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Support Blind Steve in the Diabetes UK – One Million Step Challenge! 

“Diabetes is relentless and simply never stops…But neither do I!” – Blind Steve 💪🏼 

Hi iChristian Family!!

The blindman is off the sidelines again…And while God gives me the strength in my legs…i’ll use them for doing crazy fundraising challenges to help others! I really didn’t want to fill this blog with annoying fundraising asks, as my last fundraiser ‘Trail Marathon‘ was only in April 2022…But you know me…And when i stumbled across this ‘One Million Step Challenge’ and found it was for Diabetes UK i just had to do something! 

For the last 18 years since meeting my ‘T1D Warrior Wife Sarah’, i’ve always wanted to be a ‘Sarah’s Walking Warrior’ and raise money for Diabetes…So here is the 4th ‘Blind Steve’ fundraising challenge…💪🏼 

Quick Link to my fundraising page: https://step.diabetes.org.uk/fundraising/steve270

Below is the story taken from my fundraising page…

Support Blind Steve in the Diabetes UK – One Million Step Challenge

Diabetes is relentless and simply never stops…But neither do I!

For the last 18 years i’ve seen first hand how my lovely wife Sarah battles, struggles and copes with her ‘brittle Type 1’ diabetes. She’s such a warrior and is truly my inspiration on perseverance, determination and drive to keep fighting. 

So last week, when I heard of the ‘One Million Step Challenge’  i had to sign up straight away. I’ve always wanted to fundraise for Diabetes UK and show Sarah how much it means to me too, and this is my chance! 

I realise this challenge has already started (running from 1st July to 30th September 2022). Requiring participants to walk a million steps over those three months. My cunning plan is to start the challenge on Monday 1st August and try and walk the one million steps in two months instead! This works out at over 16,000 steps each day, for the 61 days, without a rest

Type 1 diabetes never gives Sarah a rest, so I don’t want to have one either during my fundraising challenge…The nature reserve trail is going to get a pounding again, lol! 🤣 

Quick Factoid…

Did you know someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes? As many as 4.8 million people are living with diabetes in the UK right now.

So if you’re feeling inspired…Please hit the donate button and support my stepping challenge. Every step and every donation counts. Join me and let’s help everybody living with diabetes. For all the mums, dads, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, grandparents, and best friends, creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Let’s get this party started!! 🎉 As 1 Million steps is around 500 miles, i’ve already donated 5p per mile (£25.00)…It’s going to be a really tough challenge and it’s the furthest i”ve ever walked…But i’ve got to do the steps now!!

Every penny given will go towards Diabetes UK care and support services, advice and guidance, and pioneering research. Together, we’re changing the world for people with diabetes.

Thank you so much, Steve! ❤️

❤️Love At First Sight…Village: 18 Years On!!! ❤️

From ‘Sight Village’ To ‘Supercars’, what a journey…So Far!! 💪🏼 😀

 This weekend we’re celebrating a brobdingnagian 18 years since the ‘Blind Sightseers’ first met at Sight Village, Birmingham, UK. We’ve been simply stunned how God has joined us together with the incredible love we thought we’d never find, taken us to places we thought we could never go…And He always gives beyond anything we can imagine…And it’s not over yet??!!! 😲 🙏

Our Journey in Photos…😀

2004; Two Souls Entwine…

2005: Weymouth, UK…

2006: Heacham, Norfolk, UK…

2007 – The Big Day!

2008: Old Hunstanton, Norfolk UK…

2009: VIP Hot Air Balloon Flight…

2010:..3rd Wedding Anniversary…

2011: Friday Street, Surrey, UK…

2012: Castle Rising Castle, Norfolk, UK…

Me & Sarah Worshiping with music to the Lord

2013: 6th Wedding Anniversary…

2014: Florence, Italy…

2015: Saint Kitts, Caribbean…

2016: Caribbean Cruise…

2017: Greek Islands…

2022

2018: Tough Mudder & Barbados…

2019

2019: The Unimog, Bonaire & Barbados…

2020: Trail Snow & Ultra Step Challenge…

2021: Doughnuts & Football…

2022: Lamborghini & Ferrari Drive…

Sarah in the Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0L V10 in 2022 😀
Steve (me) in the Ferrari F430 Spider 4.3L V8 in 2022 😀

To Be Continued…🤔

❤️ Yay…It’s Our 15th Wedding Anniversary! ❤️

Hi all! Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season…And i always thank God for my lovely wife Sarah!! ❤️ Oh and i just had to show you the wedding cake…Unfortunately i didn’t have one made again for this anniversary, lol! 🤣

Our Wedding Cake…Mmmmm! 😋

Striving to be a Godly husband…

I strive daily to love Sarah biblically and extravagantly, but to love her biblically i always first ask “What is God’s love for us like?” 

God’s Word…📖

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the church..

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” —1 Corinthians 13:4–8

Our Prayer…🙏

Father God, Thank You for the gift and design of marriage. Nothing has brought greater joy to me than the spouse You created for me. Because You designed my marriage and are the author, perfector, and the foundation of marriage, I bring us before You today to bless this bond. In a world that has twisted what marriage is intended to reflect, in a world that tries to tear at the very fabric of our union, we ask that You continue to keep our eyes wide open to the enemy’s tactics, strategies, and distractions. May we always fight for our marriage and each other. Today, we come before and ask that You bless our marriage…Amen.

A Godly Marriage Post…

The post (below) on marriage is beautiful and is writen far better than anything i can come up with, lol…So i hope you enjoy it as much as me! 🙏

A little nook in the very heart of God

(J.R. Miller, “The Marriage Altar” 1898)
God’s plan for every marriage is happiness. 

Marriage is meant to be a miniature of Heaven–a fragment of the celestial blessedness, let down into this world. 

Marriage is meant to be a little sanctuary, into which husband and wife may flee from earth’s storms and dangers, where in love’s shelter, their hearts fed with affection’s daily bread–they may dwell in quiet peace. 

Marriage is meant to be a shelter in which, covered from the frosts of the world and shielded from its cold and tempests–two lives may grow together into richest beauty, realizing their sweetest dreams of happiness, blending in whatever things are true, whatever things are pure, and attaining the finest possibilities of godly character. 

Marriage is meant to be a holy ark, floating on the wild floods of human life–like Noah’s ark on the deluge, bearing to Heaven’s gates, to the harbor of glory–the lives which God has shut within its doors. 

A godly marriage is a little nook in the very heart of God, where faithful souls are held close to the Father’s heart, and carried safely, amid dangers and sorrows, to the home above!

The Blind Sightseers Drive Supercars!! 😍

Hi friends! Well here it is…The post containing me & Sarah’s stupendous memories of the day i’ve been waiting 22 years for, since i lost my sight and could no longer drive…As it’s a long post i really hope you can read, watch the videos and enjoy the whole experience with us! ☕ 😀 

Rob (can’t thank him enough for everything) pulled into the car park at Prestwold Hall Race Track near Loughborough, and as he read out loud the sign saying “Adult Blind Supercar Driving” my stomach hit the floor! I think the realisation of what was about to happen finally hit me, i’d been fine up until this point but for some reason getting the chance to drive again after 22 years was right here, right now! 😨 

We all walked inside of the little reception building where me and Sarah were given a lanyard each with an SD card inside. We had ordered the ‘Media Package’ with our driving experiences which we are so thankful for as they’ve given us these amazing pictures and videos to cherish. Then we were told to go and wait by the pit area near the american diner! 😀 

“Wow that sounds well phat, what car is that?” i asked as Rob had led us to the waiting area. “A Nissan Skyline” Rob said “Awww even if i don’t get to drive today, i could just sit and listen to that beautiful noise”. 

When i first heard there was an american diner next to the track i was very excited. I was dreaming of drinking coffee, eating a cheese burger in a booth whilst listening to 50’s rock n’ roll and hearing the noise of those mighty engines…But the diner was closed today! 😭 But i had no time to lament as “Chase (outstanding co-driver” walked up behind us and asked “Are you waiting for the Lamborghini?” 🤔 

The Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0L V10…

An omnifarious mixture of emotions were swirling around my mind as Chase opened the drivers door for me. I first thought that it would feel strange being behind the wheel again…But it felt completely normal and like i’d always been driving. Second i was thinking how much of a powerful beast this car is so i must try and feather the throttle…Many more things flooded my mind but i’ll spare you, lol. Chase then adjusted my seat for me as the photographer asked me to smile in his direction (not hard when you’re sat in a yellow Lamborghini). 😀 

Wow…The videos really don’t capture the ear blasting volume of the 5.0L V10 engine as i started it up, just ticking over it sounded so loud, angry and like it wanted to eat everything for breakfast, including me…IT WAS AMAZING!! 😲 

Chase then said “hold the right paddle towards you to engage 1st gear” and once i’d done it he released the hand brake and asked me to gently pull away. “Wow the car is moving and i’m driving it” i thought to myself as i was navigated out of the pit lane and onto the track. I kept telling Sarah that all i wanted to do is floor it, i wasn’t that fussed about steering etc only flooring it and getting blasted into the seat. But now i’m driving this monster i would be so happy going 10 mph…But then…”FULL POWER” Chase said!! 😨 

Awww i can’t tell you how awesome the feeling was when i floored it and paddle shifted through the gears as i reached 106 mph. It’s only a small track with a couple of short straights, but having over 500 bhp the Lamborghini hits 100 mph really quickly…What a ‘vulgar display of power’! 😲 

Chase seemed to love being on the track too and kept letting me floor it as the adrenaline rush never ended. I say the adrenaline rush, but as i’m on beater blockers which restricts the adrenal glands, it was a crazy feeling as the Lamborghini was trying to destroy them and give me the boost! 🤣 Not entirely sure how to describe that feeling?! 🤔 

Chase was helping me out with some of the steering and was flicking the down shift paddle for me as i was having too much fun and forgetting, lol. It felt really safe as the Lamborghini just had so much grip with the all wheel drive and fat tyres. I had never known grip like it and was stunned at the speed we were taking corners…It just went round like they were nothing…Amazing! 😲 

Sadly it was soon time to slow down and enter the pits after 3 laps, although i don’t think i could take any more as i might explode, lol. I couldn’t believe i’d driven again after 22 years, floored it lots of times and to do it in a Lamborghini is mind blowing for me! 😀 

Me, Chase And The Lamborghini Gallardo…

My legs were like jelly as i climbed out of the very low car and it took a minute getting them to hold me up…I think the Lamborghini won the beater blocker fight! Sarah told me that Rob had said to her “Wow, i don’t recognise Steve as he has a massive grin on his face, lol”. 🤣 Mission complete!!

