Monday, February 20, 2017

Winter 2017 Littles Camp

As you may of gathered, I was away for a period last week so I wasn't on Tumblr, Angels, FA or GT for that period not just 'cos I didn't bring the JoBook with me but in any event the internet where we was was down most of the time so here's how it went.
I caught the bus on Friday (2/9) from our estate to get a connecting bus to our railway station, one of biggest in the UK and the premier one in the North-west Midlands as I was told no taxis were available only to find out later on one did come!
Fortunately the connections worked out fine so I arrived in good time to catch the first train as I needed to catch a service to the outskirts of Birmingham to meet up with a friend who'd take both of us to the large property in Eastern England we'd be at.
I stopped overnight having had biscuits and tea followed by a beef stew for evening meal while we talked about things about what we were doing and some techno stuff.
Upon waking up first thing as we needed to start out around ten o clock, we saw a half inch of snow on the roofs as it had  snowed overnight so we packed a shovel just in case and after a light breakfast set off. It had stopped snowing where we were but as we got near Leicestershire it resumed briefly not without some idiot trying to cause a multiple pile up that would of involved us!
We were a little early so stopped at a famous reservoir nearby meeting with two others in our group before arriving after we had exclusive use of the property during our stay.
After bringing our cases in I quickly changed to my green pleated skirt as people were sorting out individual rooms which involved putting room signs up so having found mine that was downstairs because of my mobility issues,  I set my room up.

I opened the first lot of Jelly Babies having carried the one kilogram bag with me, putting them in a bowl in the front room and soon the first of the week's jigsaws to finish was set out on a table
By the time everyone had arrived, it was getting time to order some food as we all were too tired to fix our own so we placed a big order for mainly curries which for me included Chicken Tikka Nega which is like bits of a Chicken Tikka and fries in a bag from a well regarded Indian takeaway.
I changed then into my trademark black tunic (Pinafore)  with its red "Junior Prefect" badge that was close the last avatar I had here that I had on until Monday.
Karla laid on with support a disco that concluded that day apart from finding mystery objects by our room doors the next morning.

On of the Sunday, We had a morning arts and craft session hosted by Glittery Beth where those mystery objects which for me included a clay hedgehog money-box to paint, a goodie bag that included  bits came in handy so I could paint a horse and make it's tail and do a bit of origami, assembling a card pigs head mask and attaching a piece of elastic.

