thebig27

this week i turned 27 years old, can you believe that? let’s hope i last longer than a certain beehived woman. this year was the first year in 27 of them that i actually did any type of work. i’m not at all proud of the fact that i bunked off from school, college and uni every year since i can remember. it was as usual a warm 15th of may, but i stuck to it. after work i chased the kids about, then got a takeaway nando’s with extras and saw my bestie, a disaronno and coke. i was too tired for cake and was tucked up in bed by 10pm.

the main event was friday, where i went out out with my favs. we went for food / drinks at revolucion de cuba which was a cool place and it took me right back to my cuban roots. the food was ok, but the cocktails were delish. this marked the first time i saw big bro on the cocktails too. we busted out our best dad jokes, talked about what our next adventures might be and almost booked £25 flights there and then. it was so lit – i think that’s what all the cool kids say these days. 

i liked it! 

great times don’t always need lots of words. so for the gifts, £$€, bday wishes & a brilliant night out. cheers.

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tdturns3

dear readers,

on wednesday the 4th of may 2016, twodoughnuts was born. who would have thought that the blog with the stupid name by the dude with the kids would still be going strong 3 years later? because of this blog i’ve got to be involved with some great charities such as action duchenne, dmd pathfinders, mduk and pharmaceutical companies santhera and pharmaphorum. i’ve spoken publicly, been involved with a bunch of projects and met great people. i even got a job!

i wasn’t quite sure why i started twodoughnuts in the beginning. i know now. it took me awhile to realise why and exactly what i would really write about. i wanted to put my odd point of view out there. for me to feel my voice is being heard. for others to take it in, learn from it, laugh at it and feel it. if i’ve made one person feel, anything at all, i’ve achieved something. i like to think it might help people in a similar situation to me, their families or anyone who thinks they can’t do something. it’s usually because they’ve been convinced by others that they can’t. well i have 2 beautiful kids, i live independently. oh i have a job and i’ve been to university as well. deal with it. thanks for reading and don’t forget, don’t listen to stupid people. ever!

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amstdm

so i had a 4am start and left home at 5am. we probably should’ve left even earlier. in the morning big city rush hour, minutes were ticking by like seconds and it was getting worrying. we were going through customs at 8:01 for an 8:16 eurostar, luckily the train was delayed by an hour. that was so close! we managed to get into the business lounge though which = much needed free food. if you’re wondering why we took the train, i’ve got a bit hacked off with my wheelchair getting broken every time i fly. a little extra stress maybe, but no broken chair and i didn’t have to get lifted by a 4 foot 9, 62 year old woman. after arriving and just about working out the metro system thanks to the help of the first of many very nice and very helpful people, we made our way to our hotel. €13 each for every metro while we were there, bargain! 

we stayed at the corendon hotel thanks to simplyemma. it was modern, the staff couldn’t do enough for us and it had some neat little touches like electric curtains that we broke in the first 5 mins. i rented a hoist and it was a bit different than what i’m used to, but we managed. we had a breather, then got right back to it. we had a random walk about around the many diagon alley’s and found dam square, such great vibes except the evil pigeons. we were hungry and found a cool burger bar that was blasting toe tapping hip hop tunes. this is where we met old amsterdam cheese, which lets say was an acquired taste. we ended up in a locals pub watching home side ajax playing juventus just across from hotel jimmy. disaronno was consumed. back to the hotel for an early ish night it was and the beds were goood. i slept like a log, something i don’t often say when i’m away from my own bed.

there’s nothing like an outdoor breakfast in the sun, a ham and cheese toasty never tasted so good. we checked out a cheese shop and made our way to an accessible boat tour, obviously we should’ve booked. we went for a stroll in vondelpark instead where we became at one with nature, commenting on how happy everyone was (even the dogs) and how cute the parakeets were. later on we wandered around the red light district and not long after found a wicked little cuban bar and it was mojito o’clock. i loved this place, it was the real deal. after a couple of drinks, we left to find an accessible loo, which in amsterdam are few and far between. plus maybe i was cutting it a little bit close – cue mad dash to the nearest maccy d’s… which had 0 toilets, the next one had toilets and 3 massive steps. so off to the closest, darkest alley we went and what a relief. goose chase over and we relocated a restaurant from earlier in the day, rancho grill for the most ribs i’ve seen on a plate. lush. followed by the cuban bar round 2, then bedtime.

after another al fresco brekky on dam square (great bacon!), we made it our mission to find the “i am amsterdam” sign. we went on a pretty long walk to get there, all the way across town actually… and it had been moved! i mean what are the chances? after one of the most cobbled drives of my life, nothing, but it was a nice open grassy area, the sun was beaming and we had rare time to chill. we got a metro back to centraal station, the place where we started and bam there was the sign just across the water. with only a couple of hours until home time, we failed our mission and took a pic from afar. we had 3 other missions to complete – have an ice cream, get the souvenirs i kept putting off buying and take our agreed 1 selfie. again it was cutting it close, but missions accomplished. speaking for myself, i wasn’t ready to go. i had a really amazing time with 2 of the best people i know, nothing bad happened and everything worked out nicely. what a trip and what a place!

cue picture of some bikes next to the canal.

