Although I’ve managed to work on and complete some jobs for Disability Horizons and published a few blog posts in February 2021, I still feel like I’ve been lacking motivation this month and not felt as committed as normal or feel eager to use my spare time on other freelance projects. Instead, I’ve just spent the rest of my time binge watching TV.
This month, I managed to publish four news stories and two Covid related featured articles, all of which you can view here:
- Sound of Metal: A film criticised for its representation of hearing loss to a hearing audience
- Nike launches hands-free shoes inspired by man with cerebral palsy
- Disabled racing driver Billy Monger embarks on 140-mile challenge for Comic Relief
- European Space Agency launches search for an astronaut with a disability
- Disabled people and carer’s experiences of accessing the coronavirus vaccine
- Filter vs medical vs fabric face masks
In addition, I’ve continued working on arranging more interviews, researching Paralympic content and organising blog posts for the Disability Horizons Shop.
All my Disability Horizons content is now available to view in one place on the Emma Purcell Author’s page. This link can also be accessed on the “Disability Horizons” button on the menu page on the left of this site.
My featured content, product articles and sponsored posts for Disability Horizons can be viewed in my Journo Portfolio.
To read my latest news stories, interviews and featured articles on a regular basis, as well as browse other content from the rest of the amazing DH team, subscribe to the Disability Horizons newsletter.
Despite me being busy at Disability Horizons, I still feel like I’ve not achieved as much as I usually do this month and lacking motivation to secure other freelance work.
I’ve been playing around with this whole freelancing career thing for almost a year now and still haven’t found the ideas, confidence or determination to start pitching stories or finding work.
My two biggest concerns are how to negotiate payments and be able to find the right time to stop my benefits and get a regular income. Also, even if I have a story idea, where the hell do I pitch it to?
I think part of me feels like I’m lacking motivation to spend all that time researching and putting together a pitch, only for it to get rejected.
Due to my additional needs, reading and writing up work can take me many more hours than other people. Therefore, trying to create multiple pitches can be draining on both my physical and mental health and that is partly where I’m lacking motivation.
So, if I’m going to spend my precious time pitching, I want to be totally sure it will be worth it.
Other times I feel like scrapping the freelance route and just go back to searching for employment. At least this time employers maybe more open to flexibility and remote working since the pandemic.
My final resort is to just stick with my benefits as my main income and just enjoy my blogging and my voluntary and freelance work at Disability Horizons and AccessAble, even though I think I could develop further in my career.
Basically, my mind is all over the place at the moment and I don’t know what the best solution is.
Lucy Hale’s funeral
I think the other reason for me lacking motivation is, deep down, I’m still coming to terms with the death of my friend Lucy Hale.
I was fortunate enough to have virtual access to Lucy’s funeral a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful service with some lovely tributes. I particularly liked the Harry Potter quotes read out by her sister and two best friends.
The saddest part was realising there was so much more about Lucy I never knew, even after a decade of friendship.
I never knew she liked horse riding and was a keen dressage. I didn’t know how mischievous and cheeky she was as a child. I also didn’t fully know how much she had achieved at university and how much more she was destined to accomplish in the future.
“Lucy, you were quiet & shy with an exceptional mind. I will love you always xxx #MischiefManaged”
As I mentioned in January 2021, I had another suspected blood clot. After the scan came back clear, the swelling did come nd go over the next few weeks.
However, with this cold weather, I realised I kept leaving the small radiator under my desk on for hours at a time and I think the heat on my left leg was contributing to the swelling.
Since then, I’ve made sure not to use the radiator too often and so far no more swelling.
In other health news, which I’m sure 99% of you have seen across the media and on Disability Horizons, people with underlying health conditions can now have the Covid-19 vaccine.
Because I have cerebral palsy, I’m in the sixth priority group. Sadly, two weeks on, I still don’t have my invitation.
On 15th February, I contacted my GP to check I was definitely in this group. They confirmed I was, but they couldn’t arrange an appointment as that was controlled by NHS England.
Two weeks on, I’m still awaiting a letter or text message.
The one thing that I’m not lacking motivation over is my diet. I began a diet three weeks ago. So far, I’ve managed to have no chocolate or large desserts for 18 days. (see my full blog post in the blog roundup below)
The only exceptions have been marshmallows, popcorn, plain digestives, coconut biscuits Mum made, a couple of pastries with a tinny bit of chocolate inside and a few hot chocolates.
I also managed to make the corn beef hash mentioned on the Facebook group More Taste Less Chew and it was really good.
