#BrightonWithBoycie (My Birthday Treat)

The Ninth of November was my birthday and since August I had been waiting for this day because I was going to see John Challis.

John Challis has been showing his one man show all around the country. Two years ago I had bought the first book that he had written about his life, for dad as a Christmas gift.

We had all met John when we met Jake Canuso up in Bradford, Christmas 2015, and I had gotten friends with John on Twitter in the time since so he was glad that I supported him. I used to be scared of his character in Only Fools And Horses, but he is such a nice fella to meet.

Just after lunch on my birthday we made our way to Brighton so we could go around the lanes and grab a drink to kill some time before eating our meal in Ask Italian. Some drunk but very pleasant drunk in the pub came over to say happy birthday to me.

We went around the shopping centre and the lanes. I bought a VR thing endorsed by the science museum in London, so I know it’ll be decent. I just need to find the software on my Android phone.

For food I had cannelloni with sausage mix inside and a warming sauce. Pudding was gnocchi with Nutella in and I dip them in the chocolate sauce … mmmm heaven!

We made our way to the venue (Komedia) for the evening and as we went indoors I heard a lady shout ‘Sarah!’ – course it was John Challis’s wife, Carol. They were sat together eating cake… as you do!

John said happy birthday to me, we hugged and had a photo together – and we chatted about stuff. He told us he was staying over with a Benidorm actor… Tony Maudsley.

It wasn’t long till we were let into the venue’s room that John was to be in for the night. There are a couple of rooms in the venue and we were downstairs in the cabaret room. It was quite a large room with lots of places to sit – we went to the front !

We managed to spot Tony a few tables away at the back and I was quite excited. I really wanted to go meet him and at half time I went to see Carol and check it was him. Apparently he didn’t want to be noticed too much.

At the end of the show John said that there was a special friend in the audience (meaning me) with a birthday and I went on the stage and said thanks and hugged him. Think that maybe helped Tony to see I’m not a threat! The whole room sung to me!

After the show I went up to see Tony and shook his hand and chat. I talked about Twitter and dad said about Benidorm and such. That was quite a surreal experience and I thank him for taking time to let me talk. We then queued to chat to John and Carol and thank him too for the excellent show and funny stories!

What a night! Was a very special evening and I’d like to thank my parents for being my chauffeur for the day!

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Night At The (Submarine) Museum

Last month I went and stayed at a museum overnight. Something I always wanted to do since the film series with Ben Stiller came out. I imagined that it would be quite spooky in a museum at night but it wasn’t too bad. No dinosaurs or men came alive thankfully !

Set up by The Submarine Museum in Gosport, the visit included a whole evening full of activities. One of the activities was a look in HMS Alliance, which is a massive submarine. There wasn’t a huge amount of space though inside as I’m told that it had just under 70 crew in total ! We also had a little nosey around the museum itself, plus found out detail of living conditions for a sailor on board. We finished up the evening with some craft and a film later on – no guesses to what that was to be !

The reason I went was because it was a trip for our Girl Guiding members and I’m glad I went as it was a long time since I was there last. I gained a sew on badge for my collection – I actually get more badges as an adult helper now, more than when I was a Girl Guide!

I know this post is a little late as I went at the back end of last month, but I want to thank all the rest of the leaders and museum staff that I spent my rather pleasant evening with. Especially Susan who arranged the trip in the first place. Of course I will too be mentioning this on my end of year write up, as it is one of my highlights of the year !

Totem pole in the museum

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Disabled Twitter Users Petition

How many of you use a social networking site? I do. I’m getting very annoyed at the amount of nasty posting towards disabled people especially. Many of the community members of social networks are ok but there’s always a few people that have to spoil it for others.

Disabled social media users are more likely to self harm or want to die because they can not cope with the hurt of words – yes they may just be words but to an Autistic person like me it somehow hurts more because we take every word literally.

This is why I’ve put a petition up to try to get Twitter to listen to the complaints sent to them. They do not seem to understand mental health issues or Autism/Aspergers.

You can sign it here : https://www.change.org/p/disabled-twitterers-twitter-to-look-at-reports-closer-ban-users-deemed-to-be-bullying-a-disabled-person

I don’t know if it’ll help but I would really like to see Twitter look at slander and swearing towards disabled people on their site.

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Music To My Ears

I have been having a busy few months doing lots of things but I didn't want to forget to post about my experience watching a certain male pop star live for the very first time!

