Books From 2022

1 Electricity of every living thing  Katherine May

This was a book I found whilst trying to look for books from Autistic peoples perspectives.
I enjoy listening to these kinds of books because it allows me to feel connected to someone else’s experience.

The name of the book relates back to the feeling the person gets when they touch another person. It feels like electricity running through their body.

They also discuss their feelings of their place in the world and how they interact with what is occurring around them. This is another area I feel connected to the writer and their experience.

If you are Autistic or have someone in your life who is, then please consider this book. Especially if that person is a woman. I am always on the look out for these kinds of books so please drop them in the comments below.

2 mighty boosh Julian Barrett, Noel Fielding
Whilst this is not an audiobook but a Radio Play it still counts.
I have been a massive fan of Mighty Boost for years. Me and my Brother used to watch it. Not a lot of people I knew when it first came out enjoyed it. But we loved it. I mean who doesn’t want to know a talking gorilla?

I cannot believe it came out in 2005! This makes me very upset. If you have never given Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett a chance I highly record you do so. The comedy is weird and quite niche. But if you are into Zoos, Arctic Tundras, Bryan Ferry and Goths you will love it. 

3 divergent mind Jenara Nerenberg
Just like the Electricity of every living thing this book was incredible. It looks at the way in which Autistic People view and experience the world around them. It asks questions like ‘how can we better design buildings to suit the needs of Autistic People?’ ‘How can we better structure our days to get the best out of Autistic people?’ Rather than it being the other way around.

I sat and listened to it whilst in the garden in summer laying on the grass and just enjoying the warm sun. It was quite comforting listening to a book which questions why the world can’t work for Autistic people instead of the other way around.

Again if you are Autistic or have and Autistic person in your life, please read/listen to this book. 

4 full circle Michael Palin
This is a great listen. I cannot believe Full Circle is a documentary from 1997. It was amazing listening to how he got around the world in a age before mobile phones and instant communication. The way he talks about the various places he visited, even back then is incredible.

The way some places were only just starting to grow in terms of people and population, like China. It made me wonder, what would it be like if he did the trip again now and did a comparison?

I like Michael Palin. He has a great voice for narration and is a good book to have on while you want to relax. 

5 avoiding anxiety in autistic adults Luke Beardon
Another book I really enjoyed. Autistic People can really struggle with Anxiety. Living in a world which is not built for Autistic people creates levels of Anxiety which can be paralysing at times.

This books talks about Anxiety from and Autistic perspective and once again I felt very seen. I felt quite comforted listening to it. 

6 outsider live Sarah Millican
I am a major fan of Sarah Millican. She sounds like someone I used to know and her voice is very comforting. So whilst I was in bed feeling poorly I listened to her recording of a live show and it was nice. Plus it made me laugh. 

7 comfort book Matt Haig
The thing I liked about this one is it was just short snippets. But it really made you think about self care and how you can make small changes or think in a different way to allow yourself to feel a sense of Self Comfort. 

8 all of the marvels Douglas Wolk
I absolutely love Marvel. My favourite is Spiderman. This was the first character I ever came across.

The book is quite long, but with good reason, the guy is talking about the whole Marvel Universe, or as good as.

There’s so much he delves into, not just major characters but also ones which didn’t have many of their own comics.

If you are a fan of Marvel I again urge you too read this on. 

9 beyond the wand Tom Felton
This was good listen in that Tom Felton is being very open about his mental health. Which is brilliant. He is very open and honest about his journey in the acting world and how he found it difficult adjusting to life after Harry Potter.

I am a major advocate for people being able to talk about Mental Health. It is really important we have spacers where we can talk about how we feel so we don’t let things get bottled up and overflow.

Again I would urge anyone to listen to this book and hopefully it will enable them to feel less alone.

This was just a list of all the books I listened to last year and what I thought to them. If you have any book suggestions please leave them in the comments. Books are great because we can share our thoughts and we can delve into a completely different world where we can learn about something new.

