Dyslexia means writing is painful but it makes what little I do write better.

I use IT in nearly every part of my working and personal life.

I’m sad to say it but I spend most of my waking hours looking at a screen like most modern professionals.

Much of this means I have to use the written word. 

Typing on a  laptop computer 
For me reading is easier than writing – apart from reading out loud which comes with a heightened level of anxiety of mispronunciation. 

I read voraciously but do have to re-read things to make sure that I have not skipped important information or misread something.

I am a curious person and the internet is full of things that hold great fascination for me, I am therefore resolved to the fact that the effort of reading is well worth the perspiration.

It’s writing that is really painful for me.

This pain is not entirely metaphorical I used to grip my pen so hard as a kid that my hand would cramp.

 Hand gripping a pencil 
Computers and assistive technology have helped considerably. I frequently use speech recognition, word prediction and would be lost without spellcheckers.  But they don’t completely remove the trauma of writing anything longer than a few sentences.

Colleagues may have noticed my keenness to switch from instant messaging to a voice call. This is no coincidence I can express myself better when I’m speaking. 

Of course not everything can be cut down to a short message or voice call, so I am forced to write. 

If speaking is easier why write?

I push myself to write as I am now because I have ideas that I want to share.  

Because writing is painful I think long and hard before I start writing – I have been thinking about this post for days now. 

This means that my ideas take shape before I write not during the writing, although the process allows me to refine them.

I am mindful of the difficulty some people have reading so want to ensure that what I write can be understood. I am careful and ponderous thinking hard about my choice of words and I try to convey ideas concisely.

Because I am more likely to have made spelling mistakes and typos I dedicate time to proofing and editing. This is arduous as proofreading is notoriously hard for dyslexics. 

Ultimately the effort of editing and proofing is worthwhile as I can check that my message gets across as intended.

Writing is like good whiskey.

If it takes time to produce it’s probably going to be worth the wait.

I believe that ultimately the lengthy fermentation of ideas, barriers to writing and discipline to craft words into something meaningful make for something that is worth reading.

I hope that you’ll agree.

 

Kew Gardens Tropical Extraveganza

Deep purple orchidsYesterday I was lucky enough to visit Kew Gardens to see the Tropical Extraveganza exhibition.20120220-111935.jpg

The displays of tropical flowers and orchids were quite simply beyond anything I have ever seen anywhere.

I went a bit snap happy with my iPhone camera and thought that I would share some of these pictures.20120220-112004.jpg

If you get a chance to visit Kew Gardens in the next couple of weeks I strongly recommend that you take the opportunity.

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These Vandas are very fleshy and opulent.  I have some similar purple ones at home but have never seen colours like the orange and yellow ones below.20120220-112056.jpg

Vandas are epiphites something I did not appreciate when I first had one so I watered it to death.  You can see the green roots on these plants also photosynthesise.

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 I wish I had the space to hang a display of plants like this.20120220-112225.jpg

This orchid below reminds me a bit of a narcissus.20120220-112156.jpg

 

As you enter the greenhouse you are confronted with towering displays of orchids.A pillar of orchid blooms

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But its not just orchids that were on show there was a profusion of other plants too. 

  Floating flora20120220-112344.jpg

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