My Autumn Autie Adventure
Wrexham, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, several trains and Donna Williams
Monday 12th October 2009 (added Friday 19th February 2010)
- Wrexham: 8th October 2009, 1230 hours;
- Doncaster: 10th October 2009, 1300 hours;
- Middlesbrough: 12th October 2009, 0930 hours.
The last three days up to the 12th October 2009 were for me among the most memorable. Ever. Surpassing, the 2008 jolly to Burnley and Aintree, I set off on an adventure covering three towns and two overnight stays.
As with all of Donna's lectures that I have been to, I have read examples of my poetry before she begins proceedings. This year, Swept Up in Pattern was read at all three.
At all three venues, both the poem and the artwork that I had on display were well received. Equally so were my new business cards, courtesy of Moo.com which featured 10 different bus photographs. Some thought they were for sale.
At the end of each lecture, Donna performed 'Broken Biscuit', her new song from her latest project 'Donna Williams and the Aspinauts'. This was performed to a set of slides, as done before in 2007 (Manchester) with 'Still Awake'.
The three days away were made most memorable by adding to the mix some serious bus hopping and train travelling, along with the obvious.
The Autumn Autie Adventure in Numbers
- 7: the number of buses caught in all;
- 1: pints of bitter drank;
- 200: the number of minutes spent on service buses 120 and 93, travelling from Bridlington to Middlesbrough.
Woodend Mill Wowed By Poetic Recital
45 minute set impresses audience
Sunday 7th December 2008
The 29th and the 30th November saw Woodend Mill Artists' 'Gifted' weekend, which was a great success among performers, stall holders and artists.
The weekend saw examples of crafts and paintings for sale and exhibition, augmented with live music and poetry.
I was one of the acts, reciting examples of original poetry and adapted works on the 29th November. One piece about online shopping got the greatest reception, due to its humour. The 45 minute set was well received attracting the greatest audience of the day.
Also available were copies of my mini anthology 'All Times Are Approximate'. Specially printed for the day, all 16 copies were sold. This homebrew effort, like my website was designed using open source software.
Since then a further 5 copies have been sold. Some time in the future, 'All Times Are Approximate' will be available in e-book form on the Stuart Vallantine Web Experience.
Three Sparky Individuals, Two Lectures, One Amazing Day
Wayfarer Stuart Vallantine meets Donna and Chris at Donna's Burnley and Aintree lectures.
Sunday 28th September 2008
- Burnley: The 1882 Rooms; Burnley F.C., Turf Moor, 1300 hours;
- Aintree: The Corbiere Suite; Aintree Racecourse, 1900 hours.
The 19th September was originally going to be a bog standard Friday where I would see Donna do one lecture at Burnley and head for home shortly after.
This wasn't to be so as I also went to her second lecture the same day at Aintree. Along with previous lectures at Lower Clent, Sheffield and Manchester, I read one example of my poetry at each one.
The Burnley lecture was preceded by a photocall from the Burnley Express, featuring me, Donna, Chris and the organisers 'Action For ASD', a regional group supporting parents of persons on the autism spectrum, and adults on the autism spectrum. Demand for the Aintree lecture saw capacity doubled from 150 to 300, necessitating a bigger room at the famed racecourse.
To say that Friday 19th September was a good day is a great understatement. It was a most phenomenal day which included a Chinese meal between lectures, copious amounts of singing on the way home and being out on the road for hours (from the local 343 bus to a lift home).
Roll on Donna's next visit to the UK!
Stuart in Print
Asperger Syndrome and Employment: Adults Speak Out with Asperger Syndrome.
Saturday 22nd March 2008
This month has seen the launch of an exciting new book on Asperger Syndrome and Employment by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Co-edited by Genevieve Edmunds and Luke Beardon, the book includes contributions from persons on the autism spectrum. Each of these persons are members of an Asperger Syndrome social networking group 'Aspie Village'. As a member of this group, I was invited to contribute a year ago.
Based on my experiences in work, I wrote a 6,500 word chapter. On a personal note, this is the first time my work will be seen throughout the world in printed form.
For further information, log on to the website of Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The book will be available in paperback form, priced at £12.99 and is a 'must read book' for any Aspie school leavers.
Success at Bolton Arena
All three talks at Bolton Arena a success
Wednesday 28th March 2007
Stuart Vallantine kicked off the first quarter of 2007, participating in three successful lectures at Bolton Arena in Horwich.
The first of three talks took place at the Bolton Arena in the morning of the 15th January 2007. After a nervous 10 minutes, Dukinfield's spokesperson for Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder made a good performance which inspired the 38 strong audience.
The second talk surpassed January's success with further audience reaction. This talk saw the introduction of PECS [Pictorial Exchange Communication System] symbols - drawn by the man himself - on a bus to Bolton.
The third talk continued the success of February's talk, with a similar positive audience reaction. The same PECS symbols seen at the previous talk resulted in one delegate asking where she could order them from! They were limited edition Stuart Vallantine drawings designed solely for presentation rather than practical use.
What inspired the audience most was the fact that a person on the autism spectrum rather than a medical expert created the presentation.
For anyone who attended any of the three 'Meeting Your Needs' lectures, many thanks for your attendance and the comments.