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.
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.