Chase guided me back to Sarah and Rob and Sarah asked “How was it?” i could only say “INEFABLE“. 😲 Chase then told Sarah it was her turn! 😲 

Sarah And The Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0L V10…

Wow, wait a minute…I can’t believe how much the yellow Lamborghini suits Sarah!! Did she order this car to be made just for her, and in her favourite colour too?! 😀 

Seriously i’m so proud of my lovely wife Sarah for doing this. She has NEVER driven before and this is a scary beast of a first car!! 😨 But as you may know Sarah is a warrior, and in no time at all she had this ‘Raging Bull’ under control, lol! 🤣 💪🏼 

Standing next to Rob i said “Wow that’s loud from outside. It’s really loud inside but nothing like that”. Sarah was approaching the final bend before the first straight (where we are standing) and Rob said “woah Sarah’s way more aggressive into (and going round) that bend, much more aggressive than you did it”. 😲 

“Awww that engine sounds incredible and so angry…THAT’S MY GIRL, GIVE IT THE BEANS”. 🤣 THEN SHE FLOORED IT!!! 😲

Sarah reached over 107 mph up the straight! 😲 Yeah i know that’s over 1 mph faster than me, as Sarah keeps telling me, lol. I’m never going to hear the last of this…Sarah’s friend Caroline says she should have the speed printed on a t-shirt so it’ll remind me that she thrashed me, lol! I told you i’ll never hear the last of this..But it does make me – SO, SO PROUD OF SARAH!! 

Sarah continued flooring it and Chase gave her the new nickname “Speed Demon” when he said it on the video…Yes we even have video proof of him saying it so it’s official, lol! 

As Sarah was thundering around the track i was able to listen to a couple standing near to me, they first said “Ooohhh the yellow car is catching the Ferrari” I knew this was Sarah they were talking about, and i think they were with the person who was driving the Ferrari. Then they continued in a much louder shocked voice “wOW SHE HAS OVERTAKEN THE FERRARI”. 😲 I smiled to myself as i didn’t have to worry Sarah wasn’t enjoying herself! 🤣 

Now it was time for Chase to say his best comment ever?! There are two main straights separated by a sharp right hander, so Sarah had the chance to boot it twice on the trot. I’ll let you watch the 38 second video (comment is at the end) before i continue…🤔 

OTHERWISE WE’RE GONNA DIE” I quote this all of the time which doesn’t fail to put a huge smile on both our faces! 😀 I still can’t believe how quickly Sarah had become ‘Penelope Pitstop’ or should i say ‘The Stig’s Sister’…She was paddle shifting like a pro too…I think i’m glad the Lamborghini only had 2 seats, lol! 🤣 

As Sarah finished her final and 3rd lap, there was just enough time for Chase to say another one of his classic comments before he stopped the video recording. 

Sarah was laughing her head off as she arrived back to me and Rob. She absolutely loved it and said her legs were like jelly too, although she thinks that ‘Chase’ may need a break for a while to get over the shock, lol! 🤣 Then the couple who i was listening to earlier walkd over to us. They told Sarah that she was amazing and that she’d overtaken the Ferrari, and she was so fast! They then asked if Sarah was a racing driver? Sarah laughed really hard and said she wasn’t as it was the very first time she’d ever driven a car. They were very shocked and were sure Sarah was a racing driver. We all said we’d had a great time and they said there goodbyes. 😀 

Sarah still believes they were planted there just to say nice things to people, but i keep telling her no as i was listening to them whilst you were out on the track, and they were here with the person in the Ferrari and couldn’t believe you’d blasted past a Ferrari…Sarah’s still not convinced, lol! 🤣 

I said to Sarah and Rob “If i’d only had the 1 supercar drive today (like Sarah) it would’ve been a dream come true and i’d he the happiest ever, and also i’m super buzzing right now and my legs are still like jelly…But i have 2 more supercars to go!! 😲 

The Ferrari F430 Spider 4.3L V8…

I didn get chance to stop shaking before ‘George” (new co-driver) came over and walked me over to the Ferrari. I was excited to feel (and hear) the difference between the 2 cars, and i instantly felt the difference as i sat inside and put my foot on the pedals…Yes the pedals are so close together you press the accelerator and half of the brake at the same time! Oh don’t forget to smile as the photographer is here, lol! 😀 

Starting the engine and having my ears filled with the glorious sound of the V8 made my grin even wider. It wasn’t as loud and angry as the Lamborghini, but still sounded like a beautiful orchestra playing a ‘symphony of destruction’! 💪🏼 

I adapted quickly to the new pedals, as i pointed my foot so just my toes were pressing the pedals and this seemed to work well. I also had the same paddles behind the steering wheel as the Lamborghini so i was shifting gears nicely…Wow i’m driving a Ferrari!! 😀 

George was fantastic and after we’d done the first warm up lap, and didn’t have any crashes or dramas…He let me floor it! Aww once again the video doesn’t do the sound any justice at all, but it still sounds stupendous!! Being blown back into the seat whilst planting your foot to the floor, then paddle shifting up a gear once again…Will never ever get boring!! 💪🏼 😲 

Once again i’m so thankful for the media package Sarah added to this awesome birthday driving gift, as we can watch these videos over and over…Like i already have been doing, lol! Having all of these fantastic photos of these beautiful cars is such a blessing, and i’m sure i’ll get them printed on a variety of posters, mugs, coasters and more, lol! 🤣 

George also asked how much i could see of the track so he could judge and adjust the help he was giving…I said “Well i can’t see anything out of the windscreen, i can’t see the dashboard or the steering wheel and everything is really blurry” I think he got the idea! 🤣 I can’t thank the co-drivers enough for putting there lives on the line for us blindies, i’m not only amazed that a blindman could drive like this…But i’m also amazed that these guys are so kind to guide, teach and be so calm as the cars scream around the track! 😀

This stunning red Ferrari was rear wheel drive instead of all wheel drive like the Lamborghini, but the amount of grip was just as intense around the corners…But unfortunately it was coming to that time again where i had to slow this ‘Italian stallion’ down and pull into the pits. 😭 After thanking George for getting us back alive he guided me back to Sarah and Rob. Shaking even more, heart trying to thump past the beater blockers and an mad grin that looked like the ‘frayed ends of sanity’ were loosening…I told Sarah how amazing it was! 💪🏼 😀 

Me And The Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6L Flat 6…

There wasn’t much time at all for me to calm down as Carl (another co-driver) came and took me to the Porsche. After the Lamborghini and Ferrari i always thought the Porsche was a slight come down (just me as i was never really a Porsche fan) as they were my fave cars…But who doesn’t want to drive a Porsche 911 Turbo?! 🤣 As a kid i never had Porshce posters (from Athena) on my wall, i had the Lamborghini Contach, Ferrari F40 and the mighty Koenig Testarossa! 😲 

After a few attempts at starting the car, i was doing everything right but nothing was happening when turning the key…It was apparent the battery was flat…Oh that’s why the engines called a ‘Flat 6’ 🤣 We waited quite a while before Carl said we could swap for the Audi R8 if i wanted too…? 🤔 At least i have a nice photo of me sat in a Porsche 911 Turbo!! 💪🏼 

Me And The Audi R8 4.2L V8…

Walking towards the R8 i asked Carl whilst getting into the seat “What colour is this Audi?” he said it used to be red but we changed it to orange, i thought “wow Sarah is going to love this as it’s one of her fave colours”. 😀 

After smiling for the photographer for the 4th time, i thought it was cool that i’ve got photos of me sat in 4 cars today instead of 3…Bonus! 🤣 The R8 started straight away and i instantly realised that the V8 was very quiet, it felt more like a luxury car than a supercar…Not that i’m complaining, just trying to keep you immersed in detailed descriptions lol! 🤣 

I got the chance to floor yet another supercar today (totally unbelievable for this blindman) although i only reached a mere 90 mph…Can’t believe i’m actually saying stuff like this, but it’s been a strange, surreal and awesome kind of day! 🤣 

I knew this 4.2L V8 – 420 bhp was the same engine in Ben’s (ex brother-in-law and friend) Audi RS4, but it sounded (or applied the power) nothing like the RS4. I know Ben had tuned his to 450 bhp and his is a front engined (not mid engined) like the R8, but out of the two cars i think i prefer Ben’s Audi RS4 as it just has more character! 😀 

There was no sense of theatre or dramas at all when flooring this R8. The engine was quiet, the brakes were super sharp and responsive and It was so good around the corners that it seemed to take away the thrill…I know i can’t believe i’m saying this either! 😀it made everything so easy to achieve that it seemed to take the fun out of driving! It’s similar to how an electric car destroys the soul, and continues to squeeze the entire life out of driving…Leaving you wishing you had walked!! 😭 Sorry a little too much exaggeration from this petrolhead, i know i’d already been amazed by the Lamborghini and Ferrari…Although i’m sticking to the bit about the soul destroying electric car! 😀

Yes it’s that time again where i have to pit and finish my supercar driving experience. 😭 I still can’t believe it’s actually me sat in the driving seat of the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and Audi in the photos…I don’t think i’ll ever get over it! 😲 

High Speed Passenger Ride: BMW M3 4.0L V8 …

“The experience also includes a thrilling hot lap ride when the race driver will show you what a performance car can do around the circuit in a BMW M3 V8 with 3 passengers”.

Sarah is actually driving away in that yellow Lamborghini!! 😲 

As me (and Sarah) had been driving today it meant we had 2 laps in this car. It was time for Rob to get in on the action. Sarah said for me to go in the front seat first as we all climbed aboard…And the driver floored it! 😨Wow i have never been around corners that fast, and i have no idea how the tyres (and us) held on for dear life. The G force of the corners was relentless, and when the car stopped being a blur and finally stopped (our terrified giggles didn’t)…Sarah and i got out to swap seats for another lap. 

The race driver blasted away again and after the first corner i knew why Sarah loved it more in the back! The car just threw you around as there were no bucket seats like in the front. The slippy leather seats made for a crazy, fun and terrifying experience…It was fantastic!! 😲 Unfortunately we didn’t have the in car media on this ride…But if only you could smell those burning tyres, wow!! 😲 

My Supercar Thrill Trailer…

After many days of struggling i managed to put together a trailer with all of the photos and videos i’d acquired from the day. It didn’t take me as long as this post has taken me though! 🤣 

Walking back to Rob’s van in a daze i couldn’t quite believe what had just happened…I’m still numb nearly 2 weeks on! Rob then pulled out of the car park and the rain absolutely hammered down…It was pounding the windscreen so hard we all couldn’t believe it. We’d turned up over an hour early as i wantedd to do the american diner thing, and as we’d turned up early the co-drivers had taken us out as they said they were not busy…If we’d had arrived on time, i would’ve been driving in this rain and it would’ve ruined the day!! 😨 

Just one more thing…?

As part of my plan for this day, i wanted to go from a ‘Lamborghini’ to a ‘Lambor-Donor’ as in Derby they serve kebabs on a naan so i try and have one when i’m up. As usual Rob made it happen…We had kebabs with Rob, Shelley, Abbie, Ella & Georgia!! 😋 

Thanks to everyone for making this dream come true! 🙏

😲The Blind Sightseers Rev It Up!!

