I began July exhibiting Dolphin’s range of assistive technology products at the forty sixth annual convention of the American Council of the Blind held in Minneapolis. The ACB elected a new President, First and Second Vice Presidents as well as a new secretary. As well as voting it was also a marvellous opportunity for me to catch up with friends and former ACB colleagues. 2007 was the first year of the ACB auction at which I got just a bit carried away bidding against the outgoing president for a special ACB edition bottle of Makers Mark which has now taken up residence in my kitchen here in Worcester. Much to my surprise and pleasure it was bourbon I found myself drinking on the final evening of convention with RNIB Chairman and president of the European Blind Union Lord Low, who described Makers Mark as “Heart warming” and rprisingly I completely agree.
During the third week in July, I attended the launch of the RNIB National Library Service at the Sight Village UK Exhibition. The service unifies access to libraries previously offered by RNIB and NLB. Hopefully by sharing overheads the RNIB NLS can reinvest any savings and substantially increase the breadth and depth of content on offer.
The final title in the Harry Potter series was waiting in my mailbox on Saturday 21 July. Frustratingly I was not here to read it as severe flooding on all routes back to Worcester meant I could not return from Birmingham following the British Computer Association of the Blind Gala dinner at which I had been invited to speak. This provided me with a perfect excuse for an impromptu visit to see friends in Preston, a hearty Sunday lunch followed by some crown green bowling in the sunshine. Thankfully my flat in Worcester escaped the flooding and so when I did get home I raided my mailbox and pretty much devoured Rowling’s Deathly Hallows.
Following the Microsoft sponsored Smart Hal launch in London last week I had some leave scheduled for the end of July. Cinema, Scrabble, Worcester Walks encompassing: Worcester’s Cathedral dating from the 10th century, the site of the Battle of Worcester and the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company all helped me relax. I spent a day in Birmingham including an unexpectly pleasant boat trip, followed by Mel Brooks’ The Producers at the Hippodrome. Musicals are not usually my scene but I found the Producers to be an hilarious piece of offensive self-deprecating cheese worthy of a few good belly laughs.
It’s August now and today I was back at work. It is nice to return to some semblance of normality. I feel suitably revitalised and enthusiastic about the next couple of months. I’ve got a stack of blogs and books I want to read, bellyaching over whether to attend the Edinburgh Fringe, thinking about some shelves for my flat, contemplating whether or not to learn to play the guitar?
Anyway, it’s Thursday which means it’s pub quizz night, it’s been a while!