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Monday, March 28, 2011

The project has legs! and other real world interactions

Well, half a leg anyhow.

I have my first charity on board!

I'd like to do this in aid half and half of Northwest Hospice, Sligo and Irish Dogs for the Disabled.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Dogs for the Disabled (their Lady was busy today, but hopefully we'll get to speak tomorrow) but I hope they'll like the idea.

In the meantime, I spoke to day with John at Northwest Hospice (John and Anne are the fundraising team there, so I guess there'll be plenty of posts about them in the next six months) and he likes the idea. - He's even going to let me use the Hospice's Logo on related stuff.

The search for an exhibition/auction space is proving a wee bit difficult, but we won't be defeated!

So far, I've drawn a blank, but it's only Day 2 and already, one gallery owner has said that although their space is technically booked, he's going to ask his committee if there's anything they can do to support. - Bless him!

In other news, we're also going to be helping out at a fundraiser this weekend at CG Power Systems in Cavan in aid of the relief efforts in Japan.

I love these occasions. - It's brilliant, as a disabled performer, to get to work in person with children and families in particular.

- I always like real life encounters anyhow - for example I once got stopped in a Pizzahut with the family and asked by a little girl why I have the stick.
The parents were mortified, but I have the attitude that kids will ask what they need to know when they need to know it. Now obviously there's different levels of information you give to different age groups - this little girl for example, I believe the response was "well, you know how Mammy and Daddy say never to play on stairs in case you get hurt? Well, I ended up going down some stairs (note the not using "falling" - obviously wasn't going to tell the kid a bad man threw me down the stairs, but the parents got it I think) and now my back and legs don't work so well and the stick helps me walk.

Another time, just before last Christmas, right after I broke my scafoid and busted the ligaments in my ankle, so wasn't allowed to walk at all, we'd borrowed a chair to do the Tesco run. (See I really love my C so I'd never expose him to a pre-Christmas Tesco alone for anything!)
Well, have you ever tried to keep a self-drive wheelchair with one hand in plaster? - It's hilarious! So-and-so painful, but hilarious!

We'd developed this technique where I did the bits near the middle aisle while C went up and down, which is how I came to be stuck doing loops round the bottom of the fruit and veg gondola on my own. Anyhow, I'm kind of suddenly aware of this small boy stood (thankfully) just outside of running-over range clutching a bunch of bananas.

So I came to a stop and he came up to me and dropped the bananas in my lap saying "I got these for you - I don't think you can get to them. Can I get you anything else?" - I was absolutely gobsmacked - such a nice kid! All I could think of to say to him was "thank you - how did you know that's what I needed" - he just shrugged and hopped off down the aisle on one leg.
Fortunately, we were able to find the kid's mother before we left the store and let her know what a great guy she was raising, so that was okay.

and how exactly does this relate to performing I hear you ask?
Okay, well, how many disabled clowns have you come across? - Come to that, how many disabled people do you see day to day in a working context? (Even including volunteering/therapeutic work context) - it's not many is it?
So it's a really good thing, as a disabled person with permission to be doing therapeutic work, not only accomplishing something by working (and for those of you who aren't crip, believe me, it's such a sanity saver some days!) but also to experience those real life moments - especially with the child with a confidence problem, that's just an amazing level of job satisfaction! - and you know what they say - always do work you love and you'll never work a day in your life. - So yeah, big tick in that box this weekend - the double hit of a gig for a good cause (which we both really enjoy) AND we'll be working hard doing what we love!

I haven't forgotten about those photos incidentally - it's just that cable I found doesn't fit my 'phone so, once I can stand a bit longer again, I'll just have to turf out the "random cables" drawer and try to find it. - Or sweet-talk C into taking some more on his 'phone.

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