Please click the video and watch a trailer i managed to make with iMovie, and watch me and my lovely wife Sarah on the driving day!! Full (long) post coming soon on the whole amazing day! 😀 

Blind 3 Supercar Thrill Trailer…

Hi friends. Sorry it’s been silent over here for a couple of weeks but…I’ve ben on the mountain top in dream land! First i managed the trail marathon which i really didn’t think was possible, then my dream came true when i got the opportunity to drive again after 22 years (thanks to Sarah’s birthday present to me)…But not only drive again…But to drive a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430 Spider and a Audi R8! 

I have finally recovered from the body of pain that was due to finishing the trail marathon, but i havn’t recovered from the pure excitement due to flooring the accelerator and paddle shifting through the gears whilst being blown back in the seats of these stupendous cars!! 😲

❤️HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH – 2022! ❤️

Sarah’s Birthday ‘Blonde Bombshell’ Hair…😲

Sarah’s amazing birthday hair…My blonde bombshell! 😲

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!! It’s such an incredible blessing to share life with my lovely wife and best friend…And also to feel love, fun and joy grow more each year!! Thank you for blessing my life with yet another great birthday weekend celebration…And it’s not even my birthday…Well not until Friday, lol! 🤣 

Although it was Sarah’s birthday yesterday (Monday), we spent the whole weekend celebrating and making the most of creating more memories together, including; hair salon, Turkish restaurant, walks through woods, planting 15 plants in the back garden and much more!! ❤️

We had a great time over the 3 days, and although it may seem that we only ate food…Sitting down at the table was the only time we remembered to take any photos, lol! 🤣 

The Turkish Restaurant Birthday Meal…😲

Sarah’s Fantastic Birthday Cards…😀

Sarah was blessed with lots of great cards too! 😲

Sarah’s Birthday Carrot Cup Cakes…😋

We bought 2 carrot cup cakes from Craddocks our local bakers! 😋

Sarah’s Birthday Flowers…😲

Sarah’s brother and fiancée sent her these lovely flowers! 😀

Birthday Beef, Bacon & Cheese Burger…😋

Sarah created a birthday burger and it wasn’t even my birthday! 😲

Sarah’s Birthday ‘Turbo Snail’ T-Shirt…🤣

This is the logo that covers the front of Sarah’s t-shirt! 🤣

Sarah’s Birthday Coffee & Doughnut…😋

Cafe Mocha supplied us with a birthday doughnut and espresso’s! 😀

The Mouse Logo On Top Of Sarah’s Birthday Cheese Selection…😋

Sarah loves this logo…Even more than the cheese i think, lol! 🤣

Fundraising Friday: Please help me reach my fundraising target! 🧡

Hi friends. I’m simply stunned by all of the love and support from you guys so far, we’ve now reached a whopping 86%!! I also can’t believe there’s only 16 days until all of my hard work will be put to the test!!! 😰

Thanks to Suzanne & Martin for completely shocking me with another donation (yes their second) this week!! Now my ‘Blindman’s Trail Marathon’ challenge has reached a colossal £860 (that’s £86 per lap) for the MS Society…I hope my mum would be proud?! I’d really love to hit my target and make it £100 per lap…Oh and it’s my birthday next ‘Fundraising Friday’ (15th) so not only will i be older so this trail marathon will be even harder for me, lol…But it’s a heads up as i may be asking for birthday donations to this fundraiser…What a birthday gift that’d be!! 💪🏼 😀 🧡

The Donation…🧡

Hi friends. You’re never going to believe this?!! It was Saturday morning and my iPhone blasted out the muppets theme tune to notify me i’d received another donation!! After i’d stopped dancing, jumping up and down and stopped grinning until it hurt, i checked who it was from…Wow it was a SECOND (yes second) donation from our friends Suzanne and Martin who we were going to meet up for a meal this weekend but it was cancelled. I then checked the lovely message they’d left…”A little top up Steve to a nice round figure! Congratulations on your training. As we couldn’t meet up this weekend here’s the cost of pizza instead!! Not long now till the big event Steve. xx”…Well if that’s not motivation i don’t know what is! 💪🏼 😀 

Please click button to donate

Let’s stop MS together! 💪🏼 

Don’t underestimate the impact of the money you are donating! It’s so important and it really does make a difference; today, tomorrow and for generations to come…❤️

in Just 16 days…The Trail marathon…Or me…Is going down!! 🤣 💪🏼 

iReminisce: Group B

me and Sahar in front of the beautiful Corsican hills

Bonjour mes amis (Good Morning My Friends

No way we’re in Corsica! My lovely wife Sarah is going to kill me for ruining this post with another of my digressions…But my fave cars of all time raced here and i can’t contain myself….Yes it’s Group B rally cars!  

Awwww i can hear that ferocious engine sound (and the monster dump valve) of one of my favourite cars…The Lancia Delta S4. It had an Abarth-designed supercharged and turbocharged 500bhp 1.8-litre engine, it could hit 60mph in just over two seconds…And this was 1986! 

But…After a fatal accident (here in Corsica) Group B rally cars were banned and a FISA investigation later proved that drivers’ reactions were too slow to keep up with Group B cars, and drivers’ eyes could not adjust their focus between the fast corners, which caused tunnel vision. Now that’s fast…And insane!! 

They said the cars had so much raw power but with little containment…I have a wife like that, lol! Sorry Sarah! 🤣  

View our full day in Corsica

iReminisce: The Original Olympic Start Line

The start line…

I thought the heat was blistering already but it didn’t prepare me for the inferno when we walked underneath the archway and onto the track. 🔥🔥

Sarah said “Steve you’ve got to get a photo of me at the original olympic start line! I’ve only been out of my aircast for a few weeks and it would make a great photo…Zena (Sarah’s friend) will comment straight away and tell me off, lol (she did). 😀  

“Here goes” i said “No pressure at all for this shot…It’s only a one off picture” But it worked and Sarah looks fantastic! Sarah had gone for months with an aircast, and now seeing her on the start line looking like a true olympian was another emotional moment for me. She really is my warrior princess wife! ❤️❤️❤️ 

Sarah doing a

View our full day in Olympia

iReminisce: The Unimog

The 1961 Yellow Unimog…

Awww friends….Let me introduce you to this Yellow, 1961 Unimog…..have you seen the tires, lol! It threw us around like crazy and i still can’t believe that he didn’t slow down for anything. There is no way a vehicle can hit rocks, huge pot holes, climb cracked hills and go around tight bends whilst travelling at break neck speed, it would have destroyed anything else and left them in a pile of spare parts, lol. I’m not sure they issued these with brake pedals! 😎

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

View our full day (Sarah’s Birthday) at Bonaire

iReminisce: Surf & Smile

Back at the dock…🛳 

After a short boat ride back to the ship, we had enough time to get changed, leave our bags and have a well needed iced-coffee before heading out to explore as much as we can without getting lost before the ship leaves.

We walked up one street and turned right before Sarah stopped and said “Wow, she’s having her photo taken in front of that cool wall art/sign. Quick get one of me” “Ok my lovely, you’re wearing your new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt too, i hope i get everything in”. Sarah had bought this t-shirt for our holidays and couldn’t wait to put on the lovely bright colours and flowers.

Sarah stood on a surf board in her new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt.

 This is one of my fave photos as it shows Sarah’s smile is as bright as her t-shirt. 

View our full day at Aruba

iReminisce: The Coconut Cake

Speightstown, Barbados…

And speaking of lovely architecture and colonial towns, your first stop is at Speightstown. Here you’ll enjoy seeing historic buildings and beautiful tropical beaches.

The tour guide kept talking about the PRC Bakery at our first stop, and said she was going in to get something for the trip. “OOohhhh maybe we could get a small cake for your birthday” “Yes let’s follow her and see what goodies they have?” As we walked in to the little bakery the guide said “Oh yes a lead pipe” as she picked one up and went to pay for it. “What’s a lead pipe?” i said to the guide “It’s a local cake but it can be used as a weapon too as it’s very heavy”. Sarah then passed me a bag with a cake in and said hold this “Wow this weighs about the same as a 16lb bowling ball” “everything is so heavy in here, nothing has fluffy cream like in England as it would melt instantly, lol”.

Sarah told the baker that we loved coconut and did e have anything with coconut in them? We only got 1 coconut slice as we didn’t know how sweet it was or even if we liked it?! 😋   

Me stood outsede the shop holding the coconut slice with my thumb sticking up and a big grin on my face!

 I never (ever) stop talking about this coconut slice as it’s the nicest cake i’ve ever tasted! The bell on the ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’ was destroyed as this flew to the top of the cakes list! If i’d have known i would’ve stayed in the bakery and continued to eat every single last one of them! But we only had that one and we’ve never been able to go back since this monumental occasion. Oh yes…This monumental occasion is my lovely wife Sarah’s birthday! 🤣

View our full day (Sarah’s Birthday) in Barbados

iReminisce: The St Maarten Necklace

The smell of the locals cooking on the market was amazing, but Sarah had found a sweet little craft stall. The lady created items from the coral found off the shores St Maarten. “Oooooh, i could have a necklace made from St Maarten”. I knew that to mean “i’m getting one, i just don’t know which one yet?!” 🤣  

close up photo of Sarah's neckolace she bought fromm a market stall in Marigot, St Maarten

⇧ Sarah’s St Maartens Coral Necklace ⇧  

Sarah really was starting to feel at home here,  but we had to get back to the bus! We enjoyed our stop in Marigot, and we said we’d love to spend a week here to investigate more! ☀️ 😀 

View our full day in St Maarten

iReminisce: The Blind Sightseers 1st Cruise

Sarah  i in Caribbean

⇧ Me & Sarah at St Kitts ⇧ 

From stunning, breathtaking views, horse riding in paradise, dancing with dolphins, River paddle boat trip, various island bus tours, 4×4 volcano ride, cable cars, OH…. and Sarah’s medical emergency in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, it’s been an unbelievable few weeks on our cruise holiday to the Caribbean, Azores & Spain (2015). 😲  

Please join us (The Blind Sightseers) on this incredible journey:

Transatlantic Sunset Tour: Day 1 ~ London – Jamaica

iReminisce: Ilfracombe, Devon

A black and white photo of ilfracombe bay

A photo taken from our new years eve (Dec 2011) holiday with friends (Rob, Shelley, Tom, Abbie & Ella)  in Ilfracombe, Devon, England, UK. It was very windy and very wet! We had a fantastic time as the holiday home was overlooking this bay so we enjoyed lots of coastal walks and enjoyed local restaurants.

