I Can Do BSL!

Here is a list of suggested captions for this (above) picture – enjoy!

I want it all …..

Nutella galore.

Noooooo nooooo my tree has gone!

I want nuts dis big!

it’s raining nuts, hallelujah!

PLEEEEEEEEASE Santa I been good

Free as a bird!

I have no nuts, I just had my vasectomy …. ok?!

Please let there be an avalanche of nuts

Praise the Lord, bring back my nuts…

>Mama I love you, mama I care!

All I want for Christmas is you!

It’s Chrissssssstmas time!

Another British (RED) Squirrel at last…!

Photo by SJ
Photo by SJ


A diva! Moi?

Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?

Nuts! Whole hazel nuts!

Gimme, gimme, gimme !

Nuts glorious nuts! (Oliver ” food glorious food!)

I’m king of the WOOOORLD

Ok. I give up where’s the nuts

I can do BSL …


Did they break open…?!

Look at me, look at me…

Thank god it’s Friday!!

Let it GoooooooooOOO! I am one with the wind and SkyyyYYY!


~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Cyberbullies & Trolls.

A member of the Tree House shared a link with us as she knew some of us had been having difficulties in the past and at present. This video left her speechless and it certainly stopped me in my tracks. I wanted to share with you, the very same video in the hope that you too, will appreciate Shane Koyczan’s work as a spoken poet.

This video also has captions (Yay!) making it accessible to deaf people.

Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

I will never forget how people have made me feel over the past few years with their words, assumptions and insults. I have on occasion gone to the police who gave the other bully a warning, who as a result had me looking over my shoulder for quite a long time. That has now passed but new ones inevitably came along. One broke my heart terribly and subsequently others have broken my trust in people. Several openly bullied me online (I hope they are ashamed of themselves) while several tried behind closed doors then searching me out with fake profiles to continue their trail of bitterness.

Nowadays I do not know who I can trust but I do know my conscience is clear having done my best to do right by everyone whilst being true to myself except it is now time for me to stop being at the forefront of it all because people are once again minding what I do or say.

Dr Seuss’ quote “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind do not matter and those who matter, do not mind” is one of my all time favourites as one should never change for anyone else.

I contemplated giving up, simply because I had enough of all the ill feelings being inflicted upon and how people seemed to keep coming back for more. A friend once told me that I was a fighter not a quitter and I know once he reads this he will smile., knowing he is being remembered.

Apologies but you will not take another ounce of my strength, my positivity and my spirit which planted the seed of this wondrous Tree House. The dwellers from within will continue to nurture it regardless, helping it to bloom and grow with all its goodness while the bad apples left are outside, to rot.

A bad apple
A bad apple.

Thank you to all of those who have supported and kept me going lately. I know some of you will continue to do so, come what may. Love you all – so much. You are not getting rid of me just yet! 😛

Positivity rules! Onwards and upwards…..

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

The Domination of Nomination Drench.

The Domination of Nomination Drench hits the British Isle like wildfire – pardon the pun!

You know you are deaf when your newsfeed is filled with people pouring buckets of cold water over their heads. Up and down the country deaf people are logging in to see their newsfeed crammed full with friends and random deaf people drenching themselves with cold water. The buckets are not the only means of getting wet, some use buckets, others jumping in their poor children’s paddling pools, others jump into canals whilst holding hands, and one has even used a digger to release a rather large amount of water.

This is happening up and down the country and around the world.

The reactions vary greatly – some people hop, some scream, others remain straight faced, and some literally freeze on the spot. But not before they pass on the fate of the drenching craze to 3, 4 or 5 friends. Even the over 60’s are getting involved! Kirsty’s Uncle Ken – who has absolutely no involvement with the deaf community joined in.

Sara’s view on the latest craze is “It’s fun but some friends are saying they would rather donate to “Water Aid” due to lack of clean water and availability in Africa and 3rd world countries. I asked a few people today what they thought of it and they all said “Why?!” As it seemed to be a case of crowd following just for the sake of it like ‘Neck Nomination’ which was eventually discouraged due to it being so dangerous. As long as people are happy and are sensible about the challenge although I must admit it’s getting a tad boring seeing the same thing subsequently yet its been a hot scorching day so when my turn came, I very much welcomed it!” In the end she was very glad she seized the day and would do it again – which she did after being re-nominated post article.

