I live with my husband and mother-in-law in south Wales. I recently went to Bangor University to speak to 200 psychology students. This January I went to Bangor University in north Wales to speak to 200 psychology students. I told them about my Asperger’s syndrome and life as a person with a learning disability. I said how if my routine changes I can get annoyed – sometimes you take it out on the people you love.
I also told them about things that can make my life easier. When things get on my nerves I go off somewhere quiet to be on my own and calm down. There’s a place near my house with a lovely river and forest I can sit and look at. The students all listened and found it really interesting.
I’m getting used to public speaking. A couple of years ago I helped Mencap Cymru at the launch of a health campaign. I spoke at the National Assembly for Wales at the Senedd in front of lots of politicians. But I wasn’t at all nervous – I’d had a practice beforehand and really enjoyed it.
Finding love online
I used to live in a flat, but people got annoyed with me. It was because it was a retirement home, and they didn’t like me hanging around. But Mencap Cymru helped me to move into housing that was more suitable for me. Now I live with my husband, Graham, and mother-in-law in Port Talbot, south Wales.
I met my husband on the internet about three years ago. I have a laptop and was searching online for someone to be a pen pal with. We met up, fell in love and got married. Our wedding was on 29 February 2008. Because it was a leap year, we only have an anniversary once every four years.
Before I moved house I used to volunteer for Mencap Cymru on reception at their Cardiff office. I helped out five mornings a week. I loved it very much and hope to start volunteering again soon.
I’m also a keen photographer. Last year I won £300 at Mencap Cymru’s Langdon Doidge art competition – the competition was part of the National Eisteddfod in Bala. It was exciting when I found out that I’d won the competition. I used the money for a little holiday.
For my photo I went down to the Wetland Centre in Llanelli and took a photo of a robin in the trees. I hadn’t planned on getting the photo, but I just saw the robin there, snapped away and hoped for the best. I knew straight away that it was a really good photograph.
To enter the Langdon Doidge competition call the Wales Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111.