Although I required a bit of help with part of this, actually I found it  really enjoyable putting me in little headspace being the sort of thing we did at school.
As an experiment Karla and Caroline did Hot Dogs and Hamburgers for lunch  as we'd normally have a meat salad that soon disappeared  down our tummies like we were ravenous dogs. I think it's safe to say that sure was a hit with everyone.
In the afternoon we were treated to a couple of cartoons from Hello Kitty and friends before moving on the main feature, a showing of The Secret Life of Pets which was really funny and in a couple of spots a bit sad too. During the intermission tubs of icecream were served and popcorn was on tap throughout.
Emma cooked a lovely Beef roast with steamed vegetables that you'd of gladly of paid for commercially as it was that delicious and provided a New York style cheesecake.
In the evening the lesser spotted Nekomimi that had snucked in with Andi on Saturday presented a music quiz with a twist: namely most of the questions had a connection to Animals which was the theme of this weeks camp.
I was pleased to see it went down rather well having prepared it, with people having a laugh, making gestures and at one point even singing the Hippopotamus Song which is really the point of this - having fun - and Daisy and Karla won it!
Monday saw me change dress to a a bluey-grey one with a top  pocket on what would be my left for a handkerchief that I stayed in for the duration of the time.
On the Monday we had in cookery decorating Gingerbread Men overseen by Emma using icing although as I was having a periodic R.S.I. flare up making fine wrist/finger control difficult, I opted to do a little colouring instead. This underscores one point which is while obviously they'd be little point meeting up to do nothing but sit in your room, no one has to OR can make you do any one activity as much as they'd like everyone to take part in theirs.
Suzy and Daisy treated everyone to a salad with a choice of meats, cocktail sausages and tuna - the first of two - for lunch.
Later on Alice had a treasure hunt involving finding various teddy bears and searching everywhere for clues.
In the evening we watched a few videos of previous meet ups which was interesting.
On Tuesday we had the second arts and crafts session in the morning and I did some photography as we had extensive grounds plus good light.
After lunch, Alice made a video based on ideas from the group of a group of girls going on a hunt for teddy bears which we called "Unbearable" with us all acting in it shot out in the grounds and edited digitally in the house.
Karla made and cooked a scrumptious Cottage Pie with vegetables for our evening meal before Daisy, Sally-Jane and Alison played guitar, keyboards and sang a number of songs together which was much appreciated.
On Wednesday we need to leave so apart from packing our cases which I'd been doing a bit at a time, we had breakfast and two by two made our ways off with myself and Auntie Andi being the last to leave so we and Karla finished off some of the salad before driving away.
We hit very dull torrential rain around Northamptonshire and into Warwickshire with some flooding in places coming back.
For the two of us, we were unexpectedly invited to stay at a friends place in our part of the Midlands overnight where Jennifer had made a lovely Steak and Kidney Pudding with suet pastry and a Victoria sponge cake with chocolate sprinkled with  hundreds and thousands as decoration for desert.
As Auntie Andi had other business to attend to necessitating her earlier departure, Jennifer who was going into town anyway kindly dropped me off at the station to catch the train back to mine ready to get a taxi back to the door to be greeted by Marmalade feigning disinterest.
For me this period was mixture of things, first and foremost time to actually regress in the company of like minded people doing actual child-like things together face to face, building relationships of which for me one important thing was being able to talk and show things with Karen Marie. It's one thing to be at home with your Netbook or Smartphone talking with people, it's a whole nother thing being under one roof together for days.
It also showed the strengths of our group such as those who catered for us, Beth's inspired littles doodling on plastic backed paper that made the place look and feel like real littlespace that we belonged in and indeed she put a awful lot of thought into everything including the arts and crafts, Samantha R's activity program so while we had spaces for personal littlespace, it provided the structure for more group things and not least Suzy's handling of the booking and monies which went very smoothly. I think I did good with my quiz.
Seeing Karen Marie reinvent the ancient traditional of boarding school midnight feasts  brought a smile to my face. 😃
It also showed how I'd got some control over my social anxiety and had assumed more responsibility to be engaged directly in contributing to our activities, not least helping out and doing my chores.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Uniform updates

The account of the last week will take a few days to write up having just gotten back to the ever grateful Marmalade.
In the hiatus, I had received some new 'regulation' school underwear by David Luke a well known manufacturer.
 In navy blue, these soft  gym knickers are to replace several pairs of older regular ones that are showing some wear that are a secondary set to the black Cresta ones I bought a short while ago, forming part of my uniform.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Getting set to go

There will be something of a break after today's edition as I'll be away for several days and indeed as I type I'm busy doing things connected with just that such as deciding what I'm going to taking to wear, making sure it's all fresh and making a check list so I can be sure I have everything I need packed although I tend to pack things in groups systematically rather than odd bits at a time.
I finally completed the music quiz late last week, reviewed it and today got the questions and my master answer sheet printed out  although I had to borrow a printer as my old HP one's ink had given up the ghost and I couldn't be sure of getting any ordered ink in time.
I most likely won't be about much on Tumblr with being busy this week although I have been  enjoying my time on there rather more than I had in the recent past, just getting to grips with checking any are happy with any kind of interaction from me but not letting some of intercommunial spats affect me anyway cos some of these things just tend to be brief intensive things that left alone die of death anyway so much so in say six months time looking back you tend to think "We're we really that obsessed with that?"
It's like the tag business mainly it's that we do the same thing but my goodness you can't say you're in littlespace - that space you're regressed in - but some other word instead.
I think part of the reason I'm so out of that endless discourse is that I'm just doing it on my terms, no guru's, no master book of littledom to follow for myself learning to share littlespace with others who are doing it themselves in a atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding of each other in the so-called real world. It's also the atmosphere I like about the Tumblr LilTot's community cos generally we operate the same way which more closely mirrors real life that a good number of others.
So goodbye for now, be good and have fun as I sure will be!

