Friday 6 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to Adventures with Autism Works after what I am sure has been a much needed festive break for us all. First of all, Happy New Year for 2012 to you all and I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Years' Eve, without eating and drinking too much! Such are the temptations during the festive season with all the chocolate and mulled wine around!

On a personal note, I can happily say that I had a busy but highly enjoyable Christmas, starting with the media work with Tyne Tees and BBC Radio Newcastle in the run-up to the festive season and getting my Christmas shopping done in time for the big day. One of the highlights of Christmas for me, and certainly the most laughable, was watching Mrs Bucket on the QE2 on Christmas Eve in a classic episode of Keeping Up Appearances* from 1993. It is said that some of the best comedy is the world seen through different eyes, including Asperger eyes, I especially find it hilarious when figures of speech are interpreted literally! Keeping Up Appearances is enjoyed by many other people with Asperger's Syndrome whom I have met. For me, the moment when Mrs Bucket point out that there are two empty seats at the captain's table, but the waiter the tells her that they are taken and the expression on her face when it is her sister Daisy and her layabout brother-in-law Onslow that turn up is just magic!

My New Year, I can also happily say, was a very peaceful one. One of the first things that many of us think about once a new calendar year is rung in is resolutions. From my mindfulness practice though, which I have been doing much of over the holiday period, I have understood that what has often been a source of anxiety for me is my 'list' of things that I would like to do, to attain as well as places to visit, not least because it takes me out of the present, as well as distracts me from priorities in hand. So rather than set out to do a list of things in 2012, if I have anything that resembles a 'New Year's Resolution', it is to live in the year as it unfolds month by month, week by week, day by day from moment to moment.

Immediate priorities at Autism Works include continuing to work with Sunderland Software City as well as marketing ourselves to hopefully win ourselves some more testing contracts. Within my role, my immediate priorities include putting together applications to the Flexibility Support Fund and also to the Deloitte Social Innovation Award, which if we attain it can attract funding. We are also in the process of awaiting an outcome to a funding bid to the Gatsby Fund, a Sainsbury Charitable Foundation Fund.

To see how 2012 unfolds at Autism Works, stay tuned. 

All the best for 2012,

*No matter how many times I watch Keeping Up Appearances, I still can't help feeling sorry for poor Richard!

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