My 2015 Highlights

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It’s really amazing how time flies. It took me a while to get used to the fact that we were in 2015, and now, as quick as that, 2016 is only a day away.

 

To commemorate New Year’s Eve, I will share with you my personal highlights of this year. There were plenty of them but for now I’m listing only the few that came to mind.

 

My Website – Going viral

For many years I thought about owning my own website but I was always insecure about putting my face and artistic works out there. I was concerned of being made fun of and getting harsh criticism.

Cutting a long story short, one day I broke down that barrier. Now, as well as blogging about various things I own my very own website, my own photo gallery, my own Instagram page, and even opening up a Deviant Art account.

Since going past that barrier I’ve been gaining nothing but confidence and I feel like I keep on improving on my art due to my confidence and motivation.

I’m especially proud of my Ayane fan art from the manga, Dragons Rioting. Tsuyoshi Watanabe, the author of Dragons Rioting, actually liked one of my Ayane fanarts on Twitter! That was a very proud and significant moment in my life. It’s like a couple of years ago when I received a personal message from Britt Allcroft. =)

 

A New Yoga Venue

I used to go to a regular yoga class with my sister but this year I went to a completely new venue/class. Not only did I go to a new yoga venue but I went on my own with no support. Now, I’m a regular at lotusflower. Sometimes I even stay behind at times for a lovely peppermint tea or accidentally drinking someone else’s. Haha!

 

I feel that I’ve improved on my breathing and poses but more importantly, I’ve opened myself up more to the regulars who also go to the same class as me, especially to my teacher. It probably doesn’t seem much but it’s definitely a big deal, especially when I find social situations challenging. =)

 

Passport

This was quite a big issue for me. On the pamphlet it says that I could take someone with me to the interview for support. However, when I got there, the passport people said that having someone with me during the interview was not allowed.

This did distress me as I felt misled. However, I coped very well under stress and pressure and answered all the lady’s questions rationally and truthfully. I think she knew I was genuine as I received my passport within three days! =D

 

Kitacon 2015

This was probably my personal highlight this year. In 2014 I stayed in a hotel in London and that was daunting. But this year I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham to participate in Kitacon for two nights and three days.

I would say that this was my first official holiday and probably only the second occasion where I slept in an unfamiliar place. Kitacon was challenging for many, many reasons. There were highs and lows. The highs was talking with random people as well as friends, and, taking photos of people in their cosplay outfits. The lowest part was the hentai panel.

I would say that that was one of my most difficult experiences as I came away feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy and light headed. It was very loud and I was stuck right in the middle of the rowdy crowd. It’s something that I will definitely not want to experience again.

However, even during these low points in my life, I still coped. If I were to go to Kitacon again I would have to think about it very carefully.

 

Summer House

For many, many years I yearned to have a little summer house in my garden. I wanted to be like Roald Dahl and write and draw and generally be creative in my own little house. That very thing happened this year and I was very, very happy. I still have to pinch myself now that I have my very own house to call my own. I haven’t been out in it recently due to the weather but it will be resolved once I get a heater in there. Haha.

Due to affection and for the sake of making an Alan Partridge reference, my summer house is now known as the ‘Business Centre.’ Haha! Now, I just need to wait when spring and summer comes and then I will be able to have my own flower baskets. =)

 

My Niece – Lucy

Family wise, this is definitely among my highlights. I did wonder if becoming an uncle would be life changing and a daunting task, but in all honesty, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’m seeing her a lot more than I thought I would and it’s worth giving up some of my free time to watch over her. I took her for a walk at Pennington Flash (Country Park) and went with her to Bents Garden Centre.

At three months old she’s now smiling and giving out cute little giggles. It’s a massive bonus that she enjoys watching football and Only Fools and Horses!

 

Halloween Gathering

I went to a Halloween gathering for board games and I dressed up as the wrestler, Sting. This was definitely a cool moment as I tried everything I could to make myself a carbon copy of Sting. I like to think I did a good job, especially the face paint.

Playing the board games was a nice change of pace, even if I don’t always understand the rules!

 

2016

 

There are a lot of things for me to look forward to next year, but most of them are just little things.

Stuff like watching my niece grow up, looking forward to the magical season of Christmas (I’m still celebrating the festive season now!). Other things include watching football on TV, yoga, decorating my summer house, spending time with my family, but most of all, my creative works.

My children’s story is very close to being finished and was only delayed as I couldn’t get it done before Christmas. However, once it’s finished I will review it once more and hopefully publish it on Kindle.

I have plenty more of art to share as well as my stories but when they are finished, you will be the first to know. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

My Second Year Blog Anniversary

Goodness me. It’s official. I have been blogging for two whole years. Well, just over two years as I am posting a day late. Whoops!

 

I originally started blogging on WordPress but in July I opened up my own site as well as a blogging site, right here. I feel that that was one of my biggest achievements this year as it took me some courage to put myself out there on the internet, especially my art.