Happy Reading,

Self Care and Tea

Hello all,

I hope your 2023 is going well. Apparently at this point we have reached ‘Blue Monday’ whereby we have all thrown our resolutions out the window and thought ‘forget that’.

Well how about instead of forgetting that resolution you just hit pause instead? I mean did you pick something impossible to give up? Do you try a new hobby which is becoming more of a chore? Perhaps you picked more than one resolution?

I haven’t bothered with anything this year which is too taxing, I want to enjoy more audiobooks because I like reading. That’s it. I just want to do one thing which I enjoy.

Looking straight down into a teapot with a tea bag brewing inside.

Plus I can incorporate another thing I love- tea. I absolutely love tea. As I am writing this I am enjoying a cup of Twinnings Lemon and Ginger tea. It is quite warming. Its good to relax with.

One thing I realised last year is I can feel overwhelmed at times which gets my head overwhelmed. It might not be a lot by other peoples standards, but to me it is a lot. Which is why, by focussing on books and tea I can tell myself to slow down and be kind to myself. So ask yourself, is your resolution allowing you to be kind to yourself? Mine hopefully will.

I can use books to learn more, I can use them to relax and unwind. Books are amazing to me and I used to love reading physical books. I am grateful audiobooks are a thing because if they were not I would have fallen out of love with reading, as I almost did.

So please remember to be kind in whatever goal you have given yourself. It is only the 16th of January. We still have plenty of time.

Thank you for reading,
Philippa B.

Other blogs you might enjoy:

Navigating Visual Stress
2019 Books So Far

First blog of the year

Hello all,

First blog post of 2023. I have taken a bit of time away from writing blogs as things were very busy over the past few months.

I wanted to write today about what I would like to do over the next year, not so much goals as I am not a fan of goal setting. But more building on what I enjoyed last year.

Last year my blog did better than the year before in that I got a lot more interaction with it which was lovely to see. It is nice to know what I am writing is helping others. I appreciate you taking the time to leave comments.

I would also like this year to continue with my audiobooks. I really enjoy listening to them, when I am just about the house or before bed. I don’t listen to them when I am out and about. That’s more music.

Last year I listened to a lot of audiobooks on Autism, I also listened to some biographies. Then I started listening to books on self compassion. So I am branching out on my reading.

The self compassion ones are nice as they can pair with the books around Autism. I will continue with these this year.

Do you have any thoughts on your year ahead?

Thank you for reading and Happy Musings. 

Scoliois and Chronic Pain

One of the areas I frequently blog about is Scoliois because I am living in constant pain. The pain does vary day to day, but it is always there. 

At the moment I am sat in my comfy chair whilst trying to rest my back. I am wearing 3 layers, one if which is a long hoody which is quite fleecy. The chair has a throw over it so no cold air can get in where the arms of the chair are. I am considering putting my dressing gown on. Hang on…I have my dressing gown on now.

One of the problems I have mentioned before is the change in the weather causing me to have long periods of pain, mostly occurring more profoundly over the winter months.

I wish more people understood chronic pain.
I wish people understood that I take painkillers on a daily basis because that is a way for me to manage my pain.
I wish people understood that I do go to physio and I do have a sport massage to reset my muscles.
I wish people knew I can’t just get on with it without adapting my day to suit my pain.

Chronic pain will always be there no matter what I do. Also just because you have the operation done to correct a curved spine does not mean that the pain will go away. It will still be there in some form.

For those of you living with the impact of Chronic Pain, remember you are not alone. Your frustration and anger surrounding your pain is completely valid and I also know that hearing this does not make it any easier.

Knowing what can make it easier? I really don’t know.
This blog was just written because I am having a pain day and wanted to write about it. I wanted to share my thoughts to get them out there. Scoliosis is a difficult thing to live to live with. Especially when you were told as a teenager it wouldn’t get any worse and you probably don’t need the surgery…then when you’re in your twenties you’re told it is severe…. What are you left with? Anger… frustration… sadness…. But hay ho…. We carry on.

Thank you for reading my musings. 

Rugby League World Cup

Hello all,

Hope you’re well.

