Soho, Covent Garden and Marylebone Housing Estate Office

Clair Coping Day To Day

As readers of this blog will know, I’m disabled and have problems with my mobility. I came out of hospital last week to the terrible news that our Local Housing office is to close.  I have been a Westminster City Council tenant for the last 16 years  and now they want to take away our Estate Office, that provides a Community Service within offices that sit on designated community land.

I and many others like me will never be able to travel to the proposed new location at Marylebone. I live alone and have no family to rely on due to a bad childhood. Having a local Estate Office means that I get to see people that know me and understand my issues and difficulties. My relationship with the Estate Office stretches back a long time. Anyone just starting a tenancy going forward will now be denied that relationship by Westminster City Council and City West Homes actions if they choose to put commercial interests and money above the needs of their tenants.

I have taken to my blog, because this is the only voice that I have, to plead with both Westminster City Council and City West Homes to think about the needs of their residents and about how long the Estate Office has been serving local council tenants in Soho and Covent Garden. Marylebone is a very recent addition. Please think about the impact that this closure will have on the very tenants that you have a responsibility to. Please honour the commitment that you made to the community, when you first opened the Estate Office on community land 16 years ago.

You seem to be forgetting that these are not just offices, but a team that help residents in the local community, from a base that has been there for many years. Please don’t take that away from us.

Social Media – Part Deux

Clair The Soho Corner

Many of my readers will not be aware of this, but I will be living on top of a building site for the next 2 years. The whole area around where I live is having a facelift and an extension built.

I’m very happy and excited about this as I can no longer get to the park, a communal garden, with step free disabled access, for us residents funded by the developer, as well as access to a car through membership of a car-club, the yearly fees for membership, again funded by the developer, for all residents of our building is being provided, as part of the development scheme. Both of these things will make my life as a disabled person much easier.

I took my social media accounts offline before Christmas as I was getting very stressed and overwhelmed by trying to keep up with them. However I have made the decision that for the length of the building work on this building scheme I am going to reinstate a twitter account, but keep that account very small. The developers agents have provided a twitter account with updates to the scheme and it will be for this reason and this reason alone that I will be operating my twitter account.

Due to my disability I find it difficult to get to information meetings and I have not been able to attend very many of them, so social media really is the easiest way for me to find out about the works that are happening in such close proximity to my home.

As always – the best way to get in touch with me will be through the contact form on this site.  I don’t intend to be active on twitter very much at all.

Right I think that is everything for the moment….. I just really wanted to explain why I have another account popping up after I had taken my previous one down and hopefully avoid any confusion.

It’s a little late, but I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year.



Merry Christmas

Clair Coping Day To Day

Just a very quick post to say Merry Christmas to all my readers – especially those who, like me are facing Christmas alone.

As a child I always dreaded this time of year, it just meant my Mother drinking more which in turn made my situation much worse.

Although it is a time for pretty lights and cozy adverts that can draw you in, it is still a heartbreakingly and desperately lonely time of year if you are alone and have nobody that cares about you around you at this time of year.

So whoever and wherever you are I hope everyone has a great Christmas.


Food Preparation When Disabled

Clair Useful Aids

Cooking while disabled can be a huge challenge, and for me there is a huge combination of reasons that make it so difficult. I will mention some of the difficulties that I have here.

For years I had a mixture of disastrous cooking attempts that resulted in inedible meals and ready meals. Then I gave up attempting to cook at all and relied solely on ready meals. Then a few years ago I started getting ill and having gallbladder attacks and anyone that has ever had gallbladder attacks will know how excruciatingly painful they are. I had to wait a few months for surgery and while waiting I was still having the gallbladder attacks. I was told that to minimise the attacks I had to cut out processed food and eat only low fat foods. They explained that high fat foods can trigger attacks and that low fat eating without processed food can stop the attacks happening so regularly.

When I explained my difficulties with cooking I was met with silence. It seemed that nobody had an answer to the problem. After surgery to remove the gallbladder I still get pain after eating processed and fatty foods. Right after surgery I was so scared to eat I decided I had to find a way. While looking online I found my saviour – the Cuisinart soup maker.

This brilliant machine takes all the difficult bits out of cooking and does it all for you. No need to chop veg – it does it for you. No need to worry about handling hot pots and pans on the hob – it does all the cooking for you, including sautéing the veg and meat on the built in hotplate before you add your stock. It also has an automatic stir function. It even switches itself off afterwards so you don’t even have to remember to do that.

