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4 people with hidden impairments


Keeping Mad Keen
by Adelaide La Blanche-Dupont 
There are some things I'm really keen on in my life.  Even though I have acquired brain injury resulting from a near-drowning in a West Sussex pool (and this was a full pool not a toddler one-the hotel concerned knows who they are) when I was nearly 4, that doesn't stop me from enjoying water and swimming. There are 2 pools in Cambridgeshire that I really enjoy-Cambridge Leisure Works which has had a few facelifts and the Spastic Society (I think now it's the Scope pool) pool which is sort of in Cambs and Norfolk. Now I have to be careful about swimming because I get colds and other infections (especially in my ears). I love going to the beach and paddling and exploring rock pools, especially in Guernsey (Channel Islands) and other locations on the Southern Coast. Sometimes I do body-surfing or try to-once I was affected by some really bad ticks (or something that makes you scratch and itch!). I took lessons from 1989 to 1992 and learnt quite a bit, and I taught myself survival breaststroke. I come from the South of France, you see, and I'm really rather wild about that sort of thing, so wild that I would fall into creeks and rivers.

Another thing I really enjoy is playing badminton, because it suits my impulsive nature very much. At the same time you can only play a certain amount of shots and it doesn't hurt my wrist unlike playing tennis or writing. I have even given my cousins a badminton set, and if you're not used to it you think the game is very complicated. I like to whiz the shuttlecock fast and trick people by the way I place my shots. It also gives me a sense of achievement. There are people who say I'm that good that I should join a club, but I've never been confident in sport. I also don't like people telling me what to do. Also my great love is pool, which I first played with a sixth-former at Cambridge Public, Patrick Maguire (whose face CONTINUES to elude me whenever I see him at Safeways-can't think why because he is SO good looking, or was). I had great trouble learning how to hold the cue properly, and then putting power behind it. Now seven years later I can beat my boyfriend, Derrick, and some of the other guys at Pulse (nightclub) and HYP. I like the balls and the scoring and what my cousins and I get up to.

I enjoy shopping at junk sales and getting completely worthless things that are cheap. I go to markets and fetes and things like that all the time when I am invited, especially to get books.  Lots of books! And records, because my Nanna had a record player and it's now in my room. I like hearing different kinds of music and feeling the beats and other sounds.  Sometimes the words get jumbled up which means I can't listen to rock music. My latest love is the songs of Shrek, especially Smashmouth. I often have to READ the lyrics of songs before I mishear them and sing along and cause my friends some embarrassment. I would really love to do karoke, and I have enjoyed a few, very few, concerts. One is the Celine Dion concert of 1996 and this year I enjoyed a Gospel concert.

I love creative art and theatre. I have played many roles in Kings College productions. In my third year I was a madwoman called Grace who screamed a muffled shriek. Everyone has their Monica Lewinsky moment-mine came at the end of the play, and everyone wondered whether I had done it on purpose. The audience was laughing and the rest of the cast was shocked. That I could do such a thing! The next year I decided to concentrate more on my stagecraft because we were doing Dags and there were no suitable roles. I didn't want to be Lynette, the hanger-on, and besides set design needed me. I painted thousands of boxes, and then this year I was the Modern Nurse and also the dramaturge. I often think of getting jobs in the theatre, or perhaps in an art museum. I did very well in writing analyses of the art works we studied.

I enjoy computers a lot because you can do so many things on them and my friends enjoy computers as well!  When I was a little girl I enjoyed scrapbooks and dolls houses and other things, and I liked daredevil sports. I did the Leap of Faith in April, which was an incredible rush of adrelin though I was scared to climb the ladder.


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