I went to see Robbie Williams in Southampton in early June ! What a really great night it was… first we had the supporting act – Erasure – I didn't know much of their songs but there were a few that everyone did know. I liked the shiny suit the lead vocalist wore. It was also raining so we got a little damp, but I was about to see Robbie Williams so did I really worry about it being a bit wet?

We were really quite close to one end of the stage I shed a few tears cos I had been waiting for this moment since November when I booked the tickets! The whole stage setting was really amazing – I knew it would be as I know from TV concert broadcasts etc. In real life it was HUUUUUUUUUGE!

Robbie came on and I sung to every song… he even had his dad on with him and they sung a song together. The Boxing glove that was in the middle became part of the show when he did Love My Life – and that was one of my favourite parts in the show, as it's my favourite song off the latest album. I read that in another show the hand got stuck and he was left stranded on it!

The funniest part was when he had a lady on stage to sing 'Somethin' Stupid' and he had one of them masks that makes you look like a character and not a human with the mouth bit that moves. I was really glad he did songs from all times of his career so far – he even did Freedom to tribute George Michael's career – Robbie had actually done his own cover after leaving Take That.

Robbie was impressed we all knew old songs that weren't even his when he tested to see if we knew words (RW/music fans are of any age so it's not surprising that we knew lots !).

At the end of the show, I cried and cried because it was so so so so so good and I couldn't believe that I'd finally had the time of my life! My dream to see Robbie Williams live had finally happened!

Thank you to my parents that had to be chauffeur (dad) and concert buddy (mum)….
A great big thank you to Mr Robbie Williams and his crew for making such a fantastic evening and I hope that he's well on the mend with his back now.

I still have yet to meet the man – Maybe …… someday!

Music and loud noise can be a scary thing for Autistics. However because it was something I was enjoying and I knew the music well, then I had no problems. It would have been a big shame if I'd had to wear ear defenders on my very special evening at such a local(ish) venue. Robbie doesn't come to the south coast much now he's uuuuuuuber famous, but maybe after the evening that he had with us all he might be back! Let's hope so, eh? #WeWantRW

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A Greek Deja View

Ok, that title suggests something… yup we were in Greece two years ago in May, same time (ish) and certainly the same place ! Plus the views were still incredibly amazing – and we didn’t have too many ‘off’ days either. However we got woken up at 7:30 one morning to an awesomely loud thunderstorm!

Corfu, and the Greek islands are no stranger to a nice dollop of sun. The sea was lovely and clear in many places – I think one of my favourite things to do was walking back along the waters edge after lunch in the little town of Sidari, where we stayed.

I managed to burn myself the first full day we were there – due to me not actually remembering that it was significantly hotter than jolly old England. However, by the end of my holiday you would not have even known I had burned. I seem to brown off so easy when I actually put my cream on!

I did a ton of swimming most days. The first week it was very quiet and the pool is not very big, compared to many others I have ever been in. I felt I had to keep swimming as much as I could as I did not want to return home looking like a potato. I must have swam in excess of almost a thousand lengths on holiday. I was also missing about three sessions of football due to the longevity of holiday and flight days.

Had Greek night twice at the restaurant attached to our hotel and I helped first timers to dance. I had knowledge of how it all happened of an evening (many with Aspergers get scared or frightened if they don’t know what is coming next, so I expect the people that I had spoken to about me having it were probably impressed by my enjoyment of such an evening!!) – Plus I got a chance to dance with one of the men the second week, which was an honour really.

I had pleasure of watching (cue awesome hotel owner) Nikos in his band two nights as well. The music was loud and I enjoyed listening to all (Loud sounds can cause many Autistic people to freak out occasionally but I love a live performance). It is all music that has been done by big names such as Queen, Pink Floyd or such and there was sing-alongs too that we could join in.

We had a bus trip out to Corfu Town on the middle Friday and we managed to pick up an incredible filo pastry cheese pie each, for lunch, which is full of feta and it is totally gorgeous. My dad started feeding the pigeons with crumbs, which made him look like the old bird (wo)man!

I made a few friends plus saw an old one from two years ago. The youngest that I managed to have a conversation with was a boy called George and he was 14. I thought he looked younger, and I guess he would be happy with that but when hes 18 he might still not look his age. Tricky one if you want to buy a pint, that. I had gone over to his parents to tell them who I was – some parents get over protective of their kids in pools with an adult coming up to them to talk. Sad that in this day you can’t trust everyone.

I don’t want to leave this post on a negative so here is what I will do:

This piece was all about my Greek experience this year,
With wonderful yummy food and full of excitement and cheer,
Thanks to my parents that made it possible to holiday here,
Many nights to have fun and to drink a pint of beer!

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