Available But Not Available.

This afternoon I had to take my daughter to her first physiotherapy appointment, I roughly knew where to go as my son had once been several times before for a completely different reason.

I found the relevant but communal reception. At the counter, there was sufficient space for two more receptionists but there was only one and in front of her was this notice,Ā “Children’s hearing services only”… The counter besides her had a notice which stated, “All Services, please call using the phone provided”

hearingvsphone

Eh?! My first thought was. There was a receptionist there but ONLY for the hearing department. This was both useful for those who needed assistance with their hearing screening / tests appointments but otherwise useless for parents, like myself who happen to be deaf with children who required another department.

She was available but not available…

I found myself in a conflicting and contradicting situation. I showed her a letter, for my daughter’s appointment. She pointed to the phone and answered “You have to phone”. I took little comfort in letting her know that I was deaf and I could not use the phone. She spied my husband and knew he would be able to call instead.

What would have happened then, if I was on my own, with my daughter? Would she have been willing to go above and beyond her role as the sole receptionist?

We just might find out in due course šŸ˜‰

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Eeh Bah Gum!

Ever since I knocked on death’s door the very first time several years ago, I became ultra-aware of life itself, cherishing each little smile, touch, taste, smell and sight. In complete awe at the miracles of Nature’s designs, always.

Upon realising the fragility of life, and the stark reality of the dangers that exist all around us – it has not been an easy ride. Being extra conscious of conflicts and trivialities, my heart longs for peace and love while my head wants to drown out the cacophonies of life.

Life is precious and extremely short. I cannot put into words just how short it can be unless you realise in such a moment, suddenly understanding what it means.

Due to the nature of the operation, I had and why, I know I will one day need another operation and that time is slowly but surely, approaching. Putting off going to the doctors will not help but delay and prolong any fears of another drawn out nightmare that I do not wish to put others or myself through again.so courage will have to come into play once more.

Soon because first, I am going to create another memorable moment for the kids to cherish, by introducing them to the Angel of the North, first spreading her wings in 1998, rising some 20 metres from the earth, dominating the skyline and majestically dwarfing all those who pay her a visit. It is an experience, they will not forget.

angelofthenorthsundown

Eeh bah gum indeedā€¦

šŸ™‚

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

There’s No Place Like Home…

Oftentimes, I wonder where one’s home is because I have questioned myself if somewhere can really be ‘home’? As I was sent away to boarding school, ten going onto eleven years old, I lost that vital ‘homely’ and ‘family’ sense. Moreover, I do not really like to complain because…

Some people or children I dread to think do not even have a home. People here in the UK and elsewhere can be so ungrateful and inexplicably arrogant; they have a roof over their heads and free medical care. They concern themselves with having the best garment or the latest gadget when an older child overseas could be going without food for days at a time so their younger sibling does not – Their parents having passed away. It is children like them who you need to pay your respects to and be mindful of, not some sociopath looking to gain popularity to feed their ego and vanity.

Unfortunately, there is a level of such hypocrisy and ignorance amongst us also. There was a Polish family in the Valley and so there happened to be an Afghanistan family too. I scanned around me to gauge people’s reactions as I sensed an interesting moment. Most were happy to respect one another’s personal spaceĀ and continue as they were yet the Polish adults clearly from their body language, facial expressions and directional glances did not want this Afghanistan family sharing the same albeit very public playground as their children or their space. One of them even tried his luck to take a photo of the women as they were in their full gear. He pretended he was looking at the menu on his camera but then he felt braver and so the camera was lifted higher and higher until he felt confident enough to brazenly photograph them.

I felt fury seething away at me yet my husband held me back from standing in front of his camera to obscure any further potential frames and to prevent him from being so disrespectful – making a point of his/their attitudes. How dare they take photos of another family and be racist about them when they areĀ immigrants themselves?! The bloody cheek of them.

Once, someone from the very same vicinity told my husband, my children and I to go back where we came from… If only they knew that, I came from down the road to them. There was no way my family and I was going to keep quiet about these bullies so we complained to the local councillor and several others who at their next residents meeting had their voices heard on our behalf. They were rather embarrassed and somewhat apologised.

Many also tend to have one rule for themselves and another. I knew someone who did not want anything to do with anyone who was in a negative state of mind yet he didĀ not practise what he preached “Be kind always for you never know what that person is going through”… What another hypocrite.

One of the things about being deaf is being able to relate to how a foreigner is made to feel, since we are made to feel like outcasts also. Social cleansing happens much more than people realise.

The difference between the people of the North and the south of England is clearly diversity and tolerance. In London, anything goes – everyone is different and easily tolerated whereas in the North, most people are spoilt and do not like change.

Nevertheless, I have come to sense a certain emotion being ‘at home’ in the North East of Yorkshire. Being out in the wide open, the rolling moors, and the golden beaches of which is the surfersā€™ paradise. Up above are birds cherishing their flight and the wind beneath their wings. Bags of Cinder Toffee testing the strength of one’s delicate teeth. The mouth-watering aroma of the traditional fish and chips, especially in Whitby… Forget Parmesan! Discovering an abundance of fossils here and there. My childhood becoming my childrenā€™s’.

The glistening in the sunlight and the relative unique sounds of the seashoreĀ reminds me how it feels to be at peace, to be in awe of Mother Nature and its designs. Trivial issues be it political or personal and wealth turn ever more meaningless. The meaning of Life is clear.

However, Italy and North Africa is also in my blood so it is only natural that I feel a certain connection to these places and their cultures. Ever since I was a child growing up in the UK, I have never felt at home or accepted, not even, for who I am. How could I ever feel “at home” amongst all the conflicting angst being imposed upon myself?

As the delight in my children’s faces matches that in my heart, I know that as long as we have one another, I determine that I will be ‘home’… For ‘home’ is where myĀ heart is.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)