After making my truffles at an event in Middlemarch last week, I was in the Kissing gate café the next morning with one of the event organisers Joan Wilson. Sitting at a table nearby was Liz, the local school bus driver, who had attended the event I had spoken at the night before. We exchanged greetings and then Liz proceeded to tell us her story.

“Julie” she announced. “I was thinking of you this morning because there is a dusting of snow on the mountain top and it looks so beautiful.”

I braced myself at this moment. Usually people say things like “and I felt so sad you couldn’t see it” but I needn’t have worried as Liz continued.

“I was telling the kids on the bus, it looks like that blind woman has sprinkled icing sugar on the mountain top!”

OMG! I love you Liz! That is so beautiful!

Here are my sensory observations for this week:

1 the sound of the American Anaesthetist who did my assessment yesterday at Dunedin Public Hospital. Should I be reassured???

2 the feel of the 10 sticky little tapes the ECG technician placed all over my body before she did the ECG! Apparently I’m normal! Woo hoo! Will someone tell my kids!!!

3 the taste of the chocolate croissant I bought from Spelt bakery!

4 the feel of my big son Zac, bend down, to give his old blind mother a hug. How did he get to be so big so quick? And those whiskers! You didn’t have those when you were born Zac!

5 the feel of the vintage suitcases I bought at Shop on Carroll to house my chlothes. They are very cool and will house my wardrobe while we are on the move! All for just $12!

6 the smell of the leather in Trents bag shop today! Wow! It’s such a beautiful smell!

7 the taste of the pork and tomato casserole I made for our tea.

8 the feel of the warm days on my back over the past week! For Dunedin – it’s amazing!

9 the feel of my new merino vest I have worn in the past couple of days! Perfect for this climate!

10 the sound of the scrunchy leaves under my feet on our morning’s walk at this time of the year. They sound and feel so precious, like they are giving out a little squeal as I stand on them!

“Sorry little leaves but I really do love you!”

Let me leave you with some words from the pupils at Strath Taieri School after I visited them last week while I was sprinkling icing sugar on their mountain top!

On Tuesday the 28th of April, Julie Woods, “That Blind Woman” came to speak to Strath Taieri School.

She told us about her journey of becoming legally blind, the story of

Louis Braille and how she went to the Eiffel Tower. She told us

that to never say “No” to our opportunities and instead we should

say “Why Not?”. She asked us twenty questions and we had to

reply “Why Not?”. She had been asked all of these questions and

because of saying “Why Not?” she has been curling, biked the

Otago Central Rail Trail, refereed four games of nude touch rugby

and many more weird, funny and interesting activities. Afterwards

she got her braille machine out and typed all of our names in braille

on her business cards. We all found her very inspiring, funny, polite

and very committed to life. She said she had thought that her life

had ended when she became blind but it had only just begun!

Anna, Ruby K & Brayden

Thanks kids! My – weren’t you listening! Good luck with saying why not!