with no stone left unturned when it came to Kirsty’s complex background and how this affected the dynamic of her relationship with the other girls. This was such a satisfying read that really took me out of my own life and plonked me firmly within Duncraggan Boarding School, and I strongly invite you to plonk yourself in there with me. I’ll bring the shot glasses. View Post

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