Happy New Year Highlights from 2018

Hello Folks, Happy new year. Looking back at 2018, it was a bit like having a chocolate party with Boris Johnson photo bombing you. What has your year been like?

I’ve had a crazy busy year, but wanted to take this opportunity to share my highlights of 2018…

I was invited to teach creative writing workshops at the 1Voice weekend, to two groups of AAC users, from very young to adult. For some, it was the first time they had used their device for anything creative, and inspired them to explore their technology through these creative writing tasks, to which I heard some fantastic responses. They all wrote some very imaginative poetry, including poems spoken from their eye gaze’s point of view. There were some incredible poems and short stories, and many of the participants chose to perform theirs at the final presentation session for everyone. It was delightful to see how creative they were and hopefully my students have continued to write poetry and stories at home.

Following my work at that event I was nominated and proudly won the Alan Martin award for my contribution to creative arts. I couldn’t make it to the award ceremony so Toby Hewson brought the award all the way down to Dorset for me, and after our brilliant chat I actually forgot the award and he had to post it to me! #bigmistake

My commission at Inside Out festival was a perfect way to end the summer. My team created a magical poetry and sound installation in response to public input about Shelley Park. It was called Prose in the Park, and turned out to be a challenging learning experience for us all, but it also ended up being truly excellent and a very proud weekend for us too.

Looking into 2019, I have some very exciting bookings already. My show, ‘Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate’ is going to be perfomed at Salisbury Playhouse as part of a triple bill for Fest West 2029. It’s a fantastic show about growing up and loving chocolate with an exploration into the mental voice. If you like chocolate and don’t like growing up then you should come along! It’s on at 6:30pm, in the Salberg Studio of Salisbury Playhouse on Friday 15th February, with other venues to be confirmed later in the year.

It’s not all work though, sometimes I actually take a break to have some non-work-related-fun. Earlier in the week you may have seen pictures of me playing Fifa with my Brazilian mate Pedro, which I obviously won but that’s no surprise, I was always going to. My new switch tray mimics the latest Xbox controller, and it connects to the Xbox using 19 switches if any of you tech geeks want to know. The switch box is actually from Microsoft, and I’m so impressed by the marvellous work Microsoft have done this year, making their technology accessible and more affordable for disabled children and people. The switch tray is from Remap, which is a charity that employs rehab engineers across the country to design and create ideas for individual people.

So all in all 2018 was excellent, dotted with a few stupid mistakes, but always fun-filled learning experiences. My new year resolution is to just be more prepared for the challenges and have more rules and order in my life. What are your new year resolutions?

I hope 2018 was as good for you as it was for me, and that 2019 turns out to be even better. Happy new year to you all!

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