Friday, February 3, 2017

January lessons

As I tend to say on Tumblr, I do live the life as it were so for me this middle/little thing isn't just me and a  caregiver pretty much surrounded by  four walls with a computer running, it does involve actually being with  people face to face who are part of 'real' communities.
This last weekend, I was unexpectedly away with friends and for me this began with making travel arrangements by myself involving booking a taxi to our rail station as the local bus services are poor at the weekend and ordering train tickets for that part of the journey, made easier for London Midland's acceptance of PayPal as payment.
I left in good time for my train which was running from a small local platform whose overhead signs weren't working and arrived to meet the person who would be looking after me oblivious to not checking messages which was dealt with on arrival (*cough*).
I was in my recently acquired maroon V neck sweatshirt, wine coloured pleated skirt and white socks, sporting a red and white tie for the entire visit. 
A classroom had been set up for me to study in one anyone familiar with education in the 1970's and 80's would be familiar with whatever side of the Atlantic you were on complete with interactive chalkboard and chalk as everything was going to be taught 'talk and chalk style' the way it used to before workbooks and ICT moved in.
After a warm drink, it was time for some formal studying starting with Math where we looked at expressing numbers as words, multiplication, imperial and decimal fractions, algebra which to be honest isn't my strong point but I didn't do too badly on them although not paying proper attention to one question was corrected.
Afterward, I had English were we looked at Alliterations where I got 11/12 correct although this term isn't one we used at my schools and then had to filling the missing alliterations in a series of sentences to which I got 3/5 on although it was agreed one question didn't really seem to have a alliteration that would make sense . As well I got 9/10 for a sentence that used a lot alliterations.
We looked at words that have the same sound and adjectives which I was a little unstuck on mistaking an adjective for a word used to describe an action rather than a property or quality of the subject.
I had to write a few sentences based on a picture of  a little girl helping in the kitchen as if I were her and what I would be saying so I wrote this:
"Hello Miss Green", "May I help out in the kitchen today please?"
"I'd like to make an apple and raspberry pie today because Miss Andi is coming for tea. "I am not really at kneading flour and things but I like to be a good girl and help out".
I pause, awaiting Miss Green's response because I know she is busy but likes me to help out.  Maybe she will let me today?
I got 11/12 for it.
I did some colouring too before going on to eat a steak pie.
 I was trying to avoid the more stereotypical Disney princess colours here and I think I succeeded. It's also was very neatly coloured by pencil with my name and school form on the bottom right.
After a pause we went on to do some cookery which was what were were to eat for that evening's two course meal as everything was to be prepared from scratch although a few ingredients were ready prepared.
The first course was a Roast Beef Dinner which needed an hour and a half at 180 degrees C (aka 350F).
I peeled the potatoes  in bowl with water, cutting them into small pieces placing afterwards in a saucepan with water before washing topping and tailing the carrots ready to be diced to join the potatoes in the saucepan.
This was because they were to be put on a ring to boil before I them mashed them with some margarine making sure they were all done.
We did slithers of Parsnip, slicing them to go on tray with a bit of fat, put some Yorkshire Puddings in the oven and just before serving, make the gravy.
The other thing was we were going to have a desert so I was going to be involved in making this which also included making the pastry from flour and Stork Margarine in a 2 to 1 ratio so we needed 4oz of flour that was weighed  and 2oz of margarine which was kneaded together (I used a spoon) in a bowl adding water before taking out and putting on board to be rolled to make the bottom and top of the pie case.
Meanwhile fresh apples grown in the garden were cored, peeled and chopped up to go into  saucepan with water to be boiled before adding the drained tinned raspberries which were put on the pie bottom then covered with the top, putting two slits on top ready to go in the oven while we were eating the first cause ready to tuck into.
The pie would be served with single cream.
Miss Green put the things in the oven as my paws aren't much good as is my balance but I did  rather a lot and fairly well even if I'm a bit slow.
While all of this was going on, Auntie Andi arrived so we talked in the front room around various things before eating.
The food turned out rather well with everything cooked properly and much appreciated before we retired to the front room to talk and listen to music before going to bed.
We had a quiet day on Monday before I had to be back home for his gingerness, the oh so fussy Marmalade so we got up a bit later than I'm used to (anyone who's been with me knows I'm an early to bed, early to rise sort) before fixing breakfast and for me carefully packing my stuff ready and as ever putting my ticket in the Hello Kitty flight bag ready for the train conductor to inspect.
Auntie Andi kindly offered me a lift to the rail station as I sped through Staffordshire to the biggest rail station in the North-west Midlands, taking a cab home as the weather was very iffy.