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drizzy

i have a tip regarding going to a concert very far away. find an accessible hotel (preferably with a ceiling hoist) and stay the night. i have done this on many occasions and it takes the pressure off. then there are the times i think, “ah it’ll be alright” and this was one of them. i went to see drake at the o2, which he literally turned into the o3. i had work training in reading earlier in the day, so luckily we were already half way or there abouts. bristol to the o2 and back, all in one day is a task and a half.

we drifted through the sea of camo and snakeskin in rather relaxed fashion to the entrance. i was offered assistance that would take us to our seats, which i wasn’t interested in. when it’s necessary, i will take the help when it’s offered and you should as well. however, sometimes stewards can be just as clueless as you are and just draw more attention to you. i can’t count the amount of times i’ve had a big muscly guy give me the “excuse me, wheelchair coming through treatment!” with no essential need to do so. obviously we got a bit lost, though we did make it to our seats embarrassment free. we even got there in time for the supporting act tory lanez. don’t worry, i wasn’t quite sure who he is either and i’m still not. we were all there to see one man – drake.

drizzy as some might call him rocked up at 9:25pm, which for the record is 25 minutes past my regular monday night bedtime. it was worth the wait, as he pounced up onto a pretty impressive light up stage with awesome visuals like waves, lightning and clouds. a curtain surrounded him with scorpions projecting onto it and a light show too. he played his classic songs, but kept it short and focused more on his newer stuff. at one point in a mesmerizing moment, a full-sized sports car just casually floated out above the crowd and i still don’t know quite how they managed that. wizkid came out for a cool guest spot and drake ended on an emotional note with “god’s plan” and a nice video of his childhood and early career footage. this was the third time i’ve seen drake and the best by far.

the safest and best advice on leaving a concert as a wheelchair user is wait until the crowd dies down a bit. well i’m always up for a challenge and i can also be highly impatient. this usually means at the first chance i get, i’m off and i was. it ended at 11pm and it was full on getting back to the van with cold hands. a couple of girls decided to take a selfie, by dodging them, i was cut up and accidentally got someone right in the calf muscle. we decided to go on an adventure, so at about 12am we were driving through trafalgar square, on a little late night tour of london. the m4 was closed for a few junctions, which put us on a goose chase through country roads near bracknell that was fun mid-journey. eventually we got home and i was tucked up in bed by 3am, complete with a hot water bottle.

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wrestlemania

it took me many years to admit it, i’m a wrestling fan. in only a few days time, it’s the big day – wrestlemania! since 2003 i have stayed up until 4 or 5 in the am to watch the christmas of wrestling. this year is the first year in 15 of them that i won’t be carrying on the tradition, because i’m an adult and i have work. i’m also off to see drake on monday. to celebrate 35 years of the grandaddy of em all, here are my fav 5 moments and fav 5 matches from those long nights. here we go…

5. vince gets his head shaved

we live in a world where the president of the united states was once part of a wrestling storyline. donald trump and horrible boss vince mcmahon faced off in a hair vs hair match. vince finally got his comeuppance after years of being the baddie. and the best bit of all was when the potus got hit with a stone cold stunner. i still can’t believe this.

4. shane jumps

shane mcmahon is one crazy sob. he made a habit of getting beaten up and jumping off stuff. after a surprise return before the big show, he faced undertaker in a hell in a cell match (a big scary cage). after breaking out of the cell and laying his opponent on a table, he climbed to the top – about 20 feet high and went for the classic elbow drop and missed. holy smokes.

3. hardy boyz return

after being away for almost 10 years, my fav childhood tag team – the hardy boyz made a comeback. it was time for a tag team ladder match that the hardyz made famous. they were announced last minute and everyone lost their minds. even better, they won the tag titles for a feel good moment.

2. ric flair retires

the absolute legend that is ric flair retired in 2008 after losing a retirement match to his friend shawn michaels. wooooooooooooooooo. it was emotional to say the least! enough said.

1. the streak ends

the most shocking moment in wrestling ever! undertaker never lost at wrestlemania, he won 21 times, brock lesnar was the 1 in 21-1. after having some great matches late in his career, this stunk up the joint. the streak couldn’t end on such a bad match surely? well it did and ruined everyone’s childhood.

aaand..

