My Theory about Autism and Repetitive Movement

Autism_Awareness_Ribbon

I came up with a little theory about Autism that I wish to share.

Sometimes I get asked “why do you like Thomas?” My answer is usually “I just do.”

It’s a known fact that people with Autism have strong interests in machines or vehicles. We tend to be fascinated with vehicles like trains, cars, tractors, planes and helicopters. In my Mum’s school there are people with Autism who have been intrigued by fans, umbrella, drainage system etc. The question remains, why are we fascinated with things that move?

My personal belief is that we become hypnotised by the repetitive and steady movement of certain objects.

It’s not like being hypnotised by a magician for instance. It’s more like being mesmerised by repetitive movement. You could say it’s similar to someone being engrossed in a good film. However, instead of people with Autism being engrossed by films etc we become fixated with moving objects.

With toy trains, for example, if you put the rails in the circle that train will move around continually. That and trains, in my opinion, are majestic to look at. They are glossy and stylish.

That’s where Thomas the Tank Engine comes in.

You have an interesting vehicle, a train, which has us Autistic people engaged. However, give that train a face, a paint job and a personality that children can relate to and we are officially hypnotised with Thomas the Tank Engine.

I genuinely believed that Thomas could have been real. With cartoons, we couldn’t touch them or see them in person as they were on paper. However, with Thomas, you could actually go to the studio and watch him and physically touch him as he was a model. In that aspect, he felt real.

Not only was I fascinated and hypnotised by a train, I was fascinated and hypnotised by a train who has a human face and a human personality. To this day my enthusiasm for Thomas has never weathered and as I have mentioned many times before I owe him a lot. If it wasn’t for Thomas I’m not even sure I would be able to talk and socialise let alone type this up for a WordPress blog.

What do you think? What’s your opinion? I will be interested to hear your views.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part Three: The Final Fantasy Concert

Distant Worlds logo

  1. Fun Fact

Believe it or not I actually had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago. There is this talented group called WatchThisSpace, ages 14-21, and they do a lot experiment with dance movements. They were going to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and they held auditions to be part of that group.

A friend at Uni suggested that I should audition since I’m quite dandy with my Ballroom. I declined, for many reasons. Why? That’s for another blog. 😉

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini Ramble

This was such a surreal experience.

I had a rough idea of what the Royal Albert Hall would be like, but I never appreciated how big it truly is until I went inside… it’s seriously massive. I actually think it’s bigger than my local arena. I was sitting on the top tier, right near the fire exit. It’s no secret that I get apprehensive in massive crowds, but I felt reassured that I was near the fire exit. If it got too much for me I would just dart off.

Before the start of the performance a kind looking gentleman took to the stage and bowed. The crowd literally erupted in a chorus of cheers. I thought to myself, “He must be important.” But then Mr Conductor, Arnie Roth, announced that that man was actually Nobuo Uematsu. He has composed 90% of the songs from the Final Fantasy games. And, apparently, it’s rare for him to make an appearance but being in the Royal Albert Hall was a must for him. Can’t say that I blame him, it is a beautiful building. =)

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini-Review

What I liked especially about this concert was how Mr Conductor rambled briefly about each song and shared with us the facts about his orchestra. This was their 98th tour and 3rd in the Royal Albert Hall. He was a friendly man. He was the sort of dude that commanded respect without even trying. I’d love to have a drink of J2O with him one day. =) I believe the 99th tour will be somewhere in Europe.

I liked the fact as well that the Royal Albert Hall has the second largest organ in Europe… I can see why. The building was tall, but the organ pipes were massive. They were even taller than the top tier seats. The building was big but the organ pipes literally vibrated the entire arena.

They premiered quite a few songs that night. Two of them were based on the Final Fantasy 9 game. I liked all the instrumental music that was played that evening but I think the most significant instrument was the organ. Mr French came on (I didn’t catch his name) and played the guitar. He was good. Then Mrs Kelly came on (I didn’t catch her name) and sang a beautiful ballad for the Final Fantasy 14 online music.