What I think I have learned from this set of experiences is although I have great difficulties, there are somethings I fairly good at such as written english when I do put my mind more to it, dodgy spelling aside and although there remains some significant weakness in my math abilities which let me down, I am doing better at this than I did  in childhood.
I did better than I honestly expected when it came to cookery even if I do need some help with essential tasks in it and so could not be fully independent which supports the targeting more of my attitude toward looking at abilities and potential that people are helping me with rather than seeing things more from the side of my disabilities which came from my upbringing and has held me back.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday media round up

There's a few things I'd like to talk about before my next entry sometime next week and I think the first thing is I enjoy light hearted social interaction, it may be a laugh and a joke on a Status update, a journal or say in a chat room.
This week I've been enjoying writing and taking turns in a role play story exploring an imaginary world we're based on  with friends having an adventure we make up as we go along letting our inner child talk and play in much the way in real life as children we would of done which is more my idea of fun than anything more grown up and what this age regression thing is about in all honesty.
I sometimes like to write short stories or extracts  of a fictional regressed persons life or a few others sharing time together pretty much for the same reason, exploring what  it means, finding it it very calming.
I saw something earlier this week on Tumblr that caught my attention that can be paraphrased as why do you make a point of looking at another possibly an ex communities site when it irritates you and there is nothing you can do about it?
It's a fair question given how things with one community got with me. You may think maybe they'll change almost miraculously with a message saying everything is back to where it  was before or what it was that irritated you but in reality that isn't going to  happen.
I'm stopping obsessing over that communities  home page as it just isn't healthy for me and instead focus on going forward with the community I'm a part of instead, a community that has given me a second chance and hope when I so badly needed some.
I have what I need at hand, I just need to engage more with it  and learn to leave the past behind.