 Camera used – iPhone 4s (as it was raining i was too scared to take out my DSLR’s) 😨 

iReminisce: V8

Pickup Truck

While on holiday last year in Hunstanton, Norfolk I kept hearing a fat american V8 driving around the town, and one day it was parked up so I could snap it with my camera! 😲  

My friends dad always had american cars  and vans and I’ve enjoyed them for most of my life, so I was excited when I could finally put a picture to that beautiful sound. 😀 

Camera Used ~ iPhone 4s

iReminisce: Twinkling lights 😲

A whole building completley covered in sparkling blue lights

The twinkling lights on this department store in Florence, Italy were simply amazing to just stand and look at, but it soon became dark and we didn’t want to get lost on our first day! All of the streets were decorated beautifully with illuminated stars, borbals & bells so we quickly headed back to the hotel. What an amazing, exciting and tiring first day. 😀

View our full Tuscany Tour 

iReminisce: Sarah’s Favourite Seat

Sarah sat in the window of the lighthouse looking out over the sea

This photo of Sarah sat in the window of the Old Hunstanton Lighthouse is a lovely memory for us. We rented the lighthouse for our honeymoon (2007) and then for the next 5 wedding anniversaries, and this is Sarah’s favourite seat! 😀 

Sarah works in London where it is very fast paced, crowded,  built up and very grey, she always looks forward to escaping the stress and relaxing by the sea. 💪🏼 ❤️

iReminisce: The Old Lighthouse

The old lighthouse2

As you may already know from my previous photos of “The Old Lighthouse” this is our favourite place to hire for a holiday in Norfolk. 😀  

“The Old Lighthouse is a holiday home with a difference! Built in 1666 on the cliffs of North Beach in Hunstanton, The Old Lighthouse was fully restored and converted to holiday accommodation in 1997.” 

 

 Camera used – Samsung WB550

iReminisce: Carousel Horse

Brighton 031

This is one of the first photos i’d taken since being registered Blind. I only had a compact camera back then as I didn’t know I would be any good at all at taking pictures, I thought it was a silly idea as it is a sighted person’s thing to do! 🤣  

This photo was taken in Brighton, Uk, and is of the carousel horse that is right on the beach front.

 Camera used – Fuji F10

iReminisce: Elephants Foot

Elephant s Foot

After being back in my home town of Derby this weekend, i didn’t want to leave without having an ‘Elephants Foot’ from Birds. Other bakers around the country do similar styles of cakes, but never taste anything like one of these beauty’s, they simply can’t be beaten! My sister got me a box of 4 to take back home and Sarah & i can’t thank her enough! 😀  

If you visit Derby or Derbyshire then i recommend that you try one!

iReminisce: The Cross

The Sun on the Cross  PNG

During our 5th wedding anniversary at the Lighthouse, Hunstanton, Norfolk. (2012) while walking into Hunstanton along the cliff top  we spotted this cross that had been put there by surveyors and as it was only a few hundred yards from the lighthouse we thought we would try and get a nice photo whilst the sun was setting. 🤔  

If it wasn’t for digital camera’s it wouldn’t be possible for me to enjoy photography and after about 50 photos later and a wait of a few days until i could get home and download the images onto my computer i was shocked to find this waiting for me. 😲  

 Camera used – Nikon D2Xs

iReminisce: What’s Happening? 😨

Me looking Terrified in front of the river with volcanic rocks behind

When i found this photo which Sarah had taken in the Azores, we both started laughing and thought this was probably the best photo of me ever! 🙂  Don’t ask me what i was up to, i can only imagine that i heard a T-Rex or a volcano erupt!! 😲  

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any great captions to add to this photo??!! I look forward to hearing what you come up with! 🤣

View our full day in Sao Miguel 

From The Archives: The Finish Line

Hi all…This is my first post from my ‘From The Archives’ series, i hope you enjoy reading some of the classics, lol?! 😀 

The Finish Line…

As a blind gamer, i was excited to be recommended(by my brother) a brand new racing game called “Project Cars” for the PS4. I’m able to attempt to play a few racing games, If they include Grand Prix tracks, i can often remember each corner from my sighted gaming days, playing F1 97 etc. 

When i sat down to play for 15 minutes last night, i was surprised to be taught a lesson on being over zealous, while lacking wisdom! 🙂

A close up photo of the amazing Ford Capri Touring Car

⇧ Screenshot of my 1980 Capri (Group 5 – Team Zakspeed) ⇧ 

I chose the rather extreme Capri to drive and chose a familiar track. After leaving the pits i span off on nearly every corner as my tyres were cold and not up to race temperatures. An influx of thoughts filled my mind,….

Over Zealous…

It reminded me of when i first became a Christian and first had revelation of the Truth when reading the Bible. I couldn’t believe what i was reading, and how it described me…yes me! I then did what normally happens, and become over zealous like a screaming twin turbo engine and had to tell everyone, and point out the right and wrongs with everything and everyone around me! 

I was making a lot of noise and using a lot of power and energy,  but was lacking something vital, i failed to slowly warm up the tyres of Godly Wisdom!

As we mature, and grow in step with the Holy Spirit, we are given all we need to finish the race. And when we get the balance right, we can stay on track until the end, and if our tyres stay hot, even the storms won’t be able to slow us down! 🙂

Making Doughnuts…

photo of a racing sierra cosworth with smoking tyres doing doughnuts at Donington race track

⇧ Screenshot of my 1988 Sierra RS500 Cosworth (Group A) ⇧ 

After selecting “Donington”, my home town track in Derby, i decided to take the Sierra Cosworth for a ride. I stopped to make some doughnuts, and thought “Here we go again, all that power and energy…and i’m just going round in circles”.

🙏 I want to thank God for not leaving us in the pits! But instead He empowers  instructs and steers us towards the finish line! 😀 

Fire Up The Quattro…Both Of Them!!! 😨

Hi all! Today’s post is a little different, as i rarely get the opportunity to experience a proper car…Never mind get to talk all about the engine, tyres etc with another proper petrolhead! 💪🏼 🤣 Well it all started at the end of Eileen’s funeral last week when we needed a lift to the train station to head back home. Ben (ex brother in law and friend) said he’d give us a lift and disappeared to go and get his car?!

What is that visceral rumble outside?? 🤔 

Audi $S4 1

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

  Please meet the RS4…😲   

Ben: “Firstly, the RS4 was hand built by quattro gmbh (Audi’s in-house performance arm). The B7 RS4 is powered by a direct fuel injected (FSi) 4.2litre V8, producing 420bhp and revving to over 8,000rpm.

Mine is around 450bhp and revs to 8,500rpm due to some minor modifications. It has the quattro all wheel drive system with a 60:40 power split with a rear bias to aid handing. Front brake are floating discs with 8 piston callipers (also used on the Lamborghini Gallardo). As with all B7 RS4s, it’s a 6 speed manual (has to be manual).” 

Audi $S$  2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Fire up the Quattro…

As Sarah was getting into the back seat she said “You’ve got to be in the front for this one” i said “Fantastic” as Ben kindly guided me around and opened the door as i got in. I said “Awww these Recaro bucket seats are amazing, and i can fit in them properly now i’ve lost 5 stone, lol!” 🤣 

Audi RS4  Dash

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

I was listening to the rumbling beast ticking over as Ben slipped into the drivers seat. “Awww i love a V8 it just sounds amazing and it’s only just ticking over!” Ben then blipped the throttle a few times (to widen my smile even further) and pulled  away.

Sadly the train station was only about 10 minutes away, but when we reached the duel carriageway…Ben wound the windows down and floored it!! 😲

I’m not sure if it was the instant force of being blasted back into the seat, or the symphony of the 450 angry beasts filling my ears that gave me that feeling like nothing else…I simply couldn’t stop the huge grin from leaving my face! 😀

“Wow that was immense” i said whilst pealing my head off the rear window, lol. “That was only 6500rpm as we keep running out of road, we have 2000rpm left” Ben said as he gifted me with another blip of the throttle to evoke the awesome symphony!

The tunnel…😲

Audi $S4  4

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

We even had a tunnel moment where you can really hear the deep growling boom of the V8 through the open windows, awwwww…I’ll pause for a minute for you to imagine the beautiful sound of the V8…😲
The exhausts…

2 Audis

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Pulling up outside the train station (oh no the car experience is coming to an end) we all got out. I was wondering why Ben had left the car running as i knew he’d already said he’d come inside to check everything was ok and our tickets worked in the gates etc…Above and beyond kindness! 😀   

When…🤔 

Ben walked me around the rear of the car on the nearside about level with the tyre. He then placed Sarah in a similar position on the offside, “Stay there a minute and listen to this!?!” 

It all happened at the same time…My ears were blessed and blasted with the massive sound of the V8 from the rear, then my lower half of my trousers blew backwards from the wind (tornado) blitzing me from the tailpipes…And as the revs lowered we could hear the huge pops, bangs and explosions coming from the exhaust! Wow what a finish, and now we understand what you were up to, lol! 🤣 

I can’t thank Ben enough for giving me and Sarah this amazing experience, and Sarah was happy that i got to talk all about cars without boring her to death, lol! 

Oh just one more thing…This monster has 275mm tires and 20 inch rims! 💪🏼 

The Audi 4.2 V8…

Audi 4 2 V8

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

 

Fire up the second Quattro…😲 

2 Audis 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Please meet the Audi 90 quattro 20v sport…
Ben: “The old one is a 1991 Audi 90 quattro 20v sport (One of only 92 ever built), it’s a rare car. Powered by a 2.3litre 5 cylinder twin cam engine. It has a 5branch exhaust manifold and fully electronic multipoint fuel injection (very advanced for its age). It was an early adopter of catalytic converters but as mine is pre 1992 I’ve removed mine (totally legally).”

“Along with some internal engine work it’s power is up from original 170bhp to around 220bhp and this revs happily to around 7,400rpm now. It too has Quattro all wheel drive with TORSEN centre diff and lockable rear diff. It has cast front suspension arms and is considerably lighter than a normal Audi 90. I’ve had this for about 15years.”
Audi 90 Quattro 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

About 5 years ago on another trip to Derby, Ben kindly gave me and Sarah a similar blast in this classic Quattro. It sounded and felt fantastic and it was a real blast back from the past! I remember Ben opening the sunroof and windows to get the full exhaust tone playing in our ears…What a beautiful sound! 😀  
Audi 90 Quattro 5

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

What’s under the hood?!
Audi 90 Engine

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Engine 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 7

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 6

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 8

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

 My story and a little about my “Novadose”…🤔 

As you may know my last car before i went blind…Was my custom 1991 Vauxhall Nova 1.4SR resprayed in dark pearlescent purple (bottom half) and white for the top half after i’d fitted a full Zender body kit. . As i worked as a panel beater in a bodyshop, my fave part was hammering out the rear wheel arches, filling them for a slightly wider arch…So i could squeeze in the 205mm tyres on the 17 inch rims. I’d only ever seen 16 inch rims on a Nova in Derbyshire before, so i had to see if i could fit the 17’s…That’s why i called it the “Novadose”. 🤣   

I’ve always been interested in cars as most of my family are/were mechanics…I think that’s why i get so excited whenever i have a car experience like the one above…And why i’ll always share it with you guys! 😀

Do you have any car experience stories to share? 🤔 

❤️Love At First Sight…Village – 17 Years On!!!

