For the past 2 years I have been volunteering at a weekly session at a disability centre in my local area called ‘Touch Trust’. It is something that is now very close to my heart and I am extremely grateful that I have been able to attend and be a part of it for such a long time. One of the main highlights of my time at Touch Trust so far is James. He welcomed me with open arms and a beautiful smile from my very first session there and continued his love every single week that I saw him.
James is an inspiration to me. I am so happy to have been a part of his life and to have been able to experience his beautiful heart and his beautiful soul. Every time I have been to Touch Trust over the past two years I have looked forward to seeing him and getting a ‘James Hug’ as I liked to call it. He would wrap his arms around me so tight with love that I could hardly breathe. His mum would almost have to prise him away from me – but I loved it. I loved the fact that he was so loving and caring.
He would let me play the drums with him and I would watch him perform little plays with his mum. My favourite part was to see him dance and join in with him!! James and I would spin around again and again until I would almost fall over and it was just amazing! James didn’t talk, but he didn’t need to. You could understand just what he was trying to tell you. He could communicate to you with his hands and most importantly with his beautiful smile.
James’ mother is also extremely inspirational to me. Looking after him must have taken a lot of work due to his needs but I have never, not even once seen her without a smile upon her face. This is despite the fact that she faces tough medical problems herself. She is so strong and full of love that you just feel love being in her presence. She is a wonderful woman who I have so very much respect for and I am so sorry to see what she is going through.
I only saw James once a week, however I often found myself thinking about him mid week and seeing things that reminded me of him that I would tell him about in the following Saturday session. My favourite reminder of James was charity shops. I thought of him every time I went into one or even walked past one in our local town- as his mum had told me that he could spend hours looking around a charity shop for books, CDs, DVDs, all to add to his extensive collection.
I was extremely saddened to hear that this wonderful boy’s life had been taken away from him. I didn’t even know what to think – I had been thinking about him that morning hoping he would come to the session that day as he had not attended for a while due to his mums illness. I can’t even imagine how his family are feeling. I only spent one hour a week with James and felt full of his love I can’t even comprehend how people who got to experience his love every single day could feel.
James was a beautiful ball of shining light that will continue to shine and stay in my heart along with the hearts of many others and I am so sad that his life has been taken away from him at such a young age- I just ask that you all keep James and his wonderful family in your thoughts and prayers and most importantly appreciate every moment of your life- as that is just what James did!!
I’m off, Beth x
If anybody is touched by James’ story and would like to donate to Touch Trust in memory of him, please feel free to do so.
Walking is really not something that I do but recently I have realised that when you need a walk – it is really relaxing and makes you feel good on the inside.
Now the last time that I went for a walk on my own I couldn’t even tell you. I never walk, especially not by myself – but the other day I had been stuck in the house on my own all day studying (for the exams I have just done) and none of my friends would come out because they were studying. I felt that I had done enough work so i started procrastinating and after an hour or so I was bored, none of my friends would go out with me and my family were busy so I decided to take a walk by myself. The sun was starting to go down so I decided to walk down to the beach and take my camera for company. (not the beach I talked about in a recent post) The big beach that has a beautiful promenade and lots of pebbles and stunning scenery and in the summer is buzzing with excited kids throwing rocks into the sea and smothering ice creams all over their faces.
On the walk down to the beach, I didn’t have my music in, I wasn’t texting people on my phone – I just took the time to walk by myself and think. I didn’t really have anything to think about but I was just wandering on my own and I felt so peaceful every step I took just seemed slow and steady and for once I actually enjoyed walking!! What normally would have seemed like a trek and a very tiring walk turned out very enjoyable. Before I knew it I was at the front leaning on the railings overlooking the calm lapping waves against the pebbles down below.