Although it is not supposed to, I find that it will chop the veg for you too, especially if you cook them for 5 minutes first in the machine with a little stock, or just buy preprepared vegetables for it.

The only problem with the machine is the glass jug. It is a little heavy – although I do use a ladle with it so I don’t have to pick up a heavy jug full of hot soup. There is an excellent recipe book that comes with the machine, but I tend to just chuck everything in and hope for the best.

All in all I highly recommend this soup maker for anyone either disabled or elderly who for whatever reason can no longer cook for themselves.

Social Media

Clair Coping Day To Day

It is with real regret that I have decided to close down my social media accounts. I just don’t feel capable of managing them anymore. It was all just too overwhelming and struggling with my health in the way that I do I am simply unable to cope with all that social interaction on a regular basis. If you would like to get in touch with me please use the email contact form on this website.

This website and it’s blog posts and regular updates will be staying, I know through the personal messages and emails I have received over the last few months that many of you find my website useful, but I am just simply unable to cope with the social media accounts and find it all completely overwhelming.

I hope that many of my readers will not be too disappointed and will understand my reasons for taking this decision.

A life lived day to day

Clair Coping Day To Day

I have delayed in writing this first post in the coping day to day category of this blog  because I was, and if I’m honest still am, unsure about how much personal information I want to reveal about my disability and its effects on my life day to day in such a public forum as the internet.

I did actually think about deleting this section of my website completely in fear of making such a personal area of my life so public. However, after a lot of thought, I have decided to make an effort to document how I cope physically even if I do only choose to reveal tiny, but meaningful snapshots of the whole picture here publicly. Also,  just maybe a tiny glimpse of the emotional aspects of my life – both for my own benefit, as well as to other people coping with the aftermath of paediatric stroke.

My story will be different from many others though.  For reasons I will go into in more detail over the next few weeks and months I have had no contact with any of my family since I was a teenager. I also live alone and so for both of these reasons I have no real constant and close support network around me, and although I can get physical things delivered, for all the emotional and coping aspects of my life, I really cope alone with everything, and that can be a struggle in itself.

I will be updating this section as often as possible with snippets from my daily life and how I manage. The effects of stroke really can and does touch all areas of your life, even in the smallest and most basic of ways.

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Getting Prescription Medication Delivered To Your Home

Clair Useful Aids

For years I struggled to get myself to the local Boots chemist each month to collect my medication. The whole process would leave me stressed out, exhausted, in pain and unable to do anything else for a few days afterwards.

Then I found out about a little known service called Boots delivery in the United Kingdom. You can go online here each month and place the order for your prescription 14 days before you need it, and they will get the prescription from your GP and send your medication out to you in the post 1st class signed for. It is currently £2.95 for delivery.

I have been using the service for a few months now and I find it excellent and it is very reliable. I’ve written this review because when I was looking online for a review of this service online I couldn’t find one, so I was unsure about using the service and how reliable it would be, but it really has been excellent.

I believe that other big chemists in the UK offer the same service but I haven’t tried any of the others.

Some smaller chemists will deliver to you in person too if you live close to them, but again this service is not very well advertised in most chemists and you will have to ask the pharmacist about it while you are in the chemist.

I live alone and, because of my disability, this makes it very difficult to get things like prescriptions picked up directly from the chemist, so for me, a service like this is absolutely brilliant. I do hope this information will be of use to some other people that like me, find it difficult to get out and about.

Finally, although I have linked to Boots in this article I’m not connected to them in any way – but I did have problems finding that page on their website myself in the beginning, which is why I decided to link to it.

UPDATE : 2nd February 2016

From viewing my website stats I see that this is one of my most popular posts, so I thought I’d better do a quick update to it. Since I wrote this post I have changed the delivery method for my prescriptions with boots.

If you are worried about exactly when your prescription will arrive, it is possible to have Boots send your prescription out next day special delivery. The charge for this is £5.95. This eliminates the guessing game of wondering when your medication will arrive and who the postman will leave it with if you are not at home. Although Boots do email you to let you know when they have dispatched your medication – even when you use their regular first class signed for service.

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Hello world!

Clair Hello World

My name is Clair Malone and I have been living with disability my whole life. For the last 15 years I have been living in Berwick Street Soho. I’m setting up this site in the hope that it will help other disabled people and their carers. Due to my own health conditions I’m not sure how often this site will be updated but I will try to post a few times a week. I find it difficult sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, and I’m using a microphone to dictate this now rather than typing it. Even as a child I always loved writing though and would love to do it here every few days.