I can’t really say I had any particular standout favourites since they were all as equally as good, but, I did appreciate certain songs that I’m more familiar with. Like the theme songs from Final Fantasy 7 and 9, especially the Rose of May. The Chocobo song at the end was a nice touch. =)

It was good as well that they had a screen. Whilst listening to the music we could watch the video that was being played that went with it. FF6 looks like it’s a humorous game, judging by what I saw. However, I did get confused when that joker clown like character fought against the pretty brunette lady and won. It looked as though the villain beat the hero… I think? I think it’s on that PSP Vita. I still enjoyed watching the screen though. I think it’s good that the orchestra made that available for us, the audience. =)

The most significant moment, without a shadow of a doubt, is Nobuo. I read in the programme that the man himself hoped to perform live on stage at some point. And… he did just that. Apparently, Arnie suggested that idea to Nobuo and he said that he will play the keyboard if Arnie plays the violin. And Mr Conductor played the violin. Hoho.

That was the first ever time that Nobuo Uematsu has performed on stage, and I was there to see it. It truly was a memorable moment. 🙂

*

It was good experience. I did cringe and clench my teeth a lot when the audience clapped, cheered, stood up and erupted. I was able to enjoy the orchestra just about enough since some of the instruments were soothing and they were playing the songs that I liked.

But, I didn’t like the huge noise from the crowd. It made my head swirl and chest feel unpleasant. On two occasions I had to go out to get away from the crowd, and when I thought rationally enough I went back in. I actually missed the start of the second half of the performance. I did feel worse after that. The duration of the performance was nearing three hours and near the end I actually wanted it to finish so I could go back to the hotel.

I did enjoy the orchestra. For some reason there seems to be a difference to listening to the music rather than listening to someone sing. In a way, this was the best way for me to debut a concert. Haha. It was good experience. In truth I would say that my brother appreciated the overall experience a lot more than me. He is a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. =)

If I were to rate this, I would say…

Two Thumb’s-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

  1. Overnight

I went back to the hotel asap with my brother, had a nice long shower and watched Match of the Day in my room. I put on BBC1 before I left for the concert. With assistance from my Brother I managed to work the TV. That way, when I came back I could watch the TV from the get go to be organised. I think that was quite wise on my part, if I do say so myself. =)

*

I cut down on my football time since I tried to get some sleep…

I was tired but my body didn’t really want me to sleep. My body became aware that this wasn’t my room and I wasn’t sleeping on my bed. The cushions were comfy though. Since I couldn’t really sleep I decided to read some manga. I read Monster Musume, D-Frag and See Me After Class. I even listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack on my ipod.

I felt very relaxed. This was the only time I could relax on this trip. Being organised in London was certainly exhausting and then I had to try and force myself to sleep. After relaxing, I gradually fell asleep. I didn’t get much sleep though.

I woke up very early. We set contingency plans to ensure that me and my brother get up at 8. I woke up at 7 O’clock. Before getting ready I decided to have a bru. I put on the kettle… I suddenly remembered that the plug didn’t work so I went to press the button to stop when I actually burned my finger. XD It was morning and I had long forgotten that the kettle was not working properly. Haha. Wait, that’s not funny… anyway, I spent five minutes running my burned finger under the cold tap…

*

We got the train, first class, and went home. I thought a couple kept on looking at me and they would often turn away if they caught my eye. I kept on building myself up to smile every single time we catch eye contact, alas… it never happened. Not to worry though.

I came home, and spent literally the entire day just chilling on the couch without saying a word. I didn’t want to talk. I was just extremely pleased that things were back to normal. It took a while for me to sink in the information though…

  1. Overall Experience

It was good. It was most definitely one of my most significant moments. Going and sleeping London felt so far way, yet, it was here and gone. It really is amazing how time flies, especially when you’re having fun. =)

Pre-anxiety always dominates my mind whenever I’m going into the unknown. Sometimes I will deal with my state of mind just fine, other times, it becomes hard to endure. I just have to go with my gut instinct.

London wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was quite the opposite, in fact. I felt constantly safe, a little iffy around the roads, but I was able to retire to my room for peace and quiet from time to time. And because I was constantly busy, I wasn’t as anxious. I distracted myself and times. It felt like I got used to my room quickly, and for a brief moment I thought I was playing the role of Alan Partridge. XD

A friend summed it up perfectly. “Focus on the parts you enjoyed about London, instead of remembering how you felt.” I knew this philosophy but he’s absolutely bob on with his words. =) And it’s the thing of, just because I feel sick, apprehensive, dizzy and so on, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take away the positives from this journey. Or anything really that is outside my comfort zone. I went to London to enjoy myself, not to pay attention to my nerves. =) It was a struggle at times but I coped and I was never in danger of losing my mind. Haha.

With that in mind, it actually made me appreciate my own life even more.

I have the luxury of a house, my own room, a space to play games, hang out with people, watch movies, write stories, watch anime, watch Thomas, read manga, and all sorts. I didn’t have that much freedom when I was away but I have the freedom at home. I already knew this, of course, but it still makes me appreciate my life even more, and I will continue to cherish it. =)

*

The biggest question remains… will I do this again?

Well… I’m split. Before this trip I might have said “I will never 100% do this again.” But now I have experienced it… I can safely say that I will not rule out this kind of outing again. On the other hand though, I’m not in a rush to do this again. I mean, I’m in no rush to go to London any time soon. If the concert was to be played in the nearest area then I think there’s a strong possibility that I would go again. It all depends how I feel at that time though. =)

It’s just as I mentioned in the wedding blog many months ago. Just because I did something once, doesn’t mean I would find it easy to do it again. It just means that I’m more capable then I thought myself to be. It’s all about endurance and concentrating on the positives. So far, I’m doing myself proud.^^/

THANKS FOR READING

That’s it for my London blogs. I wonder what’s in store for me next.

Nearly one year ago, 16th November, I opened up a WordPress blog account. I plan to post a blog on that very day to summarise my year of blogging. I hope you will drop by and have a read. =)

See you all for now.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part Two: The London Experience

Royal Albert Hall

  1. Arriving at London Euston

At this point we have arrived in the heart of London, more specifically, London Euston Train Station. Strangely, I keep on pronouncing it as Houston, but that’s irrelevant!

Ahem-

I took a quick glance around. I didn’t feel strange at first, it felt like any other ordinary train station. I would say that it’s just about the same size as any other major city station. =) We were in a rush too so we had no time to enjoy the sights of the station.

*

Next moment, we got into the black cab! That was the first ever time that I had been inside the black taxi cab. I’m a bit iffy with taxis nowadays due to my experience with taxis from when I attended College and University, that’s another story though! I was more excited than nervous. Perhaps it’s because the Black cabs are quite famous in London, and I was with my brother.

The gentleman driver knew where he was going but there was one moment where my heart skipped a beat. He pulled by the lights and from my point of view it looked as though we were going to crash besides this huge lorry! Turns out, he was just pulling up beside it. Me and my brother exchanged grimaces of relief!

We took another route because there was a vintage car real show in the park. =)

Through all those lovely detours we have finally arrived at the Queen’s Gate Hotel.^^/

  1. The Queen’s Gate Hotel

The first thing I thought, when I looked up is “wow, I gotta take a picture of this!” and so I did, and it was magical. =)

I felt really important when we went into the reception. I especially felt an important guest when we were given swipe cards. I was a little mean to my brother at this point… I made him take the stairs all the way up to the fourth floor. Haha. When we reached there we had a problem… how do we get in? We tried to swipe it horizontally, vertically and tried to place it as if there was a hole there… turns out, all I needed to do was place the card over this fancy switch and the door opened!

We got in. The room was small but cosy. We had problems working the kettle though. Then… well. I decided at that moment, after putting my card in the card holder, that I should take a picture of my door for Nan. So I walked out, closed the door and took a picture. When all was said and done, I put my phone away and tried to open the door… I was locked outside! My brother, Mum, my sister, everyone warned me that whatever I do, I should not leave my room without my card. I did that without even trying. Luckily my brother was in the room so all I had to do was knock on the door and my brother opened it. Haha. It wasn’t even his room. XD

My bed was ok and the shower and bathroom was in mint condition. As long as the shower was super hygienic then I am happy. =) I couldn’t really get all that comfortable on the bed, I wasn’t used to sleeping on someone else’s bed. I had a quick cup of tea before we left to go for a walk at the Kensington Gardens. There wasn’t much time to relax just yet as we wanted to have a quick stroll in the park.

  1. Kensington Gardens

Before we took a stroll in the park we decided to have a dummy run to the Royal Albert Hall.

I did this whilst watching out for the busy roads. I’m especially nervous around roads. Pre-university I’d often go into my own little world and not really pay attention to my surroundings. I used to be very embarrassed to admit this so I never explained why I lacked concentration when walking along the roads. Nowadays, I’m very aware of my sense of self. So, I can control my own thoughts, especially around busy roads. I’m still not as confident though, I will only cross roads when I feel secure over the fact that the roads are absolutely clear. I don’t care even if I have to wait ten minutes, it’s better to be a bit late and stay safe. ^^/

The Royal Albert Hall is literally a five minute walk from where the hotel was, perhaps even shorter. It was simply a majestic sight to behold. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s hard to put it into words. Opposite this building is the Royal College of Music. That was a nice building too. You could literally hear the pianos playing from where we were. On the other side of the Royal Albert Hall was the Royal College of Art, another nice building. =)

*

On the way to the park we got ourselves Ice Cream. Since this was a monumental occasion I chose to get a triple whippy into a double whippy comb… It was extremely delicious, but, I kept on dripping it on the floor. 😦 I said that it was worth every penny, until my brother reminded me of the fact that it was actually him who treated us both to the ice cream… so, it was worth all the pennies he spent on it. 😉

However, I dropped bits of ice cream onto my shirt. I wouldn’t mind if it was any ordinary shirt, but, I bought this shirt specifically to debut in London. And, I somewhat made a mess of it. Haha!

*

Walking in that park was simply lovely. There were loads of people though, and as more people came near me, I kept on taking shots of the sceneries. I got a few nice shots too, especially of the sky and water. =)

Strangely though, what I liked more about the park were the colourful people that were in it. It made me feel like that it was a waste of time feeling anxious around other people. I saw all sorts of eccentric activities the people were doing, I saw one or two doing yoga. I was happy because everyone was doing all sort of eccentric stuff, but, no one was judging anyone. They were just getting on with their own stuff. It made me feel like I could blend in and be myself with ease, without feeling judged.

My philosophy is ‘eccentric is the new normality’ haha. =D

  1. Realisation

Something occurred to me whilst I was snapping photos. I do genuinely love taking photos, but yet, I always find that I’m taking more then I need to. Why is that? I think I found my answer after I got back to the hotel. I take photos to distract myself from the situation.

To me, this makes a lot of sense. I’m always nervous when I’m out and about, especially when I’m venturing into the unknown. Sometimes to escape my nerves and socialising with new people I would often pick things out that I think would make a nice photo, and take a few pictures of it. It was exactly like that when I went to my sister’s wedding. I told myself to restrain myself from photo taking… that did not happen at all. Partly, it was because I enjoyed taking pictures of the scenery and people, but it was also to distract myself from feeling anxious.

How I felt when taking photos in London was no different from when I was taking photos at my sister’s wedding.

I wouldn’t say that taking photos is necessarily a bad thing but I at least understand why I’m taking more than necessary. Am I going to resolve this? Do I need to resolve this? I’m not sure, but what I am sure is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself in this trip, and this is one of the platforms that I have learnt. =)

  1. Pre-Concert Preparations

I was apprehensive when I got off the station, into the hotel, and walking through the park. But… I felt incredibly ill as soon as I went back to my room.

I don’t know what suddenly came to me. I propose that since I was constantly busy I was somewhat distracted by my anxiety. However, since I was back at the hotel, I had some peace and quiet. That was then when I started to feel ill. I became aware that I was in London, and that everything was out of routine. At that time I opted to listen to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack. Then, it was time to go and grab some tea lunch at the Royal Albert Hall…

*

Whilst feeling nauseous, apprehensive and a little jaded, I went and had a Panini and hot chocolate.

To my surprise, me and my brother saw a lot of people dress in cosplay from characters from the Final Fantasy series! I was led to believe that we had to dress smart casual. Who would have thought? I was happy that everyone was in a good, positive mood but, it was getting a little bit too much for me. It was a small room just inside the Royal Albert Hall, so, I needed to go out into the open space to avoid the huge crowd. Believe me, it was super tight. I felt more ill after that.

I bought the concert programme and took it back to the hotel before the start of the concert…

*

In Part Three I’m going to talk about the concert, my night in the hotel and my journey home.

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part One: The Preparation

Virgin Train

London baby!

Ahem…This was a very significant moment in my life and I can’t convey all of my thoughts into one blog post. I chose to divide this London Trip into three parts. =) Here’s the first…

  1. The Introduction

About a year ago my brother asked me if I wanted to go to watch the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert. He explained that this is a rare occasion for the tour to come to England. I looked on the site and saw that the orchestra band last came to England in 2012. I thought, ‘two years ago? That’s not so rare if it happened recently.’ Haha.

Tickets went on sale so really I had to make a prompt decision. My mind was very muddled at that point. I felt huge pressure on my shoulders and I kept thinking about the circumstances rather than the concert itself. In the end I more or less said no as my mind went blank and I’m not very talented with prompt decision making.

Afterwards my brother unveiled the fact that he actually bought all three tickets for me, himself and our friend, Cheese. It was a good job that he did as the tickets for the concert sold out in less than two hours! In truth, I did feel more pressure when my brother bought the tickets, but in hindsight, that was actually a smart move. To my understanding, it’s a record sell out. 🙂

I more or less said that I will think about whether I want to come or not, since going to the concert was not going to happen overnight. If I was unhappy with this then all I had to do was sell the ticket and refund my brother…

*

Along the way Cheese dropped out, so that would mean my Brother going by himself. At that point I started to think more about him then myself. He would have been fine on his own by all means but it’s not really the same when there’s no one to share the fun with. Plus, I probably appreciate the Final Fantasy series more than everyone else in our circle of friends. However, my brother appreciates the music a lot more than me.

I decided at that moment that I was going to the concert. Yes, it was a musical orchestra. Yes, it was a concert. Yes, it was at the Royal Albert Hall. Yes, it was in London. Yes, there will be a lot of people there. However, instead of brooding all of that in the present time, I would deal with those issues and worries when the time came.

  1. The Anticipation

I was generally relaxed about the trip at first. I arranged the tickets for Virgin Trains and booked reserved rooms for the Queen’s Gate hotel.

I must be honest when I say that I was very reluctant to stay in a hotel. In an ideal world we would watch the concert and go straight home via trains. That wasn’t really feasible though and so it was more necessary to stay in the hotel overnight. I really didn’t like this but I of course understood that travelling back would be more hassle then its worth. With much reluctance I booked two rooms at the hotel. My brother allowed me to make all the arrangements and I did with assistance from my Mum.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I lose a lot of sleep every time I spend a night at my brother’s. I’m very aware in those moments that my bed was not around. Sleeping at someone else’s house has always proved difficult. How am I going to handle the experience in a hotel?

*

In some ways I think I tried to avoid the topic about London as much as I could. I was in the frame of mind that I need to handle situation in the given moment, as oppose to thinking about it and talking about it needlessly.

I think my other folks and sister were more excited about the London trip than I was. When my sister asked if I was looking forward to Saturday, I asked, ‘yoga?’ Deep down, I knew she meant London, but I was really determined to not think about it. If I think about it, I worry. After she clarified what she meant I said, ‘I’m not thinking about it,’ and the topic ended.

Everyone was very encouraging though. My mum was especially encouraging. She was actually born and raised in London, so she knew London like the back of her head. She reassured that I will be fine. I felt reassured that I was going to be safe but it still didn’t change the fact that I was going into the complete unknown.

*

It dawned on me two days before that I was going to go to London… In that time I was busy trying to get my travel kit sorted and fixing my costume for the Halloween party. All the little niggles and quirks that I would laugh off or ignore became important issues. I had a lot on my mind so I ended up getting headaches, pent-up anxiety and I lost a lot of sleep.

Ideally, I would have liked to have an evening all to myself so I could prepare myself mentally. However, the day before we went to London I went to my Brother’s Halloween party. I was aware that there were new people coming so I started to get nervous about that. I found that my anxiety about the London Trip mostly overshadowed my anxiety of meeting new people at the party.

My head was not in a pleasant state because I did not have many opportunities to relax and unwind. I felt rushed and in the need of hurrying up. I don’t like running, rushing or anything at a fast pace. I always prefer to take my time, so bustling about and getting things ready did not help matters.

I did have an hour here and there and I spent that time re-watching particular anime. I also listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack since it’s pleasant on my ears. When I was relaxed and happy I was able to think positive. I might have felt ill and had a wave of headaches but that doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom. =)

I left the Halloween party early so I could prepare myself for the next day. I watched anime and settled for bed. I was still a little anxious but I felt happy…

  1. Arriving at the Train Station

I woke up at seven O’clock sharp and straightaway I found myself that I was able to wake up and get up with ease. I opened the window, saw a tree and thought ‘that would make a good picture!’ So I went outside and took a picture of it. It was beautiful. =D

Ahem-

I re-checked my bag, got dressed into my outfit, and re-watched anime before I left my house.

*

My Dad picked up my brother and dropped us off at the train station.

It was certainly a massive place. We found that we had a lot of time to spare because we arrived an hour early. We decided to grab a drink to quench our thirst. We went into Starbucks and I grabbed a lovely creamy hot chocolate. =D

Coincidentally, there was a massive chalkboard which said “AUTISM”. Around that word were different words that were generalised symptoms of Autism. Apparently, that was Starbucks’ charity of the month. In some ways, it makes you wonder if this was a sign. I certainly feel that it could have been, even if it is just a coincidence.

*

We found our train! I asked my brother to take a photo of me beside the train. I posed and he took the photo. I walked towards him, turned around to find that the train was just departing… I was posing next to the wrong train. Whoops. We eventually found the right train and scrambled aboard. We were right at the very back. 😉

  1. The Train Journey

I felt slightly under the weather to tell you the truth as I had a headache and felt jaded due to lack of sleep. The pendolino train, being rickety on the lines, sort of amplified my mental state. After that I felt very sick and very nauseous. Haha. For some reason I was expecting it to be smooth like an Aeroplane (I took part in Child Flight back in the 1990’s but that’s another story) and be a lot smoother. How wrong I was. XD

As I was on this train journey I figured I would use this time to write the Halloween blog as well as start my reviews on Non Non Biyori and Locodol. However, writing these reviews amplified my mental state by ten folds! XD

Despite feeling ill I chose to think positive. I had a lot of good banter with my brother. On the odd occasion I would look out of the window and at the beautiful scenery that were flashing by. We even played noughts and crosses for a little while and had a right good laugh about it. Haha.

The train ride, in truth, was enjoyable to some extent. It sort of felt no different than a normal modern train. We were just travelling farther away and a lot faster. I think because me and my brother were passing the time and enjoying ourselves it just seemed that the train journey ended a lot quicker then we’d expect it. Needless to say we both nearly fainted when we left the carriages. Haha.

The train came to a gradual stop and finally we have arrived at London Euston train station. =)

And- but I mustn’t tell you anymore, I’ll save that for part two. 😉

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

Journey to Tumbleweed Station

Daily the Diesel Railcar stamp

 

Peep, Peep Tidings.^^/

 

  1. Introduction

Dad has a wonderful surprise prepared for me, a trip to a train station/museum.

 

I must admit I was pretty apprehensive when he suddenly told me that we were going out. I don’t normally appreciate sudden surprises like that. I think it didn’t help because fatigue started to spread. I’ve been going out non stop to the cinema. In the past few days I went to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction and Inbetweeners 2. I wasn’t used to going out for hours on end day after day, not since my Uni days.

 

But, I wasn’t as anxious as he was very specific about certain parts of the information. He told me how long it will take, how long we will walk for, I would need my camera and how long the journey was. I felt easier after that.

 

I felt easier because I had a hunch, halfway through the journey, that we were going to some railway exhibition. Whilst I had my suspicions I didn’t give the game so it didn’t spoil dad’s surprise. … I can’t remember for now what the station was called, so for now, I’m calling it Tumbleweed Station.

 

  1. Tumbleweed Station

The station was small-ish and beside the station there was a big place with scrapped coaches and a scrapped saddletank type engine.[1] It looked a sorry sight. It was a very positive atmosphere though and there were children, grandparents and adults with additional needs visiting. A glassed train set of Thomas and Emily was on display. The models were huge. =)

 

We went onto the platform… a huge water tank stood tall beside it. That was exciting because I always wanted to see a water tank in real life, and now I have. The other thing that I wanted to see was a steam train on a turntable, but that’s another story! …on one set of tracks was a BR class Diesel Shunter.[2] It stood behind a huge line of tar/oil wagons.

 

Right in front of us was a Diesel Railbus, built in 1958 for the British Railways. In other words, it’s Daisy the Diesel Rail-car from Thomas the Tank Engine. Think of it like a singular bus that operates on the rails, which is why it’s called Railbus. XD Some of you Thomas fans may already know but Boco the Diesel Electric type diesel and Daisy actually share the same faces. All they do is add mascara, powder the cheeks and add lip-gloss to transform him into Daisy. So it’s like Boco making himself up for a pantomime performance, but instead of playing the role of the ugly sister, he’s playing the role of Daisy. 😉

 

Ahem-

 

It was the very first time that I ever rode the diesel rail-cart and it was a pleasant experience.

 

Generally speaking it was all very loud and hyper due to the excitement brewing in the room. I felt squashed and closed in when I entered the rail-car. That aspect of the journey was uncomfortable plus the sheer volume of noise. Then came the part when we journeyed along the line… it was a good experience. We passed signs, waved to people as we passed and we came to a stop, just before a set of buffers. We journeyed across a crossing way too. I was excited, like with the water tank this was the first time that I ever seen a set of train buffers before my very eyes. The driver was mighty close to the passengers; you could gauge everything from his own perspective.

 

We went backwards to venture back to Tumbleweed Station. I wanted to thank the driver for a safe journey but I wasn’t able to greet him. It was all a good experience. I must be honest though when I say that I was expecting a steam locomotive. That would have been extra special. I somehow was expecting a saddletank engine like Percy. The first time I physically went inside a steam train was Toby and Thomas when I went to a train exhibition in Keighley. It would be a nice experience to be inside a train like the Flying Scotsman or perhaps in a carriage.

 

  1. Aftermath

After the train ride we just took the time to have a gander at the museum. It was a nice little museum with interesting facts not just about the trains, but about the docks itself. They were interesting facts but by this time it was getting to be a long day and I was ready to come home.

 

The workshop is a lot smaller in comparison to the Railway Museum in York, still a nice workshop regardless.

 

I might have been tired and anxious but I was still able to think rationally and adapt to others. For example, for entering spaces and doors…instead of going first I let the rowdy children with their parents and adults with additional needs go first…I don’t know them as individuals but I would imagine that they would rather get off asap instead of waiting. So, I tried to accommodate and allowed them to go through the door first. The adult gent with additional needs smiled at me with a very loud voice. I smiled back and gestured for him to go first. I didn’t really know what he was saying but I interpreted it as to something nice. =)

 

It was a good day out. Dad stressed that he won’t surprise me like that again but he figured that I would enjoy this. He’s right on all accounts!

 

THANKS FOR READING

 

What gets me through my anxious and Autistic quirks is positive thinking, my personal remedies and not over thinking. I just need to go with the philosophy of don’t think, do. If I think then my mind is all over the place. If I don’t think, then I’m living in the moment. Knowing and accepting this is one thing, but actually abiding by this rule is no easy challenge.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

 

Ps. I just found out that the station is actually called Ribble Steam Railway. Haha.

 

[1] Think a train like Percy the Small Engine from the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

[2] Think Salty the Diesel from Thomas the Tank Engine

WWE Raw Experience

Good day! I’m going to use this opportunity to talk about the time when I went to the WWE live event held in Manchester.  It was WWE Raw and I believe it was episode 1068.