It was about 6pm on a Sunday evening so there weren’t loads of people about – I could see dog walkers beneath me throwing balls to their dogs and a few people walked past me as I was standing looking out to the ocean. It was a very crisp evening – cold but not raining which I love, I love being able to see my warm breath in the cold air and feel the tingling in my nose as the cold numbs it. I Here in the UK the weather that we are getting a the moment is perfect. It isn’t raining much, it is just icy cold and that is just how I like it. I personally hate, hate, hate the rain- I hate ruining any shoes that I wear outside when its wet, I hate walking to school in the rain and being damp for the rest of the day and of course the worst possible thing about the rain – when the bottom of your jeans get wet and stay wet for what seems like an eternity. That is why I love this icy cold weather – You can still go outside with loads of layers and feel nice and cozy. I can still walk to school and be compfortable (even if slightly cold) when I get there and I can look out of the window and actually see the sun most days.
That walk really opened my eyes, I realised that sometimes you can do things on your own. Normally I would have been terrified to walk all the way down to the beach in the dark – I never go anywhere in the dark!! But strangely i felt safe. I knew that I had a phone in my pocket and there were plenty of people walking around, so I wasn’t scared. I felt peaceful and glad that I went. I would never have gone for that walk if I really hadn’t needed some fresh air but i really enjoyed it and I am happy I did.
I had never actually been down to the promenade at this time of year in the dark – its beautiful. All old fashioned street lights lining the walkway above the beach with pretty multicoloured fairy lights connecting them. I couldn’t believe how peaceful I felt down there. Even though it was freezing cold – I didn’t feel cold, I felt a warm happy feeling that will stay with me for a long time. I must remember to do more things that I want to do – even if that means doing them on my own sometimes.
Anyways, I’m off.
Now, If you asked me just over a year ago if I would ever talk to somebody on the internet I would have said “No way” – Too many bad things happen to people who have friendships and relationships online. I still think that now, and even though I have the story I am about to share I would never speak to anyone online again – I think I got lucky!
So here goes; At one point last year I was insanely obsessed with a so called “celebrity” Sam Pepper (this is no longer the case but that is for a blog another time) and I heard that he was doing a tour in the US. Therefore I searched the hashtag ‘WDGAF’ (The name of their tour) and watched some videos of them up on the stage and photos of them doing their thing. I then went onto the meet and greet photos and after scrolling through I found a photo of a girl who met both Sam and Maz. I was so jealous that I commented saying just that. And to my astonishment she replied. That was the first time (and probably the last) that I had ever made contact with a stranger online. It was weird but intriguing at the same time – We chatted on twitter for a while and I really enjoyed talking to her but I suddenly remembered the inappropriate responses that could happen having watched the series ‘Catfish’ and reading stories on the news and asked to Skype – so that I knew it was her. And to my luck – it was!!
Ever since then, we haven’t stopped talking. That one first Skype call may have been slightly awkward but hey, how can it not be awkward when two strangers are talking for the first time!? After that ‘1st call’ when I knew that she was ‘a real person’ (to my relief) we chatted for hours on end about life in two different worlds as it seemed. At first life in the UK seemed so different to life in the US but as I got to know her that wasn’t the case. We may have differences – I am tall, she is short// I use pounds, she uses dollars// I call it ready meal, she calls it ‘TV dinner’ (still can’t get over that one) but when I think about it – we are no different, both teenage girls living their lives.. just living 3833 miles apart.
Sometimes I like the fact that we live so far away from each other – The ‘late night’ Skype calls for me to the ‘early morning’ Skype calls for her. The Skype calls that go on for 3 hours and it feels nothing like that! I also love sending her letters, with Facebook and Skype these days there is no need to send letters but Amy and I have definitely found it fun – especially if it arrives with foreign ‘candy’ as she calls it. It is so exciting. It is crazy to think that even though we have never met in person – we have known each other for nearly a year now – The first time I messaged her was on the 26th January 2014 and it is soon to be the 26th of January 2015.
It doesn’t seem to me like I have only known Amy for a year – it feels like I have known her for my whole life. I could message her with any problem or upset at any time of the day and she would reply with either something really helpful – or laugh at me (if it isn’t serious). She has also introduced me to my love of ‘MikeAndIke’s which I will be ever grateful for and has even introduced me to her sister who is amazing also. I’ve spent many nights talking to the both of them on Skype, laughing, joking, singing and talking about a time when we will meet – will we be 30,40,50?