Over the past few weeks I have been enjoying the Rugby League World Cup. The world cup is being held in England which is amazing because I don’t have to worry about time zones and missing any games.

I love rugby league and soon as I knew England were going to be hosting I wanted to go to a game. My brother bought us tickets for a semi final at Elland Road for my Birthday, my Birthday is not on this day. Then I got a new England shirt designed for the world cup.

As we all know the pandemic hit and the games were moved into the next year. Now they’re finally here I am able to enjoy all the rugby league I want.

One of the best things about these games is that they are all happening at the same time, Men’s, Women’s, Wheelchair games and for the another first the Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup. Which England have won. Which is incredible.

As a Disabled person who is also a woman this makes me very happy. The BBC and the RLWC organisers have ensured that all major games are being shown across the BBC. This means they are getting air time to all games. Showing everyone that Rugby League is a game for all.

Next Friday we will be setting off into Leeds for some food and then going to Elland Road. I am really excited. I am aware that as a Visually Impaired Person it might have been better to watch it on TV so I can see and have the commentary. But my brother got us great seats, not too far back and close to the try line so we should see some amazing tries. Plus when you have an opportunity to see a World Cup you take it.

Over the past few weeks I have been following on Twitter and the fans are really getting behind the games which is great to see. We’ve also had some amazing commentary from some incredible legends of the game such as Robbie Paul, as a Bulls Fan this has been great to have him commenting. Tanya Arnold has been brilliant with championing the game in general and I’ve enjoyed her commentary throughout.

I have also found Andrew Voss’s commentary to be brilliant, not just on the pitch but his V ratings of some of Englands finest foods- he didn’t get all the extras when ordered a kebab so he rated it as poor. He was told he would need to order it again add the sauce and salad. Vossy also loved the ever humble Greggs sausage roll.

The other first which I have enjoyed is Kasey Badger refereeing a mans game for the first time! Incredible work and the responses to this on Twitter were incredible.

Me and my friend were going to watch the first women’s game at Headingley, England v Brazil….but unfortunately we were both working. I watched Australia v Cook Islands on iPlayer for their first game and the tries just kept coming! Pelite just couldn’t be stopped.

Can you tell I love rugby? If you want to see more about this incredible World Cup of firsts follow this link.

As I say the commentary has been wonderful and I have really enjoyed it. I love rugby and the community within it. Here’s to the start of the Wheelchair games this evening. Claire Balding is out supporting the team as she is the President of the RFL Council. Come on England!

Are you enjoying the rugby? Let me know.
Twitter: @PhilippaB

Audio Described Theatre Performance

Hello all,

Last week I went to the theatre to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I have now seen it about eight times. Whenever it comes to our theatre I always try go watch it.

When we got there me and my mum had a sandwich and a coffee. Before we went in I got myself a Joseph t-shirt. I have never bought anything from a theatre performance before.

A black t-shirt with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat written across the front in rainbow colours.

When we went in to take our seats a woman came over and asked if we knew that the performance was Audio Described. I said we did not. They then asked if we would like to have a headset to follow along with the show. I said yes and went to sit down. Once we were sat and the lady had come back to give us the little black radio and headset a man came over and introduced himself. He mentioned he was the Audio Describer and explained how it would all work.


The theatre slowly filled up and there was a lot of chatter as there were a number of schools in the audience. As we wandered along the row to find our seats I heard one of the children go ‘woah…’ As I wandered along with my cane. I realised as we sat down I was sat near one of that schools teachers. I hope that if any of those children ask any questions about my cane that they are able to do so.

If you have questions about cane I am happy to answer from my own experience or if you check out this link you can see a variety of canes. 

The performance itself was lovely, lots of the cast were children which was great. It shows those in the audience that if they have a passion for acting they can do it too.

Before the show started the Audio Describer was setting the scene and giving a general description of the story itself. He described the stage as ‘a starry nights sky’ He explained about all the different bothers and gave descriptions.

He would also explain about the usher who was holding up a sign asking for no photography of the performance. 

