We all have a lot of stuff. Now Christmas is coming. Most of us will be giving and receiving even more stuff. But we don’t have to. We can think differently about giving gifts this Christmas. We can donate to charities. We can also offer our skills and abilities as gifts to others. One skill I have is baking gingerbread. I make it every Christmas for family and friends. I’m sharing the recipe here as a gift to you. I hope you find ways to share your gifts this Christmas.
This year Dave Jacka became the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia. The journey had good and bad moments. Dave dreamed of flying a plane when he was a boy. But when he was 20 years old he had a motorbike accident. After the accident he had only six per cent body function. He still wanted to learn how to fly and it was hard to find somebody to teach him. But years later he learned how to fly. He has a light aircraft with special equipment. Dave has won a Pride of Australia medal for his solo flight around Australia.
Eastern Heart and Sole is a walking group run by Vision Australia and the Heart Foundation. People meet each Tuesday for a five-kilometre walk in the eastern suburb of Boronia in Melbourne. Anyone who enjoys exercising in the fresh air and being social at the same time can come along. When I did the walk there were people with and without a vision impairment. I enjoyed the walk. We stopped for a while in a park .When we finished the walk we had a drink at a local café. We all talked to each other.
Many people believe that the blind live in darkness. This perception, however, is not necessarily true. Ever since I went totally blind as a child, my internal world has been far from dark. I not only visualize my surroundings, but sound, words and numbers are all in distinct colour. This phenomenon is called Synesthesia.
All my life I have loved food and have lived to eat, rather than eaten to live. Life has not been easy having a food addiction. I have had to seek the help of dieticians, nutritionists, psychologists and psychiatrists many times. Often I got the wrong advice. My weight is still a major issue for me, and I am definitely an emotional eater. However now, with the help and support of properly trained and patient professionals and support groups, I am more aware of why I eat too much at times and how to regulate it.