 

I think between November last year and November now my approach to blogging changed. Before I somewhat forced myself to write for the sake of writing it, especially when it came to reviewing anime. However, in that time, I decided to blog when it feels appropriate to talk about something.

 

Now, I will share with you some of the blogs that I feel were most significant from 16th November 2014 to now…

 

  1. A New Yoga Place

I went to a new yoga place on my own for the first time.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/02/20/a-new-yoga-place/)

 

  1. Applying For a Passport

How I handled the situation and circumstance of applying for a Passport.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/05/15/applying-for-a-passport/)

 

  1. My Birthday Weekend.

What I got up to on my birthday.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/06/28/my-birthday-weekend/)

 

  1. Kitacon

The Kitacon experience was very, very special. This blog contains four parts.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/07/31/kitacon-part-one-the-anticipation/)

 

  1. My Theory about Autism and Repetitive Movement

I came up with a theory about autism and repetitive movement.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/07/01/my-theory-about-autism-and-repetitive-movement/)

 

  1. Becoming an Uncle

My thoughts on becoming an Uncle for the first time.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/09/28/becoming-an-uncle/)

 

  1. A Time to Celebrate

I was celebrating for many reasons.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/09/13/a-time-to-celebrate/)

 

  1. Halloween Party 2015 and Sting

How I got on socially at the Halloween party and thoughts on dressing up as Sting.^^/

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/11/02/halloween-party-2015-and-sting/)

 

THANKS FOR READING

 

Blogging has become a very fun hobby of mine and I feel like I’m getting better at writing with every single post.

 

Now, I am preparing myself for the England versus France game. For once, I am supporting both nations, not just my own. Simply because there are things that are happening in the world that are much bigger than Football, and this game in particular will highlight that very well. I’m not sure if I will be able to sing the French national anthem, but I will give it a try or bite my tongue trying.

 

Thanks for reading, have a good evening.^^/

Ryan.

Applying For a Passport

UK Passport Cover

Last Monday I went to an interview to apply for a British Passport.

I was a little nervous as I got the letter back from the Passport people saying that I was required to have an interview, which was not really a problem. It was my first time that I ever went for a passport interview. It was going to be a completely new experience, however, on the leaflet it says that if you have a disability and you need someone to be in the interview with you, please let them know. Mum came with me as I don’t travel by myself and in case I got anxious and didn’t understand the procedure.

As is so happens I totally forgot about the arrangement and only remembered the day before. Haha. So, the anticipation build up wasn’t as bad as it usually was. I can probably handle situations better when I don’t have too long to think about it.

I didn’t really know where this place was but I enjoyed having a good walk around in the warm sun. We found the place eventually and I went into the reception area with my parents.

We actually learned, there and then, that nobody was allowed in the booth with me. I started to get nervous at that point. The problem wasn’t me going in on my own it was the lack of understanding shown by the receptionists. This did not fill me with confidence. She was also rude to my Mum and was a little patronising towards her.

My Mum tried to explain why she would go in with me, not to speak on my behalf but to re-word questions if I didn’t understand them. This is a big occurrence in my life where I don’t always understand what people say, especially when they generalise. However, the receptionist wasn’t really listening or rather she was too busy enforcing the rules.

So far I wasn’t impressed with how unwelcoming the passport people were. If the receptionist was not very accommodating then how accommodating would the interviewer be? I started to lose confidence in the fact that they weren’t going to consider my needs. It seems like they don’t really cater for people with Learning Difficulties or Autism.

The interview lady eventually called me in and she was actually really nice and friendly. By the way that she was talking it seemed like she was more than familiar with people with special needs. She was very open-minded and she did seem experience when it came to communicating with people like me. All the interview questions were very simple to understand so I didn’t have any trouble answering her questions.

I spent about 25 minutes in there and I felt actually ok by the end of it. I was somewhat surprised how well I handled the situation, especially when the receptionist dropped the bombshell that I wasn’t allowed to bring someone in with me. I could have buzzed Mum to come in if I wanted but I was doing ok by myself.

I handled that situation really well actually but I was disappointed with the lack of consideration that the staff did show. It stresses in the leaflet that if you have Learning Difficulties and you need someone to come in with you then to let the passport people know. In a way, I did find this misleading. If it was clear that I wasn’t allowed to have support in my interview, then that would have been fine. But if it’s not ok, why mention it in the leaflet in first place?

I was more disappointed and bewildered by the principal of the staff not accommodating my needs, rather than going in by myself for the interview. However, it’s all done and finished now and I’m certainly losing no sleep over it. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Bell and Aiz Artwork Endcard

All I just have to do now is play the waiting game… by reading the rest of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novel Volume 2. =D That’s such an awesome book and anime and I’m really enjoying it. For all I know the passport people might refuse my application but I’m pretty confident that they’ll accept it. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.