Monday, January 23, 2017

What Katy Did and disabilities

I'm working on blog entries today as I'll be away for a couple of days so the the time I'd normally use will be taken up making arrangements and all that.
A favourite novel of mine is What Katy Did by the American authoress Susan Coolidge which was written in 1872 that I've had my current hardback copy from 1989 if I remember correctly although I sure had and read it during my childhood.
Lots of editions have been produced but I love the simple unaffected illustration on the front of this one because it's inviting but clearly is of the era showing Katy Carr outside the picket fence with the traditional timber framed house in the background.
I have been re-reading this because this is book that spoke very directly to me as a disabled child where generally speaking we were not inked in the world that children saw so it was this book and the English (they'd never say British) satirists Flanders And Swann that showed we had place people could accept.
Chunks of Katy, the twelve year old, struggling at 'self-improvement', having grandiose aims and rather dashing them badly not really a bad girl girl but carried away at times was and indeed is me all over.Mischievous, getting into trouble but remorseless upon being found out, it's just so familiar because it's not that you don't have a conscience, you do, but it kicks in too late!
The other thing is really from the second half of the novel, something truly awful happens to Katy very much by accident as she goes in the Swing that she was told not to go on by her Aunt Izzie  who just expected a child to just follow the instruction rather than saying it was unsafe.
The line comes out from the staple that was designed to secure it as she soars, so she falls at speed to the ground striking her spine. It leaves her unable to walk and more or less confined to her upstairs bedroom  for a long period whereupon she is visited by her family.
Re-reading that moved me because it's similar to what happened to me just a couple years older than Katy where something went wrong with a swing and I hit the asphalt beneath with speed and at force. It didn't paralyze me although I was bruised but it left me drifting in and out of consciousness for about ten hours living permanently with significant brain damage where head struck the surface.
Part of the novel talks about how that experience affected her being in pain, feeling bitter and about how she adapts to becoming disabled when her beloved cousin Helen who also is disabled comes over explaining to her she needs to adapt, making the most of the situation she is in or risk losing the love and affection of her family though her own attitude.
Some have criticized the emphasis around her learning patience, learning to be cheerful, having hope, trying to keep things neat and getting on life as it as part of the "sainthood" attached to disabled people as if that's their only value.
To me it's to miss the point entirely which is life as a disabled person is harder, comes with disappointment, doesn't exempt you from general expectations and in my experience and a few others you just have to adapt to what is. It's a brutal truth.
It is certainly the case in the novel the idea Katy could of been looked after downstairs wasn't explored at nor is any kind of physical therapy (UK: physiotherapy) looked at which today we sure would because that was too new in the late nineteeth century.
We learn later on, Katy after Aunt Izzie dies, does begin to learn to walk again, taking on the running of the house which to me then was a sign at least you *could* have a life where you did contribute.
To me although criticized for what is seen by some as late nineteeth century (UK:Victorian) moral instruction, it's a enjoyable inspirational story whose values do align more with the 'real world' when it comes to offering the disabled reader some comfort and life lessons.
That's why I always loved it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Presenting me

I have been a bit busy working on a few things connected with the next littles meet up this weekend which Papa Bear is pleased with apart from a bit of post Christmas tidying up.
The last few days have seen me thinking a bit  about a number of interrelated things and it's really those I wish to talk about today.
Take avatars for instance. We generally see them on forums, social media, chat rooms and so on sometimes as I can well remember when I first got online, you be given limited amount of preset ones by the owners and increasing more allowed you to host one of your own subject to size restrictions then some site had image hosting that integrated that with you with resizing and a choice of 'cut outs' so things didn't have to be square shaped.
What was the point of them?
I'm very much a visual kind of person in that if I'm online I look for a familiar 'face' in a thread or forum that I associate that individual with to the point as some people in a music forum know I don't like it if you change them rather like you change your underwear cos it gets very confusing.
One problem I have is different sites have different image size and shape restrictions and small square shaped one need a fairly simple image to be easily recognized while others allow for long and more subtle ones. I like to standardize an avatar across a group of related sites.
For me an avatar is a personal thing: It's an online reflection of an aspect of me I wish to communicate to people as my 10 seconds of introduction and acceptance to you tailored to where we are meeting up so on one site it's very much my nekomimi side you'll first see while others will be tailored very specifically to it (SN followers will no doubt be smiling at this point!).
Here and on related sites it is different: It is very much about "the little girl within", my very child-like but adult regressed self which just is me because in part of what happened to me apart from those disabilities I was born with, how I see me and my life as lived with nothing sexual in it.
I did touch a bit on it on Friday, but while I don't feel significantly older than I did , that side of me in real life as even in online life too has with a lot of help has moved on being a bit more mature, moving more toward what an actual child of my developmental age would do and think even as the gap between that and a fully mature adult is painfully obvious.
That is one reason why I decided to alter my avatar here: to communicate that change even if  it lacks my beloved Junior Prefects badge.
There were others, some in squared form may of worked better but there was something else, a smiling contentedness in this that is in how I feel that was missing from them while still having something of the era I'm from.
As ever I'll add the last avatar to my list of them on the about page where I talk about their histories and have synchronized a square version with my accounts at GT and IK.