5. chris jericho vs shawn michaels

after 4 years away shawn michaels made his triumphant return against someone who idolised him as a kid, chris jericho. it was a technical masterpiece and shawn picked up the feel good win. jericho played sore loser after the match and kicked shawn in the balls

4. john cena vs the rock

finally the rock came back and fought the top dog, after 7 years rocky was back and this match was made – once in a lifetime. the most hyped wrestling match ever. they both had entrances accompanied by famous pop stars in front of a hometown crowd who loved rock and hated cena. luckily the rock picked up the victory.

3. brock lesnar vs roman reigns

we couldn’t hate roman reigns enough. he challenged brock lesnar and we all thought he would win. cut a long story short, brock beats the crap out of roman much to everyone’s delight and then seth rollins with his money in the bank contract came in at the end and stole the match. giving us one of the more unusual ends to wrestlemania.

2. batista vs daniel bryan vs randy orton

daniel bryan is one of the best! he is smaller than your average wrestler and wasn’t given a chance. fans hijacked every wrestling show they went to, eventually the wwe had to listen and put him in the main event of wrestlemania. despite all the odds, he won to become the wwe champion.

1. shawn michaels vs. undertaker

the best of the best against the best of the best! two veterans that could sleepwalk through a match and still put on a better show than most. the famous streak was on the line and this was the closest it had ever come to being broken. shawn michaels had us all believing that this was the end. amazingly, after a rollercoaster match undertaker won.

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naidex45

on tuesday i travelled to birmingham nec for naidex. it’s a yearly convention for all things disabled. or as i like to call it – all things i can’t afford. i felt right at home of course with all my wheelchair homie’s rocking up for the occasion. it was the most wheelchairs i’ve ever seen in my life and probably the most i ever will. obviously it was chaos. turns out i do like ikea – if only for their one way system. why there was no system of any kind i’ll never know. it was a bit stressful being a sardine for the day. oh and i got attacked by some girl. she wants me obv.

anyway i only managed to find a small number of things of any interest or use to me. these chinese manufactured portable nebulisers would of been great if they weren’t slightly too heavy for your face (they did fit my beak!). the adapted vans were decent, though none came close to my big sheila. the rest of the time i was on the hunt for freebies and sweeties. the highlight was an adapted camper van, unfortunately i didn’t have £35,000 on me. you can rent one though… hmm i feel an adventure coming on…

i escaped relatively quickly and went on a hunt for food. we had the most fun on the walk to resorts world, getting lost (the nec is uuuge) and going on the travelator was hardly my wisest decision. as usual i didn’t get my speed right, so i turned my wheelchair into a rocking horse on wheels. i survived. i went for my first ever zizzi’s and played a game of guess who’s going to the drake concert too. awfully dressed humans.

essentially i went to birmingham for a pizza. will i go to naidex again? it’s a no from me.

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dmdmitch

this is an intro blog i did for my new job with pathfinders.

hi, my name is mitch coles and i am one of the new development workers here at dmd pathfinders. i live independently in bristol with my partner and two kids.  i’ve also been to university where i studied graphic design and i run my own blog. i have duchenne myself; so working at pathfinders means a lot to me. i have been involved with the charity for around three years now and was even a trustee up until recently. i have taken part in a couple of conferences, speaking on behalf of pathfinders. this is my first actual job. i have wanted to find permanent employment for a long time and last year i made it my mission to get a job. i am thankful that someone decided to finally take a chance on me.

i have been looking forward to starting. i have seen firsthand what pathfinders has to offer and the difference they make. i’m more than happy to be a part of that. i am hoping i can do what my job role says on the tin and that’s develop. i want to support people like myself when they are in need and make it better or easier for future generations who find themselves in a similar position. there is a need to break down barriers, so others can live freely the way they choose and do so confidently. this role covers many aspects of what the charity has to offer, most importantly my duty is that of supporting others to overcome and achieve whatever goals they set out to do. i will be offering 1-to-1 mentoring support for anyone who needs help with something.

i will be running online social gatherings that will bring together young adults with dmd who will greatly benefit from the interaction, even if this isn’t face-to-face. there will be social events and information days in person also, where users can talk about their experiences, share stories, make friends and just have a good time. it is also important to give out useful information, tips and resources that will be of use to others. i want to reach as many young adults with dmd as possible, putting on outreach events to make sure everyone in this situation has every opportunity to live as they wish. i will be in touch with various organisations that we can collaborate with and together make a difference.

any young adults, families, carers and organisations who want to get in touch with me please do, as i would love to hear from you. feel free to email me anytime on mitch.coles@dmdpathfinders.org.uk or tweet me @dmdmitch.

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