In addition, I purchased the greatest gadget ever – a Hydrant water bottle – which is sold on the Disability Horizons Shop. (This is not an affiliate link but just my personal opinion)
It is simply a one litre bottle that can attach to a wheelchair, bed or anything else and it has a long drinking tube and bite valve that clips to your clothing.
Then all you have to do is bite the valve and start drinking. This is perfect for me as I only have the use of one hand so while I’m working on my computer, I can simply drink using my mouth and continuing typing.
In the past five days of using it, I’ve drunk almost two litres every day, which I’ve never done, my catheter fills up so much more and my urine is the clearest it has ever been.
Last month, I began reading a book series called Septimus Heap, which is about a young magical apprentice Septimus and his family. I’ve finished the first two books and about to begin the third.
I’m really enjoying it as I love wizarding world novels. Although the magic and most of the storylines are different, I’ve found a few similar names and characteristics to the Harry Potter world:
- Princess Jenna has a pet rock called “Pet Rock Trelawney”. At Hogwarts, the Divination teacher is called Professor Trelawney.
- In the river, there is a creature called “Boggart”. In Harry Potter, they have these creatures called boggarts that are shapeshifters.
- In one chapter, there is a little girl called “Petunia”. Harry Potter’s aunt is called Petunia.
- Both Jenna and Septimus did not know their real parents and Septimus discovered he could do magic. Harry Potter never knew his parents and later found out he was a wizard.
- Septimus’ brother Simon wants to join the dark side and be the villain’s apprentice. In Harry Potter, James Potter’s friend Peter Pettiggrew became Lord Voldemort’s assistant.
I think the author Angie Sage may have been inspired by or taken ideas from J.K Rowling…. I guess we’ll never know! I’m still looking forward to reading the rest of the Septimus Heap series.
As I mentioned, I’ve been lacking motivation to work and so spent the rest of my time binge watching TV shows and films. I’ve discovered some new box sets, enjoyed new episodes of my favourite shows and indulged in some old school classics.
Earlier this month I watched the full series of the Netflix show Bridgerton. I’m usually not into period dramas but there was so much coverage of it in the news, I was curious to find out more. Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed it and eager to know what may happen in series two.
In one weekend, I’m managed to watch both series of the dark comedy drama The End of the F***ing World. It was completely mental and hilarious at the same time. I hope a third series will arise in the near future.
Back in June 2020, I shared that I read the complete book series of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson. This month, CBBC broadcast a three-part series titled My Mum, Tracy Beaker based on the latest books released a couple of years ago. It follows the story of Tracy in her early 30s with her 11-year-old daughter Jess. Over a decade onwards, Dani Harmer has not changed and still brings Tracy’s fiery personality that we know and love.
I also started watching a Netflix show called Social Distance, which is an American fictional drama based on the coronavirus pandemic. All episodes are filmed on Zoom, similar to Staged on BBC.
As well as all these new shows, I’ve managed to finish series four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and watched new episodes Ant & Dec Saturday Night Takeaway, Would I Lie To You and The Last Leg.
In addition, I amused myself with some old school films including Mean Girls, Wild Child, A Cinderella Story, Are We There Yet? and Are We Done Yet?.
I had a brief browse on the new “Star” collection on Disney+ but found no content with audio description, which was irritating.
Audio Description petition
The lack of audio description continues to be an issue with TV channels and streaming services. A few weeks ago, it was reported the BBC has decided to maintain existing targets for BBC television channels, with audio description on only 10% of programmes – which is an outrage! (Ironically the report document is also not accessible to my screen reader either)
That is why my campaign for audio description is so vital. My petition has continued throughout February 2021 and it has now reached 2572 signatures!
But I’m eager to reach thousands. The more signatures we get, the more likely changes could be made within the TV & films industries. Please, please, PLEASE continue to sign & share my petition!
Guest Bloggers Wanted
I’m still eager to collaborate with even more bloggers in 2021. So, if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories. Plus let me know if you’d like me to feature on your blog as a guest blogger.
I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!
Blog post roundup
In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:
- Album Review: Medicine at Midnight by Foo Fighters
- Dieting with a disability
- Music Interview: Leon Marshall
5 favourite blog posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
- “What are you most excited about for the future?” at A Life On Wheels
- Five ways my dog has helped me grow… at Amanda Gene
- Gaming for the Blind by Jonathan Morgan at Little Sea Bear
- Understanding Dehydration at Life’s a Polyp
- Are all disabled people ‘registered’? Am I…….?? at TopLady Talks
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