Kirsty’s video:

And her Uncle Ken’s who is in Greece:

Paul’s video:

See what happens when one goes with the flow? Just don’t feel pressured to oblige – donate to charity if that suits you so.

Yet how did it all start, why are people up and down the country nominating each other – Has some strange plague taken over our minds, or are we simply nuts?!

Who really knows how it started because if one googles ” ice / cold water challenge” it gives you results mainly based in the USA, some by the forces even! So this is not just in the deaf community and not something entirely new sweeping social media yet it is new within the deaf community based in the United Kingdom except that when it first started within the UK, people had to buy alcohol when or if they forfeited the dare. It is the people’s choice who they decide to donate to and if it is a charity or “Water aid” of their choice, so be it.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Update: Please read our continued article on “Nomination Drench” by reading “Between a rock and a hard place“.

Update: Even Water Aid is doing it now to thank the deaf community 🙂

Our Top Fifteen Pet Hates.

Quite a few people detest hearing the chalk scrape on the blackboard, my son really dislikes the sound polystyrene makes and just how it feels to the touch. Here, during a supposedly full moon which explains why some of the Tree House dwellers were stirring, listed are some of our pet hates.

1, First and foremost: Tinnitus – this is extremely draining and in some cases debilitating.

2, Negative body language – Keep your chins up luv.

3, People relentlessly tapping on our arms or shoulders – Surely once is enough?!

Do's and Don'ts by Matt Daigle
Do’s and Don’ts by Matt Daigle

4, Regional signs such as “middle fingers stirring the sky” which could mean “available” or “holiday” to others. Some deaf people think this is only deemed rude by the hearing while some deaf people also find this sign offending – Each to their own.

5, The sound of “Applause” apparently tends to drive some deaf people nuts. *Hands waving*

6, Static shocks – There are those who are full of static shocks but take pleasure in shocking others (!)

Comic Strip by Jim Davis
Comic Strip – Garfield.

7, Visual noises i.e. Feet twitching in the corner of our eyes whilst trying to watch a film or read something.

8, People adamantly tapping on the table which is ultra-loud to a deaf person due to our other senses being enhanced.

9, We might not be able to hear them but we can still smell them – Trumping and in some cases flapping!

10, The wind noise from within our cars due to the rear car window being open whilst driving as the wind vibrates on our hearing aid microphones. Who seconds wind noises?

SJ: I was once travelling back down south by coach with the kids and in the distant we spied a wind farm. My daughter seemed puzzled and asked me what they were, I explained it was a wind farm. She then asked why there was one? To which I answered most innocently “because too many people keep eating beans.” A moment later the penny dropped. The most priceless grin – ever!

Wind Recycling.
Wind Recycling.

11, The feeling of catching our fingernails, the vibrations via the blackboard or garage doors only for the paint flake off and get wedged inside our nails.

12, Not being able to cut our nails when we have broken it – which is why I now carry a nail clipper on my set of keys. Light-bulb moment.

13, The touch of the newspaper or magazine due to its texture is enough to make some deaf people break out into goose pimples and make their hands shake!

14, Wooden ice lolly and ice cream sticks. The texture and how we have to be careful not to bite on it or scrape it against our teeth to avoid the feeling, the noise it makes, the taste and the risk of splinters. The worst has to be the ones the doctors uses to look down our throats which terribly dries out our mouths.

Wooden sticks.
Wooden sticks

15, Sudden police sirens which our hearing aids amplify – Try living in Central London?!

Compiled by SJ (Sara Jae)

Happiness is the best medicine.

While the Tree House gang thought the last compilation of humorous moments was hugely entertaining, it was also proof conclusive that we can laugh at ourselves, with others so here is yet again another compilation from the members of The Tree House, for you.

Happiness is the best medicine so to make you smile and laugh, makes us happy too.

Gareth’s latest moment was when he was complimenting his wife on a very pretty dress she was wearing and expressed just how much he liked the glitter. He didn’t have his hearing aids in at the time and she mentioned the word “Seaweed”. What?! Wearing a dress made out of seaweed?

A dress that looks like it's been made out of nori seaweed.
A dress that looks like it’s been made out of nori seaweed.

It for sure was not made out of “seaweed” but “sequins”!