Red Love logo with reflection

 Today i’m celebrating a brobdingnagian 17 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham, UK” 🙌  

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors throughout the world take part and welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, Mmmm, Awww and fantastic…It all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah tries to check out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. ❤️💪🏼 😀 

Our Photos Throughout The Years….

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Me  Sarah at the river Arno

 ⇧ 2014 ⇧ 

Me on the left in my bright orange shirt hugging Sarah on the right with the beautiful panorama of volcanic hills and blue sea behind us

 ⇧ 2015 ⇧ 

IMG 0270

 ⇧ 2016 ⇧ 

MIL 6290

Me  Sarah

 ⇧ 2017 ⇧ 

Sarah as my Backpack

IMG 3598

 ⇧ 2018 ⇧ 

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

1 Me and Sarah gugging at room 112

 ⇧ 2019 ⇧  

1 Sarah snow walk

Me Winners Trophy

 

2020 ⇧ 

1 Sarah Doughnut

Me Engand Shirt

21 ⇧ 

📖 Bible Verse

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

🤔 My Thoughts… 

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Holy Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

❤️ Yay…It’s Our 14th Wedding Anniversary! ❤️ “Sunny Hunny”

1 sarah i wedding day

Hi all! Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah.! ❤️

Sunny Hunny…☀️ 🙌 

For our 14th wedding anniversary we decided to visit Hunstanton, Norfolk, and stay over for one night in the Golden Lion hotel. This was ‘The Blind Sightseers’ first trip away from home since Jan 2020 so we were ready, lol. 

As you may know Hunstanton is where we had our honeymoon (and then 5 consecutive anniversaries) in the Old Lighthouse, so we were interested to see if anything had changed?! 

After leaving home at 7am we knew it was going to be a long day, especially after a 5 hour journey…A taxi, train, underground train, another train and a bus we arrived at Hunstanton a little past lunchtime! 💪🏼 

NO WAY THE DOUGHNUT VAN IS STILL HERE!!! 

1 Sarah Doughnut

DING…DING…DING…BOOM!!! 😋 

The sound of the ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard Bell’ exploded as we quickly devoured the doughnut. 

We managed to get 1 each of the consistently perfect doughnuts…And it was even the same lady who’d served us 14 years ago on our honeymoon! 😲 As we walked up to the van she said “Your usual?” 🤣

After eating the best doughnuts in the world we started our walk around Hunstanton. We only walked about 200 yards when we found??? 🤔 

Willy The Wash Monster L.A.R.C. XV…

This beast is a 1967 Landing and Recovery Craft and is ex USA Army and used in Vietnam. It now gives sea tours in Hunstanton Norfolk and is classed as a ferry…Oh and it’s also powered by 2 Cummins 920 V8 engines! 💪🏼 😀

We had been on this beast years ago and knew it went up to the lighthouse and back…And since we can’t go on a cruise ship, this was the nearest thing, lol.  

1 lighthouse

⇧ View of the lighthouse from the wash monster ⇧  

 The boat ride didn’t disappoint and shortly after we needed to check into the hotel. There was only 1 room left and it was at the rear of the hotel…But the shower was hot and powerful (rips the skin off) so all was well, lol! 🤣

Now i’d dropped off my heavy backpack it was time to explore to see if anything had changed?! No…It was all exactly as it was 14 years ago, the only thing (our fave shop) Surface had closed. This was our place to buy surfer clothes each year…Well i say we, Sarah used to but i was always too big…But i’d lost 5 stone now so was looking forwards to finally buying a top…Oh well, lol! 🤣  

After a long day of walking around the place about 5 times, drinking coffee, eating chips, doughnuts and scones we were sipping a glass of red wine and watching the sun set over Hunstanton.

sunset looking out over the beach and the breakers

The walking…

I have no idea how we managed it as Hunstanton is a very small town…But we’d managed to walk around 10 miles over the afternoon and evening! This was a blessing after what we’d eaten on our mini holiday…Now it’s time to rest after a full day as we only have the morning to go!

The next day…

After a small breakfast we were excited to go for another walk. As it was also early there was hardly anybody else around…And as this walkway is one of my fave places to walk in the world (empty and very wide), it was a good start to the day. 

IMG 3637

 As i was walking up and down on my own unaided and free, it felt fantastic to just pretend i could see where i’m going for a while, lol! 🤣

The funny face???

Not sure what i’d just heard (maybe you could leave me a funny comment with your suggestions) but i just had to give you a comedy moment! 🤣   

IMG 3667

 Ooohhh a helter skelter…

FullSizeRender

IMG 6833

 More walking… 

IMG 3644

 Wow i think Sarah is going to bless us with one of her stupendous panoramas…

IMG 3669

IMG 6843

 The chips…

DING…DING…DING…BOOM! 😋 

Now these are the best chips anywhere on earth! Seriously i’m not using any hyperbole. It really is a good job i don’t live here as these chips are dangerous! 🤣 

1 Me and chips

 After another coffee and a quick walk around some souvenir shops, it was time to say goodbye to Hunstanton and catch the coast hopper bus. Wow what a ride, time has just flown by on this short 14th wedding anniversary holiday.

Striving to be a Godly husband…

There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage. – Martin Luther

I strive daily to love Sarah biblically and extravagantly, but to love her biblically i always first ask “What is God’s love for us like?” 

God’s Word…..

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the church..

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” —1 Corinthians 13:4–8

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. And look forwards to more years on this Brobdingnagian adventure!

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Yay…1 Year…-5 Stone & Size XXL To Medium! 🙌 💪🏼 😀

Me Winners Trophy

Hi Friends!!

Can you believe it’s been a year today, since i started my epic adventure aka “June time to prune?!” I wanted to put this post on my blogs as a milestone for me and to share my good news with you all! 😀 

My mind is still having trouble adapting to the body it’s now living in, lol. 

-5 Sone…

I’ve gone from overheating all of the time, wearing shorts through the winter and staying out of the sun as it felt like pins and razor blades cutting my skin…To feeling cold most of the time, wearing normal clothes in the winter and like yesterday…Spent time sitting with my lovely wife Sarah enjoying the sun without the stabbing pains in my skin.

Size XXL to a Medium… 

I’ve also gone from a size XXL t-shirt to a size medium. I have never been a medium throughout my whole adult life. I’m loving having to get a new wardrobe and ordering a medium size and it fitting like a glove…Not much beats this feeling! 😀 

My Engine & Body Analogy…

As i used to be a panel beater in a bodyshop, the engine analogy just seemed to click for me when thinking about my nutrition etc. As i needed to be in a healthy calorie deficit to lose weight, i needed to find out what kind of engine i had and how much fuel (calories) it burns.

Hang On…

I’ve just realised i’m going to go on for ages writing about my year of transformation. So before i bore you all to death, i thought i could write about it post by post for a while. This way i can slowly bore you to death and you may not notice, lol! 🤣 

Yay It’s My Birthday! ☕️🍔🎶😀🙌

1 Me BP Trophy Circle 001

 Hi WordPress family! As it’s my birthday today (2nd in lockdown)…I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to raise a coffee and take a little time to thank you for your continued love, encouragement, inspiration and fantastic comments between all of you on this blog. I always talk to Sarah about all of you guys and how amazing it is to have  this blog read and commented on from all around the world. 😲 

After my incredible 1st lockdown birthday last year, i was stunned by how you all commented with your fave coffee and drinks, and where in the world you were from whilst you were happily mingling with other friends here through the comments section. 😀 

So what i’m trying to say is…As my birthday gift could you please comment below with your country and this time…let me know your fave foods etc? I can’t believe that i’m 5 stone (70 pounds) lighter than this time last year, and i’m interested to hear about foods from around the world…I love food, lol! 😋 

It would be a lovely birthday present for me to hear all of your fantastic responses…I’ll make another coffee here in Surrey, England, UK, grab my fave snacks…Propercorn Peanut Butter and Almond Popcorn and a Grenade Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Protein Bar…And look forwards to seeing (and sharing fave foods and stories) with you guys! 😀☕ 

☀️ #61 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “St. George’s, Grenada” 🇬🇩 (2019)

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 61 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Grenada logo

Good morning friends!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-6pkbgL3Ho&feature=youtu.be

One of my first attempts at a Time-Lapse video…

The Marella Explorer

Yay, Safe On The Dock….🛳

Upon leaving the ship it felt like coming home, as we knew exactly where we needed to go as we were here last year (read post). Once we found and boarded our coach ready for our excursion to the nutmeg factory, then on to the chocolate factory, we settled back and enjoyed the view. We had visited the Nutmeg factory last year as it’s Sarah’s fave place, as the incredible smell of nutmeg fills her with warm memories of her Nan Peters when she used it in her legendary rice pudding. And now we knew what to expect…We could find and buy more nutmeg. 😀  

The nutmeg and chocolate factory tour…🚌

We were blessed once more with the stunning beauty of this place as we drove around the coast and the luscious hills. ☀️  

Island of Grenada from the sea

View of the bay of Grenada

The Nutmeg Factory….

Inside Nutmeg factory

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Inside nutmeg factory 3

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This time we were the first ones in the gift shop and ready to get some of the amazing nutmeg that fills all kinds of products. Sarah bought an omnifarious mixture of products including…Aloe Vera oils etc (wow nutmeg and aloe vera)…She had missed getting some of this last year when we had a similar tour. We really didn’t think we’d see this place again (never mind the first time) and it was such a blessing to be here…Aawww that smell! 😀  

The Chocolate Factory…🍫

This was very educational and interesting. The local guide took us around the beautiful grounds and factory showing us different plants they grow, including the cocoa trees and how they harvest the beans, dry and ferment the seeds, crack the shells to emit the cocoa nibs (the actual cocoa their chocolate is made with)…Watch video below. 🍫 😀  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIjTbbuKpM

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Sorry but didn’t get any photos or videos of the factory. But the local Mango & Lemon punch was amazing and refreshing…But that was a shadow of the ginger & dark chocolate bar! I saved it until we were back in the UK but i now wished i’d bought about 10 of them instead of 1, i think we need to go back next year!!   

Thanks for joining us on our trip to Grenada! Have you been here before? 🤔

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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☀️ #60 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Kralendijk, Bonaire” 🇧🇶 (2019)

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 60 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Bonaire Logo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!

