Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Girl Behind The Face...and other things

So it's 2015 and its a new year. Should I be happy or groaning? Well I simply cannot answer that question right now. There are a flurry of things happening right now and I'm going to list a few things and a request right here. 

It's been a long time coming but my parents and I are trying to bring a book out to everyone! "The Girl Behind The Face" is a book that explores special needs, acceptance, overcoming trauma in life, resilience and coming out (hopefully!) smiling. The hope is that through this, people will be encouraged by our story and know that it's okay to smile and try to embrace life. 

Of course not everyone is quite able to let go of tough times so easily, but I hope that the book also raises awareness of acceptance of others in an otherwise cruel society. 

The hope is that by both "liking" and "sharing" the Facebook page, we will hopefully find someone who wants to come forward to help bring the book out and into your laps, be it on a Kindle, iPad or paperback. 

Please click "Like" on this following Facebook link!

Don't forget to "share" it as well!

Happy to say that New Years Day rugby went off without a hitch and no known injuries have been reported on my part :-) I must say, getting to do the first match is really fun because you're setting the tone for the rest of the day. And hearing my name over the loudspeakers was also something new. I look forward to one day being 'the one in the middle'! These few months are pretty busy hereonin because there are finals and championship games to be played. Typically the League games and minis festivals are done and dusted just before the HK7s held at the end of March. So lots to do, hopefully I'll be getting right stuck in for those. And hopefully I'll be back in the control tower again this year, causing havoc :-) 

I'm very excited for the end of this month because I have a guest post by my good friend and Harlequin twinsie (she's younger, so technically not twins!), Hunter! Having known her for a long time and literally reconnected by the power of social media and iPhones (we both like Apple products), we are close friends.

 I was at Sailing the other weekend, when Hunter was in a documentary shot some years ago, came up. I was approached by a sailing mum and asked if I was on TV. She was slightly shocked when I said no, because she swore I was in the documentary! Now, I would have been flattered by that, but even though Hunter and I share many similarities, we both sound very different, she has an American accent, whereas as my friend Andie puts it, "whalish" (poor chap refuses to accept there's such a place in the world called Wales, he's Canadian!). Anyhow, accents aside, I think it took that encounter with her on TV for me to realize that actually, people with HI share a lot of similarities. Bone structure, skin(nah, really?) and facial features. I explained to the crowd, now gathered around the flat screen television that yes, I know Hunter and yes, we are similar. I then surprised everyone by Face timing Hunter and had everyone from sailing say hello to her, while at the same time, pointing to her on screen! The mum at Sailing said to me, "if I hadn't turned around, I could have sworn you were Hunter!", I then reminded her that she does sound different to me! You have to work on your British accent, Hunter!

I think it's taken getting back in touch with Hunter to realize that people with Ichthyosis have a tendency to look alike, and I don't just mean that by skin tone, but stature, facial features, etc. I've had people actually come up to me and ask me if I was on American television or on the Jeremy Kyle Show. Because people with HI look alike, I have been mistaken for Hunter or Nusrit. Of course, people know know me well, know full well that I'm not one to go on Jeremy Kyle, because quite frankly, I haven't run off with another man or whatever happens on that show! But that's the stereotypical vision of the man. The oldest sufferer with HI, Nusrit Shaheen WAS on Jeremy Kyle in an episode full of inspirational people and I have to admit, it did make for some good lunchtime YouTube watching...just that one! I was on the bus the other day and a woman with a very strong Northern English accent turned around to me and asked if I was ever on Jeremy Kyle?! The look I gave her was priceless, followed by a funny conversation about the ins and outs of that show.  

I remember quite clearly actually, when I first got in contact with Carly Findlay when I was about 17 or 18. I posted a picture of me in my graduation ball dress (a beautiful lilac Elie Saab-inspired dress, think Mila Kunis' 2011 Oscar dress). Carly commented on it and mentioned that we, as in Carly and I both shared similar bone structure and that we both looked alike. Bear in mind, at this point, I was in no mood to have people telling me I had the same bone structure  as another ichthyosis person. I was still in denial about the whole Ichthyosis thing and convinced that I was like everyone else. I "snapped" back with a snippy comment and got a resounding slap on the wrist by PapaRef for being rude. I apologized and things were left at that. But it was still very uncomfortable being compared to other Ichthyosis sufferers.

But it wasn't until I started chatting and FaceTimeing Hunter when I began to realize, that actually, yes, we do look very similar. Sometimes, when I chat to her, I feel like I'm talking to my mirror image and that's a bit creepy! We both share certain mannerisms and are quite open and laid back. And it helps that our families know each other well too! I'm hoping that in 2016, we will see each other again for the skin conference! 

Okay, I've just added coconut oil to my scalp and it's time to let it settle in! So it's goodnight from me!