Eleanor also had a few moments to share and here is one that stuck out in her mind more than the rest. It was early one morning when her mum went into her room and asked her “Do you know where the jet-skis are?” She felt completely confused as they do not have and never have owned jet-skis! So, being in a rush she just said… “No”… A few days later her mum was talking to her about how the locksmith was coming the next day to change some locks, and how it was really strange how some keys had disappeared. Eleanor thought about it for a while and then said “Are the shed keys the ones that look similar to the house keys we used to have?” She had them in her room the whole time thinking they were the house keys! Jet-skis = shed keys.

In Venice, a nun rides a jet-ski.
In Venice, a nun rides a jet-ski.

A while ago Eleanor had to look for a new car due to hers needing a rather large MOT bill paid. She was talking to her mum’s boyfriend about it and he said that she shouldn’t get a Peugeot because they are really high to insure as they are made from steel. She thought this was odd, and mentioned it to her boyfriend and he too, was confused. They even googled it and nothing came up so, feeling clever she told her mum’s boyfriend that he was an idiot because cars aren’t made from steel and why that would make the insurance higher, who knows! But, he started laughing, really laughing!

He hadn’t said steel as in the metal, he said steal as in stealing things… Peugeots are higher to insure because they’re easy to steal.

Carole mentions while it is not related to deafness but her husband’s dyslexia. They were driving through the Norfolk countryside last year to their nearest town. When suddenly her husband slowed the car right down and was staring, oddly, at the side of the road. She asked “What’s wrong?” he said “Hold on”, and took the car off the next left, left again & again until they ended up driving past by the same spot. She looked around, feeling really puzzled as she could not see anything strange that would grab his attention like that yet he looked really confused! Her husband said “Why are they selling red curtains at the side of the road?”………

Red curtains
Red curtains

When Carole finally recovered from her giggling fit she managed to explain to him that it instead read Red Currants!!

Gillian remembered something else that happened to her some time ago when she went to the ENT hospital in Gray’s Inn Road, London. She was having tests done due to her dizziness and they asked her to get up and lie face down on this Perspex table for a brain scan. She was told to keep very still and not to move her head. She must have laid there for ages wondering how much longer the whole thing was going to take. In the end she couldn’t lie still any longer as it was becoming quite unpleasant not being able to see or hear anything so got up only to find the room was empty and there was no sign of the radiologist at all. She decided to stay put and waited a few moments until the radiologist came back and she said surprisingly…”Oh… you’re still here?!” She realised the radiologist must have told her she could get up and go but she never heard her!

In hindsight the radiologist should have come up to her and tapped her to let her know she had finished.

Accents came up one evening as an unexpected turn of topic. Sara expressed how they thought the north spoke properly as in “Grass, Glass, Path, Bath etc.” whereas down south they would pronounce almost every word with an extra “R” in between… “Grarse, Glarse, Parth, Barth etc.” so a few wondered how accents were applied in sign language – Regional signs. The sign for number 6 in some areas it looks very similar to the sign for “bad” so naturally we started comparing regional signs. She thought the number 15 was cheeky but not as rude as some people thought of the number 16 so definitely not going there! Friends were somewhat perplexed and wanted to know how the number 15 is signed in some areas? She explained it as if you were putting your hand up, palm facing outward, flat, then bending only the top parts of the fingers and thumb. As if trying to squeeze a…

Another regional sign for the number 15 is the open hand shake from side to side 15. Which some hearing people have remarked to as an alternative form of milkshake.

Penny dropped!

If you don’t think one handed claw squeezing is rude for the number 15, guess what the sign is for the number 30??!

Oh my days!
Oh my days!

Only joking!

You got me!
You got me!

It’s all about the context. Several signs will only look rude to a new learner or from another region until they learn the signs then it just looks like signs.

This sign makes Sara smile everytime she sees this. One could interpret this as being given permission to “let go”…. Wheeee!


Please, keep on smiling as it’s free and does wonders – it also suits you.

Thank you, for being you.

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy “A funny thing happened on the way to ENT“.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Please feel free to follow us on Twitter @treehouseviews and join our Facebook group The Tree House.

Frosty Dew Upon Blades Of Green by Sara Jae

Whilst running one morn, I tried to switch off my mind and simply cherish. As a result, a poem – by yours truly:

Frost covering grass

Frosty dew upon blades of green.

How fresh and clean.

The illusion of the winter sun.

Dare not deter me from my run.

Gently kissed by the nip in the air.

Mother nature flaunting its flair.

Tingly – what a tease.

Makes me feel appeased.

Woolly hats and duvet coats?

Muddy trainers gets my vote!  😛

~ SJ (Sara Jae)