Welcome to Bonaire on this fantastic occasion…I wonder what surprise is in store for Sarah? 🤔  

Arawak Off-road Safari… 

This trip is all about getting to grips with Bonaire’s historic best bits. Clamber aboard one of the 4x4s, and in a couple of minutes you’ll be whizzing along the off-road trails. 

First, you’ll climb into the Subi Rincon hills, where the convoy will stop at a set of time-worn Indian caves. Then, it’s on to one of the island’s only two towns – Rincon. Keep an eye out for the honey-yellow church tower as you pass through, then hop off the truck when you arrive at pretty Boca Onima. This rocky stretch of coastline is home to some of the best cave art in Bonaire, which gives you a real glimpse of the island’s past. 

One of the best bits is saved ‘til last – the beauty spot, Seru Largu. This cross-topped monument sits on a raised platform, setting you up with panoramic views of the capital, Kralendijk.

On the dock…🛳 

This shore excursion was a second choice as the first choice was sold out weeks before we’d even started our cruise. We were thinking about the 4×4 Land Rover trip we’d done in the Azores(see here) but couldn’t really get excited…As it was much hotter here and the thought of being crammed in the back of a Land Rover really wasn’t doing anything for us today. So what we thought was going to be an anticlimax…Turned out to be the best trip of the whole holiday! Oh and i’d just travelled in my best vehicle of all time! 😎 

The 1961 Yellow Unimog…😲  

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

Awww friends….Let me introduce you to this Yellow, 1961 Unimog…..have you seen the tires, lol! It threw us around like crazy and i still can’t believe that he didn’t slow down for anything. There is no way a vehicle can hit rocks, huge pot holes, climb cracked hills and go around tight bends whilst travelling at break neck speed, it would have destroyed anything else and left them in a pile of spare parts, lol. I’m not sure they issued these with brake pedals! 😎

Subi Rincon hills… 

 Bertrand was our fantastic guide, and even better rally driver, lol. He said he had a PHD(pot hole dodger) although he didn’t dodge anything but drove straight over everything which made the ride so much fun…We were all hanging on for dear life as our bums were ‘getting air’ as they lifted off our seats!!   

We  climbed higher and higher into the Subi Rincon hills, where the amazing yellow Unimog stopped at a set of time-worn Indian caves. This place had lots of rocks to walk over and Bertrand told Sarah “You’re a fantastic guide” as she was expertly weaving me through the rocks! He told the group how the first explorers crawled through these caves in the pitch black, an inch at a time without knowing what was coming. 😨  

Cave in Bonaire

 Back on the Unimog…

Bertrand put the ladder in place at the rear of the Unimog so we could climb in and out. I was very careful the first time as i was feeling with my feet to find out how many (and where) the steps were. But after a few times i was flying off them! 😀   

He kept slowing down and then (klunck) slamming it into low gear as he climbed ludicrously steep and rocky slopes until we got to a high viewing point. Ikept forgetting it was Sarah’s birthday and not mine! 🤣  

view overlooking the island of Bonaire

 The Bonaire Donkey’s…

The Bonaire Donkeys

We were screaming down a dirt track when Bertrand hit the breaks. He jumped out of the Unimog and tried to call out to the Donkeys to see if they’d come over. He told us:

Donkeys have been around on Bonaire since the 17th century. The Spanish brought the donkeys for transportation. When modern vehicles became available like pushcarts, donkeys were redundant and left to their fate.

Bonaire is a predominantly rugged and arid island, making it difficult for the donkeys to survive. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of donkeys on Bonaire present. Because the donkeys can move freely on the island this regularly leads to traffic accidents. 

Fauna ezel thumbThe donkeys live in small herds of about 20 animals and can be 40 years old. During the day they seek the shade of the trees. In the early morning or early evening the donkeys are usually active.

Since 1993 injured, sick and orphaned donkeys are cared in a shelter, called Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Volunteers take care over 400 donkeys in a closed area. The shelter is open to visitors and is located south of the airport on the Kaya Ir.R. Statius van Eps. 

I heard “EEEYYOOORRREEE, HONK, HONK, HONK) and Bertrand said “Ok i hear you” to the donkeys and “They don’t want to say hello” to us as he climbed back into the Unimog and drove to our next stop…

☢️ HEALTH WARNING…😲 

Wait a minute…How did Sarah take a panorama whilst sat in the Unimog? “Nobody likes a show off, lol” 🤣  

Panorama of the lakes and saltflats with the wind turbines in the centre on the horison
 
After another blitzing ride we parked at the beauty spot, Seru Largu. We walked up quite a few steps to get to the top, but it was worth it!
 
Sarah & i overlooking the island of Bonaire
 
This beautiful place sits on a raised platform which set Sarah up with panoramic views of the capital, Kralendijk.
 
Panorama of the island of Bonaire

 Bertrand stopped in many interesting places, he even fed lizards by hand as we stood on a sandy park burning to a crisp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd0phsrO6V4

We’d had a simply breathtaking trip on the fantastic yellow Unimog and we were really sad when we pulled back into the dock.

Back at the ship…🛳

After the incredible and mind bending ride in the Unimog, we quickly went on board and had an iced coffee before heading out into the town to see what goodies we could find.

It was absolutely scorching so the first place was a tiny local bar where Bertrand told us to try the locally (and traditionally)  brewed beer ‘Bonaire Blond’. Sarah sat me down at a small table and soon came back with a birthday celebration drink…The 2 bottles of ice cold Bonaire Blond. The bottles were soon empty as the room was just too hot and we needed to get back outside. 

Yay, we managed to buy another bauble for our Christmas tree…Oh and i bought another bright and colourful shirt that you’ll see at a later date! 🎄  😀   

The Evening Meal…🍽

 As we walked into the usual evening restaurant we were guided to our seats. Sarah said “Steve i think we’ve sat somewhere we shouldn’t, it looks much posher here and even the napkins are red instead of white”. After a few more seconds Sarah continued “Oh have you done this? Have you booked me a surprise birthday meal? I bet you’ve done this!” I’d kept quiet so far wondering myself what had happened, and wondering if i should tell Sarah that i had booked a special table for her birthday even though i hadn’t, lol!
 
“No i havn’t booked anything special but i wish i had now” i said as the waiter brought Sarah the menu. Sarah used the built in magnifier on her iPhone to read the menu aloud “It’s the italian restaurant, you’re going to love this” “No way i thought you had to book for this one” i said wondering if they did Arancini (they did). 
 
The Italian restaurant was free like the main restaurant, the only difference is that you had to specify that you wanted to eat there which we hadn’t. We still think they knew it was Sarah’s birthday and sat us there without saying…But we still don’t know and it was a lovely surprise for Sarah’s birthday. 😀  
 
Then…

 DING…DING…DING…DING…BOOM!!😋  
 
Profiteroles
 
YAY, It’s Sarah’s bell from her ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’. Moving straight to the top of her ‘Desserts’ leaderboard were the sugar free Profiteroles. Sarah said they tasted amazing and never seen any of these anywhere that were sugar free and didn’t mess her blood sugar up. We told the waiter how good they were and soon the chef came over and chatted to us as we thanked her too! 😀  
 
Now that was a fantastic ending to an even greater day! Happy Birthday Sarah!! ❤️❤️❤️ I LOVE YOU!! ❤️❤️❤️  

Sarah Happy Birthday Cards
 
 Thanks for joining us on this fantastic day on Bonaire! Have you been here before? Have you ever been in/on a Unimog? 🤔 
 

☀️ #59 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Willemstad, Curacao” 🇨🇼 (2019)

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 59 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Curaçao Logo

 🇨🇼 Good morning friends!

 Welcome to day 2 of this ‘Tropical Delights’ cruse. Wow what a colourful place! Let’s see what shore excursion we’re doing today?! 😀  

Discover Curacao Island: 😲  

You’ll get to see two of the island’s biggest attractions on this tour, starting with a drive past the island’s salt flats and on to the Hato Caves. They were formed below sea-level and today they’re full of stalagmites and stalactites.

Next up, we’ll head over to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory, passing the Queen Juliana Bridge on the way. At the factory, you’ll get to see how the island’s famous Blue Curacao Liqueur is made. The drink is distilled from the dried peel of bitter oranges, and you’ll get to taste it for yourself.

Lastly, you’ll head back to the ship via downtown Willemstad – you can get dropped off if you’d rather stay and have a look around. 

Our ship in the dock looking down from the bridge with the surrounding town

On the coach…🚌

After we boarded the coach and met our tour guide, we drove up and over the dock and had a fantastic view of the ship!

Hato caves…☀️  

Leaving the air conditioned coach we walked into a wall of fire (i mean heat) and made our way to the bottom of the steps for the Hato cave. After a steep, difficult and gruelling climb up lots of uneven and twisty steps, we finally made it (super sweaty) to the top which is the mouth of the cave. 💪🏼  

Upon entering the cave we were quickly ensconced with darkness. Our torch could not pierce this blackened world so we stopped, turned around and let other people squeeze past as we walked back out. We told the guide (who was waiting outside) that it was way too dark and dangerous for me and Sarah, so we made our way carefully back down the steps on a tactical withdrawal. 

On the plus side, We found a fantastic small yellow cafe which served local coffee. We walked to a table with a beautiful view (and breeze) and it was so quiet with only a handful of locals sipping their drinks and chatting. 😀 We heard the group arriving and it wasn’t long before we were back in the coach. 

The Chobolo Liqueur Factory…🍹

bottles of Curacao hanging on a display wall

Sarah was excited to learn all about the origins of this drink and how it was made, as she and her friend Caroline used to like this drink back in the day! The guide also gave us little testers of each flavour to see which ones we liked and disliked, then we could buy the ones we wanted in the gift shop. Sarah bought a bottle to send to Caroline as she’s never had one from the actual place before and we thought she’d love it…She did! 😀 

Back at the ship…🛳

After a lovely iced coffee and quick refresh we thought we’d have a little walk into the town. It was pure midday burning sun and it seemed to take about half an hour just to walk the length of the ship. But we kept going and finally got to the stunning bridge, and knew we were heading in the right direction. 

Me stood on the right of a panorama with the boat in the centre and the colourful buildings behind me.

This was Sarah’s favourite place as she could gaze upon the vivid colours of the buildings that lined both sides of the dock.

View of Curacao colourful Buildings 1

View of Curacao sock 1

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The town…🌇

We had a little walk around this beautiful town to see what we could find, and first of all we found a clothes shop! “Ooohhh i wonder if they sell a caribbean shirt for me” i said as Sarah was trying to find the most colourful section. Sarah then pulled out a fantastic orange and black shirt with Curacao written all over it (see image lower down). “Yes i’ll have that one” i said with a huge smile on my face. Sarah also bought a top with Curacao on the front and we left the shop to find more souvenirs. We didn’t have to wait long as we found another bauble for our Christmas tree, yay! 🎄  

The sun was burning hot and microwaving my bones as i walked round like the ‘Ready Brek’ man causing a heat haze around me. So Sarah stopped at a small bar and got us a bottle of ice cold ‘Amstel’. 

