I know, I know, it’s been ages since I published an article. It’s certainly not for lack of anything to write about. After all, I recently got back from an amazing trip to Germany and Poland about which I have lots to share. I also need to gather my courage and write a final post honouring my retired guide dog, Eccles, who passed away after a short illness. Then I want to tell you about some of the exciting blind travel work I’m starting on, and a media interview I did recently.
So yes, I have plenty to share with you.
But somehow I’ve just fallen out of the habit of settling down to write…
Today I took the decision that it was time to fall back into that habit. so here’s just a short note to let you know that I’m back – back home, back writing, and back willing and eager to share more of my experiences living my ordinary life without sight.
I was startled to see that Fiji also neglected to write an article while I was away – clearly she was just having too much fun on her holiday from guide dogging. Maybe I’ll wake her up just now and ask her if she actually plans on writing a post this month. But you know what they say about letting sleeping dogs lie?
All I’m saying is watch this space…
Okay, so technically I’m still on leave. In fact, I’m probably jetting into Cape Town International Airport right about now. But I wanted to let you know about an exciting event that’ll be happening next week.
I’ve been invited to share some of my experiences of travelling the world without sight on the Travel Show on Hashtag Radio with Marlize Stander and Patrycja Oosthuizen.
The show will take place on Thursday, 28 June from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and I’ll be explaining how I’m able to build a picture of places I visit using my remaining senses, and sharing some of my stories of the extraordinary places I’ve been and experiences I’ve been privileged to have.
If you want to find out more about the show, here’s the link: http://hashtagradio.co.za/members/marlize/
And if you want to tune in and listen, you can stream the show from here: www.hashtagradio.co.za
This won’t be my first time at Hashtag Radio – a few months ago I was interviewed by Cindy Pivacic about my book, A Different Way of Seeing, which is when the photo was taken.
And, just like last time, Fiji will be joining us in studio and maybe she’ll get to participate in the conversation… you just never know!
Fiji and I had great fun going to the SABC in Cape Town to be interviewed for the Disability Report on SAFM. You can hear the interview with Karen Key here.
I was very impressed with how quietly Fiji sat while Karen and I were talking – I doubt you’ll hear even a clink of her doggy tags despite the fact we were in a soundproofed recording studio with ambient microphones.
Imagine how startled I was to discover that Karen’s mother had heard me speak and had bought a copy of my book, “A Different Way of Seeing mere weeks before the interview – it really is a very small world!
Hope you enjoy listening to the interview… I’ll share more audio and video recordings in a few weeks
I know it was the week of World Sight Day… and I know I’d just drawn up a press release focusing on my ability to talk on the topic of blindness… but still I was startled when I was approached to speak on Cape Talk 567 not once, but twice in a single week.
Here is the link to the first of my Cape Talk 567 interviews, which took place at the way-too-early time of 04:45 AM. Luckily it was a phone interview so I could gratefully stumble back to bed to resume my disturbed sleep afterwards.
The second interview, for which I had to be in-studio, took place two days later at the much more civilized time of 14:00 –I’ll share the link to the podcast of that recording soon!
Here’s the first interview, on Early Morning with Abs, 10 October 2017.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
I’m thrilled to announce that I have been recognised with the Xtraordinary Women ‘Woman of the Month’ award for March 2017.
The nomination was in recognition of the work I’m doing de-mystifying the abilities of those living a productive life without sight.
I love the aims of this great organisation – here’s a little about them, taken from their website:
Xtraordinary Women is a platform that Leads, Inspires, Supports and Recognises Entrepreneurs in South Africa. It takes a community to build a business, and Xtraordinary Women is that community.
To encourage and support Ordinary Women to do Extraordinary Things.
To support the South African economy by building a community of successful women in business and to showcase what South Africa has to offer.
Find Xtraordinary Women here:
Whoever would have thought that they would get international media for simply doing what they love? Well, maybe some people might, but I certainly wouldn’t number myself amongst them! And yet, that is what happened…
And what wonderful exposure it was – an article about me in the toastmasters International magazine, that goes to 325000 Toastmasters in 135 countries around the globe.
This story starts many months ago. Back in January I was asked if I could be interviewed for the Southern African toastmasters website. I was honoured and excited to be asked –especially since the article was being written by Zoya Mabuto, the southern African speech champion for 2015/16
I had the opportunity of meeting Zoya just before she was announced as the Southern African champion and was immediately struck by her energy and passion.
Through the article I enjoyed getting to know Zoya a little better. She is passionate about our beautiful country and our diversity of people, and her message is often one of hope, which strongly resonates with me. I guess it’s no wonder that our half hour Skype interview lasted far longer than we had anticipated– we had sooo much to talk about! The article Zoya crafted captured exactly what I would have wished.
Both Zoya and I were excited when one of the Southern African PR Editorial Team suggested submitting the article to the toastmasters International magazine – and it was accepted. The article was published in the June 2016 issue of the Toastmasters magazine.
Here’s a link to the article. Member Achievements.pdf
Yay! My Cape Pulpit interview was aired at 16:40 today – take a listen.
My second Casual Day interview was with Radio Cape Pulpit 729 AM today.. Only this time it was a pre-recorded interview and, right now, I’m not sure when it is going to be aired, though definitely before Casual Day on 4 September.
This time I was not alone, as my amazing fellow Cape Town Casual Day Ambassador, Simone Botha, who is a hearing impaired professional ballerina, was also interviewed.
Here’s something you may not know: a person who is hearing impaired and uses a cochlea implant to assist them in hearing, generally will do an in-studio interview as a telephone interview poses challenges.
The previous interview I did focussed on Casual Day, the positive change that the Casual Day event has on changing lives of persons living with a disability, and on where people could get their Casual Day stickers. This time, it felt to me like the focus was on me- and what it was like living without sight… and that made me a whole lot more nervous – I’m not sure if that was a hangover from my previous reticence to tell my own story, or whether I was merely startled as I had assumed the focus would be on Casual Day, but that’s how I felt!
Still, I found myself enjoying the experience of this interview, and especially of sharing the experience with Simone – though we were interviewed separately, Simone sat in on my interview and we took advantage of the opportunity to get some photos.
I’m loving the time I’m spending as a Casual Day Goodwill Ambassador, and doing my small bit to make a difference!
We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried – the day I was featured in the People’s Post newspaper, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, was also the day I was scheduled to do my first Casual Day media interview, on Radio CCFM 107.5, in Muizenberg.
Thanks to Andrea Vinassa, our PR Champ at the Casual Day office, I was well briefed on what types of questions I might be asked, and she gave me all the salient facts that I would need to sound like a great ambassador during the interview.
Fortunately I had the chance to chat to the interviewer for a few minutes before we went on air so I had a good idea of what to expect… although, knowing what to expect and being efficiently prepped only helps with part of the nerves!
But, as I always say, it is those nerves that keep me focussing on what I’m doing and saying… it’s only when I’m not nervous that I mess up!
In general, I felt the interview went well – thanks in no small part to the preparation given to me by Andrea, and to the experience of unprepared speaking that I have gained as a member of Toastmasters International –I am living proof of the fact that Toastmasters works!
If you’d like to listen to the interview, you can do so below.