Sometimes I forget I have a blog!

Well I don’t really, but you might think that if you follow this one, because of the lack of posts recently. As usual, lots of things to write about came into my head at different times and I wrote about none of them, so here’s a post with no theme, no structure, but a few of the things I’ve been up to during the last five weeks.

I haven’t managed to find a job, and could look harder to try and find one, but I’ve done a few things that might help. My aunt took me to a careers fair in Derry in September. I knew there wouldn’t be suitable jobs for me to apply for there, but I did meet some very helpful people who gave me things to think about. I also met the head of the career service I wrote about in my last post. Unlike her colleague, she was really helpful. She took time to talk, really listened to what I had to say, and gave me lots of good advice. She followed up by sending me useful contacts, and helping me to fix my CV.

I spent the next two days after the jobs fair in Derry again. This time I was doing a befriending and mentoring course. I’m going to give it a post of it’s own soon, even though I intended writing about it a month ago.

I attended two really interesting events this month. The first was a public discussion about the new human rights bill, which was organised by the Irish human rights equality commission in Letterkenny. It was the last of eight public meetings, and Donegal had a good turnout, with a nice variety of people from all walks of life. I’d read that it was happening and not given it much thought until a friend and former work colleague asked if I was going. I decided to go because I knew she wanted to, and having lunch with her after gave us a chance to catch up. It was more interesting than I thought, and I’m glad I went.
I also attended the launch of the
preferential parking space
in a local secondary school. I delivered a disability awareness workshop to the students involved last October, but this was only a small part of the work they did on the subject during the year. Their final project was to create a preferential parking space outside their school, as well as in four other locations in the town. These spaces allow people with non-physical disabilities, or parents of children with non-physical disabilities, who would otherwise not avail of accessible parking to park in an area which might make access much easier for them. After a few speeches, presentations and photographs, the parking space was launched, and we had tea and cake in the school. I was given a lovely bunch of flowers in appreciation for my help, which was unexpected, but really nice.

On Monday the primary school had a thank you coffee morning for all the people from the community who have helped there during the year. I spent a couple of hours in the PE hall, and it was lovely. I was asked to talk to fifth class pupils as part of a program called ‘friends for life’ which they do in school. I thought it was a small group, but when I came into the library, there were almost ninety students there! Some adults also sneaked in too, but luckily it started before I had time to be nervous. The students listened carefully and asked fantastic questions. I was really impressed by them all. Sibyl behaved really well, apart from steeling my mum’s sandwich when we returned to her class after the talk. The children loved her, and it was nice to see her reaction in such a busy school. Even one child who is very afraid of dogs fell in love with her, and even took her for a walk at the end of the day. I wasn’t surprised at all when Sibyl found the school quickly on our way to a restaurant in the town earlier today. It’s her new favourite place!

We had rain yesterday for the first time in weeks, and the dry weather gave Sibyl a chance to do lots of work. Her work is improving every week, and even though she’s still easily distracted, it’s becoming easier to focus her attention back on her work again. Good weather means more free runs, and it’s important that she has a good balance of both. Sometimes I forget how much exercise a young dog needs, and if she doesn’t get enough, she soon lets me know that she’s bored!
Unfortunately we’ve had a few trips to the vet to have glands emptied, so I’m keeping a close eye on that. Otherwise she’s great, and turning out to be a smart little guide dog!