In the last issue I wrote about my school days; this time I am writing about my out of school activities and how I enjoy my spare time now.
From the age of 5 through to 14, I went to Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. I enjoyed all of it especially collecting a sash full of badges. There were so many different things to work at.
When I was 10 years old I spent one of the best weeks of my life on Brownie Camp. We stayed in a church hall for 5 days, and went on lots of trips as well as doing craft activities, sharing all the cooking and even having a midnight feast! I had a friend helping me who knew me from home, and she had also been a Guide and Brownie. It was an amazing week as I felt the same as all my friends and I was able to join in all the activities. I wasn't homesick at all!
As a Guide, I went with my leader to a special weekend camp for disabled Guides. I didn't enjoy this camp nearly as much, mainly because none of my friends were there, but also because I prefer the idea of a mixed camp. I believe everybody in life should mix and help each other. I was actually able to participate in fewer of the activities than at my 'normal' Brownie Camp. This was because the outdoor activities were archery, canoeing and abseiling, which with my particular disability I couldn't do and I ended up just watching.
I went to ballet classes until I became too heavy to be held up. I really enjoyed joining in as much as I could, and in the circle dances I was pushed in my chair while I did the arm movements. I loved the music and again, feeling a full member of the group.
At the weekend I went to piano lessons and I used to go swimming at our local leisure centre every Saturday and sometimes Sunday (as well as Sunday School in the morning). I liked the feeling that I could walk in the water and I used to worry people by spending so much time exploring underwater! I still enjoy swimming, but the travelling and changing take longer than the swim, so it is tiring.
I went riding every week until I was 14 with a lovely friend who came to help saddle up. This was a great way for me to get lots of fresh air as well as being able to keep my balancing muscles working. I always rode the same pony; Angel who was very special and I think she knew me, even though other children rode her. She would walk faster and faster on the homeward straight, as she always got a special treat when we'd finished!
As my schoolwork increased I had to wait for the holidays to enjoy my hobbies. I have always liked doing art and craft, computers and story writing as well as gardening. I used to have friends and cousins over to our house before we moved here, and we would do these hobbies together. Now they are all busy with their lives and we have moved down here so I could do with some new friends who share my interests!
We now live on a smallholding, where I like to spend time watching all our animals and taking photos with my digital camera. I am hoping to get a tripod mounted to my chair so I can take more pictures by myself. I enjoy reading, but my neck and eyes get tired and I get frustrated when my book keeps bouncing shut! An automatic page-turner is very expensive so I need somebody with me who enjoys the same book. I love working on the computer and am planning to advertise myself to do scanning and printing for people who can't use computers. When I am not doing university work, I hope to do more painting and printing.
If you have similar interests to me and you would like to, feel free to contact me through the usual Wellspring address. We would also be happy to give a cup of tea to anybody who wanted to come and see our animals! I love showing people around our farm and it is a lovely way for children to watch the animals.
Lizzie Baily firstname.lastname@example.org