I had never watched an Audio Described Performance before and found it to be very accessible. It was great to be able to watch and not have to figure out entirely what was happening on stage. The descriptions did not interfere with the songs and they were very well timed.

The experience itself was amazing, the fact that someone came up to me and asked if we knew it was Audio Described and checked that we wanted it was brilliant. As I say I have seen Joseph eight times and I have now seen it with another perspective. I felt very included.

At the end of the performance the man who was Audio Describing came back over asked how I found it. I told him it was brilliant and I had a whole new experience of Jospeh. I also mentioned that it was great that there was a school who had a child who also got to take part in watching the performance because he was there. It’s brilliant that they were able to take part with their class. 

Inclusion is all about making everyone feel welcome by giving them the accommodations they need. Making the person feel included and it being seamless. I was very happy with the experience I had at the Alhambra Theatre and I enjoyed it very much.

Now when is it on again?

Long Caines

Hello all,

One thing which has come to my attention lately is the lack of awareness around long Caines and what they are for.

As a visually impaired person who uses a long caine I find it rather difficult when people do not acknowledge my caine.

My new long cane held in my left hand, it has a red handle.

I use a long white cain with a roller ball on the end and a red handle. My cain is there as a symbol to others that I am visually Impaired and need extra space and time to navigate my surroundings.  It is also there to allow me to feel what is going on around me so I can navigate safely.

For example I can use the cain to discover a change in surface so if there is a dropped curb or some steps I can use it to tell if there is something blocking my path and which direction I need to take to avoid this obstacle.


One very important thing to note is that I use the caine in my right hand as that is the side I see nothing out of.

If you see a person with a long cain please give them the space they need to navigate safely, do not grab them, do not jump over their cain. If you think they may need help just say hello and ask ‘do you need a hand?’ I personally do not mind if someone asks. I would rather be asked and politely decline.

Before we are let loose with our Caines we go through training. This allows us to learn to use the caine in a safe reliable manner. We have to learn to navigate steps, curbs, changes in terrain (oh yes on and off road) we learn what tactile paving means what. So we know if where approaching stairs, a crossing (what kind of crossing) or even if we are approaching a train platform.

Caines are not cheap either so this is why we ask that you don’t leap over them, as you could hurt yourself and in the process damage our caines. Or us. Ouch!

If you would like to learn more about being Visually Impaired please follow this link to discover more of my post about being visually impaired.

Thank you again for reading.

Dyspraxia Awareness Week

Hello all,

Todays blog will be all about Dyspraxia which I have written about before.

But just incase this is the first time you have seen my blog or you need a recap of what Dyspraxia is let’s recap. According to the NHS UK websiteDyspraxia, also known as developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), is a common disorder that affects movement and co-ordination

Dyspraxia does not affect your intelligence. It can affect your co-ordination skills – such as tasks requiring balance, playing sports or learning to drive a car. Dyspraxia can also affect your fine motor skills, such as writing or using small objects.”

Living life as a Dyspraxic person can be difficult as it can be very noticeable. We don’t move in the same way as others and we have to put in a lot more effort to do general tasks. For me I find things such as tying shoe laces to be quite difficult. I remember sitting on my grandmas step trying to tie my own laces when I was little but becoming rather frustrated that I could not do it. Even now I struggle with laces which means I take longer to put my shoes on.

Orange pumps and Grey jeans
I hate laces

Other people may find doing general tasks such as pouring a glass of water to be pretty straight forward. For Dyspraxic people we will find it quite challenging as judging distances from the bottle to the glass then ensuring we have a good grip on the bottle could go very wrong very quickly. I remember a time when I was pouring water at a restaurant and just poured it all over the table. I did not realise this and then my Mum pointed it out.

Growing up being very different to others in your class is very challenging. One of the more difficult things is taking part in PE. As Dyspraxic people we struggle with co ordination which makes activities such as sport very hard. I was never very good at PE. This always meant being picked last.

All of these things can lead to making life challenging as day to day tasks are not simple. You have to think a lot more about what it is that you are doing. Meaning you are using up a lot more energy just to do the basics.