Then…😲  

“HOWDY!” Both Sarah and i spun around and faced the american man from yesterday as he continued “Oh Sarah, I love your trainers they’re so colourful” we said “Wow how amazing that you’re here, we thought we’d never see you again. How are you?” He said that his cruise ship had to wait a long time for the big bridge (one we’d just walked over) to lift and let us into the dock, so we arrived a lot later than you. Shortly after his wife turned up and we started chatting for a while, before saying “Maybe we’ll see you tomorrow? I can’t believe you’re here today”. 😀

After parting ways (again) we started on the long trek back, but we did get to walk back over the bridge with the colourful buildings, yay!  

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 On the ship…🛳 

We quickly nipped back to the cabin so i could put on my new shirt, then we walked out on deck as i wanted a photo in Curacao whilst wearing my new Curacao shirt. 😀   

Me stood in front tof the colourful Curacao buildings wearing a Curacao orange shirt

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Towel creature… 

 On our return to our centre front cabin we found our first towel art. Sarah thought is was a rabbit sniper…Please let us know what you think it is in the comments below?! 😎 

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 ⇧ Sarah on her tranquility seat ⇧ 

 And finally we were blessed with a beautiful sunset from our cabin window, wow what a day!

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Thanks for joining us at this wonderfully colourful place…Have you been here before?

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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☀️ #58 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Oranjestad, Aruba” 🇦🇼 (2019)

The Blind Sightseers logo

  Hi friends and welcome to Day 58 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Aruba Logo

🇦🇼 Good morning friends!

Thanks for joining me and Sarah on another Birthday celebration cruise and stay in the Caribbean, it’s great to have you guys along for the ride.

Marella Explorer (Apr 2019)…🛳  

Unbelievably this is the Blind Sightseers 6th cruse! We have never been on the Marella Explorer and Sarah had booked cabin 8001 which is dead centre and right at the front of the ship. She chose this cabin as she thought the views from the window would be fantastic….She’s right again! 😎 

All it was missing is a steering wheel, lol.

A view of a sunset from our cabin on the Marella Explorer looking directly forward and centre at the front of the ship

⇧ View from our cabin Nø 8001 ⇧ 

Sea logo

Sarah stood on the deck looking out to sea with a cargo ship in the far distance

Before getting to Aruba we had a day at sea. We were pleased with this as it gave us time to walk about 80,000 steps to find out where we could get Breakfast and the evening meal…But most of all find the Coffee Port to see if they made lovely strong coffee? They did! 😀  

 🇦🇼 Aruba…

As usual we had booked an excursion for each of the 5 islands we were visiting and todays excursion is: De Palm Island – Full Day, Aruba.

De Palm Island has got it all. Set adrift off the Aruban coastline, this private reef offers up pristine waters and a huge variety of exotic marine life, it’s a first-class spot for an underwater exploration. Your day will start off with a short boat trip over to the island, where the friendly staff will be waiting to meet you. After a short safety briefing, you’re ready to slip on your mask and wade into the warm, clear waters. Expect to meet friendly blue parrotfish and angelfish. Back on dry land, there’ll be time to sprawl out on the sand, take your seat for a banana boat ride or visit the island’s small waterpark before heading back to the ship. Don’t forget that a full buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day will be included. 

On the dock…🛳  

Marella Explorer over the sea whilst stood on the dock

 We had a short walk around the dock until we arrived at the place to get the little fun boat. 

The little fun boat…🚤

 Yay, it didn’t disappoint as it bobbed up and down spraying us in the face with nice cool sea water. 

Me bottom right with a view over the little boat filled with our group

De Palm Island…🏝

My lovely wife Sarah

 ⇧ My lovely Wife Sarah catching some long awaited sunshine outside the cafe ⇧ 

When booking this shore excursion we had visions of excitement and adventure from the amazing Xel-Ha island in Mexico, unfortunately this wasn’t like that. This place was tiny in comparison which worked well for us not getting lost but there wasn’t much to do either. The weather was overcast and muggy, until the clouds parted and gave the sun chance to burn a hole through your flesh! 🔥 

I was well impressed by the solid wooden walkways that curled around the whole place, and i marvelled on how long it must have taken to construct this very accessible path. When i was fully sighted i worked as a panel beater in a bodyshop so i know a little about sanding etc. I was enjoying the smoothness of the wood when Sarah pulled me from my reverie…“Steve! Come on stop touching everything to see how smooth it is, lol!” 🤣  

We found the cafe first (funny how that happens) and use it as our starting reference point. We found a souvenir shop (we’ll be back) then the toilets (useful) and passing the bar and food court (Mmmmmm) we stumbled upon the sun bed area. Seeing that all of the sun beds were taken and we’d only just got here, we walked back to the cafe to see if they had iced coffee?! 😀  

Walking around the cafe looking at the assortment of food we suddenly heard an american man with a bright and cheery accent right behind us “HOWDY” Sarah and i turned to face him and he continued “I hope you don’t mind me interrupting? But i saw you have an insulin pump and wanted to ask about it” Sarah talked to him about how long she’d had Type 1 diabetes and how long she’d had the pump. The man was a chemist/Pharmacy person and his niece was debating whoever to get one or not? After Sarah talked about how much of a life saver the pump has been i think his niece will be getting one! The man (sorry forgot his name) had arrived on the ‘Celebrity Silhouette’ cruise ship that we’d noticed towering over ours in the dock, and it was also his first time in Aruba, then we finished up our coffees (no iced coffee, just a machine) and parted ways with the lovely man. 😀  

Me stood on the left in a orange caribbean shirt carrying a black backpack with views of palm island, Aruba in the background

 Yay…It was the first time in a while that i’d been able to wear the bright orange shirt i bought in Saint Kitts from our first cruise…Read all about it here.

We quickly figured out that this place was mainly for snorkelers, and that wasn’t an activity the ‘Blind Sightseers’ could do (yes even we have limits, lol). We managed to secure 2 sun bems ( nobody wanted them as they were in the shade) and as i sat down Sarah went to see if she could have a paddle in the sea?! Sarah quickly returned looking sad as they’re were rocks pretty much all the way round and lots of ‘Beware of Jellyfish’ signs. More clouds came and lowered the temperature so we walked into the food court place as it was lunchtime already.  

Yay…I was happy as they were mainly serving burger and chips (well french fries which are fake chips) and Sarah said they served salad too! 🤣 Once again (like the sun beds) every table was taken except the only one in the blistering sun no-one wanted…So we sat down and i placed my ‘Tactical sun hat’ on my frying head and enjoyed the burger, although i wasn’t sure which one of us was barbecued, lol!  🍔  ☀️  😀  

“HOWDY” the man said whilst walking past, i said to Sarah “I don’t have to ask who that was as his accent is fantastic” as we waved in his general direction. As Sarah and i can’t make eye contact it’s almost impossible to make friends or start a conversation unless people come over to us. So it felt great to make a friend here who always says “Howdy” when seeing us! 😀  

Sarah & i had a great time wondering around this beautiful little island and we found lots of little places until stumbling into….The gift shop! We love to find souvenirs that help us remember the amazing journeys/adventures we have conquered, and Sarah bought a fantastic t-shirt with “Biba Dushi” written on the front. Biba dushi in Aruba means “living the sweet life”. The language is actually called Papiamento and is one of Aruba’s two official languages spoken by many on the island. Papiamento is a Creole language derived from Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and African languages.

Back at the ship…🛳 

After another fun ride on the little boat back to the ship, we had enough time to get changed, leave our bags and have a well needed iced-coffee before heading out to explore as much as we can without getting lost before the ship leaves.

We walked up one street and turned right before Sarah stopped and said “Wow, that lady is having her photo taken in front of that cool wall art/sign. Quick get one of me” “Ok my lovely, you’re wearing your new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt too, i hope i get everything in”. Sarah had bought this t-shirt for our holidays and couldn’t wait to put on the lovely bright colours and flowers.

Sarah stood on a surf board in her new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt.

 This is one of my fave photos as it shows Sarah’s smile is as bright as her t-shirt. 

Walking back to the ship we finally found a local Bauble maker…Her daughter makes and paints them herself. We bought a beautiful one which even had a cruise ship painted on with the Aruba island and even 2019 on it. 🎄 😀  

We’ve started collecting Christmas Tree Baubles since i started going abroad 5 years ago. We love unpacking them at Christmas and filling the tree with all  of the places we visit. We think its a lovely idea to fill the tree with our lives journeys and give thanks to God for everything.

Our wonderful new friends…😀  

Photo of 6 of us after a lovely evening meal. Sarah & i meeting 5 new friends

Sarah & i like to share a table with other passengers, mainly to take this opportunity to try and be sociable( being blind and trapped in your very small world & not having any eye contact it’s almost impossible to be sociable. or start conversations). So asking someone to read the menu for you because we are blind is a great ice breaker, lol! 

We met 2 lovely couples that night and you will hear a little more about them throughout this trip.

Thanks for joining us on our visit to Aruba! Have you been here before? 🤔

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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☀️ #57 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Blindman Tough Mudder” 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (2018)

The Blind Sightseers logo

Tough Mudder 5K

Good morning friends! Are you ready for a challenge?

Adie, Me & Josie at the start with smoke covering the landscape

⇧ From left: Adie, Me & Josie ⇧  

It was amazing to have my friend of nearly 30 years Adie join our “Hard As Nails” team. I thought we’d sit and catch up over a coffee….I didn’t have this in mind, lol! 🤣  

Adie on my back as i carry him on the hero carry

 ⇧ Me carrying Adie on the “Hero Carry” ⇧ 

After jogging a little, we came to this…….

“At over 2 stories high, this is one of the most impressive obstacles in the UK. It is a giant A-shaped cargo net that you and your team will have to scramble up and over it. Working together will be the only way to overcome”.

Adie, me & Vini on the scramble net

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This was easily my favourite obstacle of the day as i could get my hands on it. Also it’s where my new trainers just hooked perfectly around the rope and it felt completely solid.

My blindness helped me out for once as i couldn’t see how high i was climbing and scrambling over the top. I heard a lot of fear from other people and a few of them froze going up and were glued to the spot. 😨

 Then….When getting to the bottom i hear “Yay, Whoop Whoop, Steve, Steve, Steve” and the sound of the plastic clapper hands were going crazy! What a feeling to know my lovely Wife Sarah and the Crazy Clappers team were cheering me all of the way, a great feeling! 😎

Me, Vini & Ashley cheering

 ⇧ Me, Vini & Ashley biggin’ up the cheering team ⇧ 

More jogging….Adie and the team were excellent at guiding me when jogging. Moving low hanging branches, telling me of tree roots and pulling me in the right direction. Adie said “I tried running with my eyes closed for a few steps…And there is no way i’d try any of this if i couldn’t see”.

