Monday, 27 October 2014
Monday, 1 September 2014
Sunday, 24 August 2014
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Now those of us in the know are more than aware that people with Down's syndrome are not angels. They can have tears and tantrums, they can fart and swear just like anyone else. But they bring something out of those of us who get to know them, qualities which we didn't even know we possessed. My development as a human has been enhanced by the presence in my life of Emily and many other people I have met with Down's syndrome. So if evolution really is about the survival of the fittest and the development of the human species we need to have an outlet for those very qualities which make us truly human - patience, compassion, grace, acceptance and love.
Monday, 18 August 2014
“Aren’t these things marvellous!” exclaimed 94 year old Uncle Walter as I showed him photographs of the children on an iPad, “It’s a different world!”
It’s a different world.
Monday, 30 June 2014
I'm not sure quite where to start, it's been such a long time. So much has happened and is still happening but I thought I'd better at least let all you lovely people know we're still here, not dropped off the planet, just busy with all sorts of stuff, as I know many of you are too, so thanks for taking the time to give this a quick shufti (it's a real word - I looked it up and everything!).Oh for the life that the Righteous Brothers sang of in Unchained Melody "...and time goes by so slowly..." Yeah! Right! (vinyl record scratches to a stop) ......And before you start asking who the heck are the Righteous Brothers when everyone knows it was done by Robson & Jerome, just look it up on Google - it's been done by everyone from Elvis to Jimmy Young, Barry Manilow to U2!
Anyway I digress.
Time does NOT go by so slowly, it goes by so flippin' quickly I can't believe Emily is nearly 22 (as she reminds us daily), so enjoy the moments pop-pickers, enjoy every day and cherish the memories. "Who knows where the time goes" by Eva Cassidy (and others but let's not start that again) is more like the tune playing in my head on a regular basis.
So what have we been doing? Lot's actually. Things we've been up to but not told you about yet include:
- Emily and me being on BBC Radio Sheffield with Andy Crane (if you're young enough you'll remember him from the broom cupboard with Ed the Duck)
- Emily being bridesmaid at her big sister's wedding in America!
- Emily discovering that she's going to be an auntie (she's excited about that one)
- Emily starting independent travel training
- Emily doing a voluntary work placement in a charity shop
- Emily passing her Stage 4 Musical Theatre exam
- Emily getting to the end of her 3rd year at college
The other thing we all need to remember is that different schools, colleges, clubs, societies, etc are only as good as the leaders who lead them. It's not even about one part of the country being better than another - it all comes down to people. So I say let's influence the influencers. Go to the top, head for those in positions of authority because everything rises and falls on leadership.
Anyway, enough of this for now. I will get round to telling you more about some of these things above over the next few months. The wedding was a particularly memorable event and Emily gave a superb speech as sister of the bride (look she's always been a pioneer and a trailblazer so if she wants to give a speech who in their right mind is going to try and stop her!). I'll let you know about that one soon. In the meantime here's a picture of Emily with her sister Laura and new (American) brother-in-law Mac.
Bye for now,
Friday, 21 March 2014
Thank you to everyone who has been blogging, tweeting, posting, youtubing, emailing and generally all things ending with ...ing, the world over, for raising the profile of people with Down's syndrome and helping to challenge outdated thinking and perceptions.
Thank you to the organisations, charities, support groups who do so much to support people with Down's syndrome, their parents and carers, friends and family.
Thank you to the forward thinking media planners and producers who give air time, column inches and a voice to people with Down's syndrome across many media channels.
Thank you to health care professionals who do so much to care for people with Down's syndrome when they need it most.
Thank you to teachers, teaching assistants and all people connected with education who make education a possibility and a reality through creative planning and inspirational teaching.
But most of all, thank you all those beautiful people who have Chromosome 21 in triplicate - our friends with Down's syndrome. Quite frankly I am a far richer person for knowing you. You bring light, life and colour into the world. You make me see things in a completely different way.
You make me slow down. Stop. Look. Breathe.
You challenge me. You challenge my thinking. You challenge my hopes and my fears. You challenge my prejudice. You challenge my patience. You challenge my learning and my desire to learn more. You inspire me. You bring out from within me something that would otherwise have remained buried deep down; compassion. You help me realise that the most important person in the world is NOT me.