 

I went with my Brother, my Brother’s partner and our good friend Cheese. If you ever see the word ‘Cheese’ in my future blogs I’m talking about the friend not the dairy product. 😉

 

The tickets were booked six months in advance so I had plenty of time to prepare mentally for this occasion. Because it was such a long time I kept forgetting about the occasion so I needed a few reminders each month. When the time actually came I was more anxious then excited…

 

We travelled by train. I’m not one for big crowds and the train we travelled on was crowded. Some people were no doubt going home from work and some were coming to watch the WWE live event, just like us four. I really didn’t like it but I always prefer trains to buses. It’s probably because my love for trains is unmatched, but also Trains have more than one carriage so it doesn’t feel so squashy.

 

Then we got out of the train and straight into the M.E.N. Arena…it was absolutely packed. I’m not exaggerating; we couldn’t walk without tripping over someone. We literally had to fight through the crowd but we also had to stick close together. Even though the space in the building was much bigger I felt more squashed because of the large and rampant crowd.

 

What made matters worse for me was the level of noise that omitted from the large crowd. One of the things I can’t stand apart from large crowds is noise. I’ve never been able to justify the reason. I’m sensitive to noise. If someone shouts at me or there’s a loud noise near me I get a very unpleasant feeling in my head. It’s not physical pain but it makes me want to run away as far as I can. So, you can probably tell from reading this that it was initially a nightmare experience for me. I tried not to let my annoyance show as everyone was in high-spirits and I’ve never been one to cause a bad atmosphere, even if I was upset.^^

 

We went into the Arena… it was quite an experience. Strangely the arena wasn’t as big as I anticipated. Perhaps it’s because the rows were divided into huge sections. Perhaps it’s because everyone was sitting down. It was similar, if I were to make a comparison, to watching a live Football match. I went last year to a Football match between Charlton Athletic [my team] and Bolton Wanderers. Because we were all sitting down, in a kind of circle and focusing our eyes on the centre it didn’t feel as big. The arena wasn’t as spacious as the Reebok Stadium but it did have that same vibe…at least for me.

 

It was a mixture of anxiousness and excitement. When the matches got under way I tried to forget about my anxiety and focus on the excitement and capturing the matches on film and photo…as well as joining in with the chants. I chanted especially for William Regal and Daniel Bryan, two of my favourite wrestlers in the WWE.

 

Watching WWE live is a heck of a lot different than watching it on TV- so I tried to focus on what was happening in the ring…rather then watch the Titantron. Haha. 😀 They filmed WWE.Com exclusive, WWE Superstars and WWE Raw events all in one night. I think I knew this but now that I know how it works it’s quite wonderful to experience something live.

 

The photo below is the panoramic view of the M.E.N. Arena. This is what WWE Raw events look like before it is aired live.

Image

 

Overall I thought the event itself was ok, but the brawl between the Shield and the Wyatt family was exciting to watch. WWE fans have been wanting it for so long so it pleases me greatly that they first came to blows in Manchester, England. ^^

 

My personal highlights of the event:

  • Antonio Cesaro holding up John Cena for a Delayed Verticle Suplex for at least 30 seconds. Perhaps this was a tribute to the British Bulldog? Since the Delayed Vertical Suplex was his signature move. Strangely though it was never shown on air on Raw that night. Shame really, because it was amazing to watch.
  • The “fight” broke out between fans dressed as Goldust and Kane. This happened during the Ryback and R-Truth match. After they started a “fight” security came and chased them away, well, chased the Goldust fan away anyway. It was hilarious to watch. I believe you can fight clips of their “fight” on YouTube. 🙂
  • Mr Bean chants.
  • Daniel Bryan and CM Punk fighting as a Tag Team.

 

Going home was very painless since we went in my Brother’s car. My brother fortunately was already in Manchester so whilst I came by train I went home via car. A very fortunate arrangement indeed.

 

The experience was sublime but if I were to go again I would think twice about taking a sign as holding a sign all night made me uncomfortable. I probably won’t ever get over the uncomfortable and painful feeling from my head and stomach in these situations- but I can deal with it if I have to. =)

 

Hope you enjoy reading my experience,

Speak soon. ^^/

Ryan