Then….. 

“We’ve taken the 10′ Hero Walls and tilted them right at you. By removing the ability for you to climb up and over this wall, you will have to form a strategy with your team, work together and boost each other to the other side”.

Vini on top of the wall and me trying get my leg up to get grip for my pull up!

 ⇧ Ouch, my leg hasn’t bent that far in about 20 years, lol! ⇧ 

More Jogging…..

“This obstacle will have you crawling on the ground, pinned down by a giant cargo net. Working your way through this one will require lots of communication, teamwork and a strong will”.

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You’ve guessed it…..More jogging and then….

“The aim of the game is to get your team up and over this stack of super-sized hay bales. There is no right or wrong way so boost, shove or yank every last team member over the other side”.

Ashley helping Josie

⇧ Ashley helping Josie in a display of team work ⇧  

Next…….

“Can’t go through it, can’t go round it, you’ll have to go over it. Work together to boost and shimmy your teammates up and over this 10′ Tough Mudder staple”.

Ashley at the top of the wall

Josie on the top of the wall with all of us cheering at the bottom

Vini helping Josie at the top of the wall

Yep, more jogging…..

Time to get swinging. Grab on, hold tight, feel the momentum and swing yourself from ring to ring like a regular Tarzan. This obstacle will test your strength, coordination and flow. Hang in there, you got this”.

Really didn’t do well on this one…And i can’t really blame my sight for lack of strength, lol!

Me on the rings

After a little more jogging…… 

“One of the most teamwork-inducing obstacles in the Tough Mudder portfolio, this obstacle is difficult to complete alone. You’re going to have to work together to form a human pyramid and, like its namesake, climb up and over your fellow Mudders on the way to the top”.

As Vini was making everything look so easy…..It was great to look at the photos afterwards and see it wasn’t all too easy and he had to struggle too!! 💪🏼 🤣  

Vini & Ashley pulling Josie up the pyramid scheme

Vini, Ashley & me pulling Josie up the pyramid scheme

Pyramid scheme 1

Pyramid scheme 2

Pyramid scheme 3

AND NOW……MY NEMESIS!!!!

 “A true Tough Mudder legend. Everest will challenge participants to run up a quarter pipe to reach the summit. Can’t do it alone? Not to worry – teammates are encouraged to hang over the top to pull their new friends up and over” 

I knew this was going to be difficult for me as i needed to try it and get hands on before i could calculate what exactly i needed to do. Adie and Ashley kindly explained the process….But i knew i just had to do it before i would really know….As running at a half pipe wall thingy when blind is going to be interesting!

Here Goes Nothing…..

Me running at Everest

Me and Everest

I thought i’d feel the incline of the ramp and know roughly where i needed to jump and reach out for the top. But i took 1 step too many….And before i knew it the hard wall was in my face! 🤕 

“Awwww i was so close to reaching the ledge”.

Me crashing into Everest

After hitting the wall i dropped down hard on both knees, and as the obstacle was made of hardish tyre rubber, it simply burned and ripped the skin off both knees….”Wow that stings!”

Time to regroup and recalculate! I could sense the crowd went very quiet, and i heard a couple of people wonder how i’m going to get up there?

“Ok Steve, just do the same (not the face plant and flesh stripping knee thing) but with 1 step less”. Here i go again! 😲

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18JA3425

Yay!! Now that’s better, and once i had my talon trainers gripped to the ledge i was solid, now i  could just heave myself up. Wow i made it! 💪🏼 

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18JA3400⇧ Ashley showing how it should be done! ⇧😎  

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The team were fantastic and we all made it up. No-one was being left behind and you could just feel the team growing closer with each obstacle, it was amazing.

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Now the final obstacle was overcome, it was time for a short jog to the finish line,Yay!

The Finish Line & The Headbands……

IMG 4397

Yay…..We did it!

 

With more than a week past….My knees are still scabbed and bruised…..But i’d like to give an Elephantine amount of thanks for everyone involved! 💪🏼

 

A photo of the hard as nails team with our headbands on and our arms around each other

 

⇧From left: Adie, Vini, Me, Josie & Ashley ⇧ 

 

IMG 4417

⇧ When words fail to say how thankful you are!!! ⇧ 

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⇧ Me, Adie & the headbands ⇧ 

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⇧ Adie, Vini & Me for a final photo ⇧ 

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Wow what a journey! 

First…I’d like to give a stupendous amount of thanks to my lovely Wife Sarah….The amount of love and encouragement was mind-blowing! And for the “Hard As Nails” team…..”“my muscles were fading but the sense of team work was overwhelming and no matter what…..We were getting over those obstacles”.💪🏼

Second… I’d like to give a monumental amount of thanks to the “Crazy Clappers” team. “When i’d finished an obstacle and was about to collapse……I’d hear the Cheering Team and you’d put a big grin on my face to remind me it was alright and to keep going! 😎

 Third…I’d like to give a gargantuan amount of thanks to all of you guys for your donations to “World Cancer Research Fund” and encouraging me (and the team) every step of the way! We passed (and smashed my target) the whopping £1,000. “Intention isn’t Prevention……And you all have helped me spread the good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.”

Finally…A colossal amount of thanks to John and Sarah Atherton (from the Epsom Camera Club) for giving up your Saturday and taking the amazing photos of us all….We’ve got fantastic memories of the day which we simply wouldn’t have without you!

Thanks for cheering me on around the course! Have you done anything like this before? 🤔

Now i need a holiday! Wait a minute…The ‘Blind Sightseers’ havn’t finished yet, Yippeeee! 😀  

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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☀️ #56 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #4” 🇧🇧 (2018)

The Blind Sightseers logo

  Hi friends and welcome to Day 56 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends!

This is our last full day before we have to fly home. 😭 We’re going to miss this view!  

Dover beach with a palm tree on the far right

Breakfast…😋  

Me and Sarah at breakfast in Barbados

 We had our penultimate breakfast (yes sausages…I mean fruit) and i was wearing my new ‘Birthday’ t-shirt. Sarah had seen it in the little gift shop (on site) and knew she just had to get it for me. It says “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and has a surf board with a large bite mark out of the side, it also has Barbados written on it…Fantastic! Sarah was wearing her ‘World Cancer Research Fund’ t-shirt which is the charity she works for, and it’s the reason for my impending doom…Let me explain…

The Blindman Tough Mudder! 🤔  

People who know me?! know that I’ve been struggling and fighting all kinds of obstacles for the past 18 years since being registered blind…..BUT I‘ve never faced obstacles such as these.

I was recently challenged (strong-armed) to do the Tough Mudder 5K by Sarah’s nail tech/artist Ashley, who works at Ooh La La Hair & Beauty Salon. I chose the team name ‘HARD AS NAILS’ and I’ll be competing and raising funds for one of my favourite charities  -World Cancer Research Fund

My lovely wife Sarah works for World Cancer Research Fund and I was stopped in my tracks by one of the statistics she showed me – That 40% of cancer cases are preventable ….that’s around 147,000 cases each year in the UK alone. And that after not smoking eating a healthy diet, being more active and maintaining a healthy weight are the most important things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. This totally blew my mind!

“What??? There are cancers that I can prevent? I thought cancer was something that you just got!” 😱 

The light switched on for me and I thought “Why didn’t I know this? 

I want to share this good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.” 💪🏼  

Since then I’ve been following World Cancer Research Funds recommendations and have never felt more healthy and energised (even though I’m on beta-blockers). Most of all I know I’m helping to not dig my own grave with my own knife and fork!

Can a blindman do a ‘Tough Mudder’…? (post coming tomorrow!)

Now it’s time to spend our last full day on the immensely packed beach! 🤣  ☀️  

Sarah stood on the beach in arbados

Sarah stood on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah cooling her feet in the sea at dover beach

 After our 1st wave (see what i did there, lol) of beach fun it was time for a cool down, but first i had to try and get Sarah off the beach. 🤣  

Sarah looking out to sea on dover beach

 Just as i’d gotten comfortable in the shade…”Steve let’s play some crazy golf! I bet you can’t beat me, lol!” Not another challenge! 💪🏼   

Me lay back on a sun bed chilling in the shade

 Putting (pun intended) the ‘crazy’ into crazy golf…

This hotel and beach club was just fantastic for us as there were no steps to trip us up. Walking out of our room…The main swimming pool was about 10 meters away, the restaurant/bar was about 20-30 meters away, and the crazy golf course was about 30 meters and just around the back of the hotel in the beautiful grounds. 😀  

Sarah taking a shot on a lighhouse crazy golf course at Southern palms in Barbados

 We were happy straight away as the course had a lighthouse obstacle…Sarah loves lighthouses and we stayed in the ‘Old Hunstanton Lighthouse’ for our honeymoon and then for the following 5 anniversaries! 😀 ❤️ 

We didn’t have the course to ourselves as there were also some children playing, this really helped us out when Sarah did her ‘Happy Gilmore’ impression and smashed the ball off the course and into a load of bushes! The children (who were a lot smaller kindly returned Sarah’s ball as they could fit under the bushes! 🤣  

Sarah crazy golf

Me looking towards the camera whilst taking a shot on the lighthouse crazy golf course at southern palm Barbados

We had no idea who’d won the game as we were having too much fun! 😀  

 Back to the beach…

As the hotel is great and accessible for us…The empty beach was fantastic. When you’re registered blind you hardly ever get to walk freely without millions of obstacles coming at you from every angle. So once Sarah plonked me by the sea and said it’s safe to just walk up and down and follow the edge of the sea, i got moving. It’s a freedom i never ever thought about when i was fully sighted but now i love these brief moments!

me walking along the beach with my feet in the shllow water

Me on the beach

Sarah volly ball

Sarah beach running

 After spending lots of time playing in the shallow water and being splashed (blasted) by the waves, we walked as far as we could along the bay (east), then we walked all the way back to Sarah’s favourite place…The rocks (west). You may recognise this place as the sunset location, as this is the place we always come to every night to capture a sunset. 😀  

Sarah on the rocks

Sarah on the rocks

Sarah on the rocks

 It was a beautiful place to stop and listen to the sound of the waves crashing and to sit  (or stand) in reverie. 

Well now that’s out of the way it’s time to try and catch up with Sarah. I really need to take more video clips as the auto focus isn’t fast enough to keep up with Sarah, lol! 

Sarah on the beach

Sarah running on the beach directly towards us

 Goodbye Sharkey’s…

After our scorching day on the beach we headed off to our local for an iced coffee! 😀   

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

  Farewell Barbados… 🇧🇧  

 We’ve had such an amazing time staying at the Southern Palms Beach Club, playing on Dover beach and enjoying Barbados! So i thought there would be no better way to leave this place as to let the beautiful Bajan sun set on our holiday. 😀 

Bajan Sunset

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀

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