This means you will need to find ways of getting things done in a different manner, or by allowing yourself extra time to get a job done. On a morning I give myself way more time than others to do the general tasks we all need to do before we leave the house. When I was younger we would avoid shoes with laces so that I didn’t have to bother with them. Another thing we did was label draws so that when I was getting clothes out or putting them away I could read what was in there and just get what I needed. Rather than becoming overwhelmed because everything in the draws looks the same.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Thank you for taking the time to learn about Dyspraxia.

Navigating Visual Stress by using colours

Hello all,

The weather is most definitely on the turn. I do enjoy autumn. Currently sat with a nice cup of decaf tea. It’s after 2pm after all.

As a visually impaired person something I try to do is get things that are important in different colours. These colours tend to be bright so I can spot them. For example my purse is red, my yearly planner is red and my AirPods case is red. But you can see what the problem is here… everything is red. This means when I got my new phone and had to pick a case colour I opted for orange. I don’t have anything else orange.

These differences in colour are very helpful. Brighter colours enable me to spot objects and associate objects with colours. So if I am looking for something important I can find the colour. However due to the CVI this does not always help. My brain doesn’t always interpret what I am looking at. It can’t even think of colours at times because everything is overwhelming. Therefore I may just pick something up to see what it is if needs be.

CVI is something I have written about before and when I am tired it gets worse. This is because my brain cannot handle too much information at once. So by breaking things down through describing what I am looking for things can become more accessible.

Being Visually Impaired is exhausting constantly navigating a world where there is too much visual stress is overwhelming. So by breaking it down into colours or what shapes things are can make it easier.

What tips do you have to decrease your visual stress?

Thank you for reading and have a great day.
Philippa B.

A red purse and a red AirPods case.
Red Puurde and Red AirPods Case

Mind My Cain

Hello all,

It is Monday again which means it’s time for another blog post. This week I’m focusing on being a long cane user.

As you maybe aware I am Visually Impaired and use a long cane. In order for me to get around I sweep the cane across the floor in front of me to be able to find objects in my path. Including but not limited to steps, curbs, dogs and people.

Earlier this week I had gotten off the train and was making my way to the escalators. It was a busy morning and I was making my way to work. Someone was at the side of me and noticed my cane hit their leg, they looked down at my cane and continued to move forwards. The difficult and dangerous thing was that we were trying to get on the escalator. People at the other side of me noticed I had my cane, they stopped and let me get on. I said thank you.

My long cane in the centre, a red handle. In front is a train platform.

The person who had come into contact with my cane continued onto the escalator. I continued to use my cane to navigate onto the escalator and my cane caught between their legs. Once we were on the escalator I stood my cane in front of me and waited until we reached the top.

I put my cain out cautiously to find my way off. As I did this and moved forward the same person was caught by my cain.

The difficult thing with being a cain user is that we are using it for the right reasons. To discover obstacles in our path and navigate safely. The problem comes when others pay no attention. Mistakes can be made yes, but when someone actively notices your cain and continues to not give you the space you need to navigate safely then they are putting you and them at risk.

The danger in this situation is that the person who ignored my cain could have tripped up and slammed their head onto the escalator. I could have then fallen onto them. This would have been very dangerous for both us.

Similar situations can occur when cain users are crossing roads. If people ignore our cain and step into the road or don’t move out of the way then they could cause both of us to fall over.

When out and about people tend to have their headphones in to block out all the noise around them, which makes sense. But this can also mean you’re in your own little world.

This can lead to people being less aware of their surroundings. Meaning they may miss someone using a mobility aid. Which can have serious consequences.

All we ask is that you try be a bit more cautious. We are doing what we need to do to get around. We can’t travel at quieter times if we need to get to work. We shouldn’t have to travel at quiet times.

Please just be a little mindful and don’t rush people. Getting to work can be very hectic and can create stress. But if we all just try be a little more aware of our surroundings (unless, like me you’re Visually Impaired and find this difficult) we can all have an easier and smother time on public transport.

Thank you,
Philippa B.