What I am pretty much trying to sum up is that I chose the best instagram photo of the millions and millions posted around the world to comment on and I am so so lucky to have someone like Amy in my life!! It has been amazing to know Amy for a year and I hope for many more years to come! Love you Amzz!!
I’m of, Beth x
Being taller than your own mum when you are only 16 is hard – well at least for me. Ever since I can remember I have been the tallest in my class; the one placed at the back of school photos and have always been the one with the biggest feet.
It is probably obvious that my height has bothered me for a long time and if I am honest I see it as something that will always bother me. The thing that annoys me the most about being tall is when short people say that they would love to be tall, when in reality if they knew all of the negatives I am sure that they would think differently. One of the obvious downfalls of being tall is, of course – buying clothes. And I know what you are thinking ‘they have shops for tall people’ yes, but do you know how frustrating it is when you see a pair on jeans that you really like or a nice pair of shoes and they don’t fit? When you go out shopping with your friends and you have to drag them up to the top floor where they sell the ‘tall’ clothes and wait for a shopkeeper to look in the stock rooms for the ‘big’ shoe sizes. I will tell you, it’s annoying!
Another thing? When you are on planes – having to either deal with the fact that you won’t be able to feel your legs for days after the flight or paying for extra leg room. In concerts (yes you can see the band over peoples heads) but people don’t want someone tall infant of them so you end up standing at the back (or being pushed there). Making your friends pretty much run next to you as you take one step for every 5 of theirs. Yes all of these things are annoying but I can just about deal with them, it isn’t like I am unlucky going on a flight or being able to buy clothes. The one thing that I just can’t come to terms with is boys..
I can get used to being the tallest one in my group of friends (or school year for that matter) but when it comes to boys I just think it seems strange for the girl to be the taller one. I mean it isn’t like I have anything against it – it is just, you can never get that feeling of being protected if you are tall. A shorter boy would never be able to wrap his arms around me.. – in my mind it isn’t right.
Going on and on about the negativity of being tall I guess there are some good aspects – being able to see at concerts is a bonus and people do seem to look up to you if you are tall (but with the maturity of a 2 year old I don’t think that happens often!) And I guess that I am reasonably slim which is a great bonus in this day and age of people judging you. I guess that with being tall, it also means that people notice you – not that I am an attention seeker but it does feel good sometimes!!
And to finish it all off – at least I’m not taller than my dad (yet) so at the moment I can get my protective hugs from him! 😂
I’m off, Beth x
Trying to think of things that have changed over the past year and what I want to expect from the coming year is really difficult, when you’re in high school and constantly assessed and studying for exams time just seems to fly by. I remember this exact day last year – I spent new years eve with my friend and we had a lot of fun wondering what might happen the following year, this year – we did exactly the same thing (with a few more friends and a tiny bit more alcohol) and it was amazing.
That’s one thing that was definitely established in 2014. Until about 3 or 4 years ago I always seemed to have friends but I never seemed to click with people, they didn’t really ‘get me’. My sense of humour sometimes offended them, the way they dressed was completely different, the music they liked was different, and don’t get me wrong you can’t have everything in common with people.. I just never really had anything in common with them. Until the 3 most important and best friends anybody could ask for came into my life about 3 years ago. The thing is 2014 was the year where it was made definite. Where I could offend them and they wouldn’t get offended, trust them with everything and laugh at them if they fell over etc. And I have never felt like that with anyone before. I couldn’t ask for a better 3 best friends and all I can say is that I think in 2015 we will only become even closer.
I don’t really understand why to do something good I have to wait until the new year, or to go to the gym I need to wait or to sort my life out I can wait?
Not that I have many things in life to sort out at 16, whats important to a sixteen year old girl? Boys, Wi-fi and chocolate sounds about right.. and I can sort out the chocolate, wi-fi in my house is pretty good and boys? well we’ll just have to wait and see. But one thing I know for sure is that I am very lucky to have all of the family, friends and love that I do and I am so grateful for them.
All I can say is 2014 was amazing and here’s to 2015 being the best year yet!
I’m off, Beth x