“Busy, busy.”


Yes, it has been ‘busy, busy’. The last week and a bit have been full of challenges. I have often been very anxious. But I have come through which I think personally is a great achievement. The problem is that if only I could say to myself I did that so I know I can do it again. The trouble is it doesn’t work that way for me. Everyday feels like starting over again. My niece came to stay with grandma and grandad (ie my parents) for half term so I did a bit of auntying. Now I’m not really that great at it and find the whole thing very challenging, and I did beat her at tenpin bowling twice. I also managed burgers at a local restaurant without choking so that was confidence building. And I did play some nice games with her like Monopoly.

As many of you may have heard “Tilly” is going to the Royal Academy of Arts in March for the SEND conference “Why and How” and I have agreed to take part in a panel discussion live. Why I said yes I don’t know – but I do think it is really important to talk about female autism – but the whole thing is just huge. Not only do I have to appear, I’m also doing two nights in a hotel and eating out. My parents are coming, my mum will be with me, so I will be looked after. Also, in this most hectic week I’ve had our organiser Susan and the illustrator Ellen get together in my flat for a discussion on what we were planning to do at the Royal Academy and also Ellen brought along some of the first pictures she drew for “Tilly” and it was absolutely fascinating to see the process up to the finished book. We are now busy emailing each other with ideas. I’m just going with the flow and hope I don’t sound too nervous and dull on the day.

And if this wasn’t enough I also fitted in a trip to the dentist – I need a crown. I find visits to the dentist especially nerve-wracking, because I hate things in my mouth as well as the taste and smell. Fortunately I have a kind and understanding one. But the big highlight of the week was the trip to see “Rumours of Fleetwood Mac”, the best Fleetwood Mac tribute band out there. This my sixth occasion of seeing them and although the set list hardly changes year on year I’d still say they are a quality night out. It probably helps that I’m a huge Fleetwood Mac fan who has studied the band so my knowledge is really great. I did once about 13 years ago see the real Fleetwood Mac in London with my cousin and I must say it was brilliant but “Rumours of” fill a gap if the real band is not touring. I do find going out in the evening very stressful and I had my usual toilet “do I need to go/do I not need to go” the whole way through, but my National Autistic society carer Anthea was very good and got me through it. We even took a picture of me at the venue to send to my mum and here it is.

Things are calmer now. I got back on golf course on Tuesday and Friday. We did the usual shopping and cleaning. There is word of a trip to “Build a Bear” for a treat, I’m still looking for Montana and Kennedy!! To go with Madison and Dakota-Brie my other cheerleaders. Anyway as I said Busy, Busy but just about surviving!!

3 thoughts on ““Busy, busy.”

  1. Helen Bladen says:

    Sorry you couldn’t make it to the Royal Academy on Saturday, but I do feel as if we heard a little of you voice via the discussions from those who know you well.
    It sounds like there are exciting things happening in academia and the wider world about female autism, and you should feel very proud that you are part of a great push to understand this, and to support other women and girls. You are very brave to share your experiences in whatever way you feel able.
    Many people present said that ‘Tilly’ was the highlight of the day ,and had opened their eyes to the possibilities of supporting girls who were probably slipping through the net.
    All best wishes for the future,

  2. Helen Bates says:

    Dear Helen,
    I am replying first, not because Rachel doesn’t wish to but she wants to wait until she comes to us for the weekend.
    She and my husband and myself were very touched by your words. She is indeed a brave young woman and it is wonderful for her to receive that acknowledgement.
    Our experience on the panel was that there was such a warm and engaged feeling in the room. We do so hope that the session will have helped people feel more confident about querying Autism in girls so that they are identified early and supported.
    I know Rachel will be in touch.
    All good wishes

  3. Rachel says:

    Thank you for such positive and thoughtful messages. I find it very touching that people find my story worthwhile. Best wishes Rachel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *