Category Archives: Writing


I’ve written a novel in just over a month and that’s a fact I’m quite shocked by. But I’m proud too and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
The fact that it got done on time is actually quite a miracle. I wrote this story under less than favourable living conditions in Lagos. And both food poisoning, a record high of mosquito bites and some other tropical ailments at times made the process rather irksome. Due to irregular power supplies which also destroyed two laptop chargers, I wasn’t always sure whether the episodes would be done on time.

The next step now, is to edit the episodes. Improve the language, get rid of inconsistencies and strengthen some of the weaker points. And when that’s done, I’m hoping to get this thing published.

A list of thanks are of course in order. First and foremost I need to thank my secretary Elisabeth who invited me to her home in Homborsund where she took me to all the places you’ve read about in the story. Elisabeth also helped with historical facts, proof reading and publishing the episodes when I had no internet access. Thanks too, to my people in Lagos who went to the market to buy new laptop chargers and generally made sure I was fed, hydrated and medicated,making it physically possible to write.

Nellevine, the house ghost in Elisabeth’s hous,in Homborsund for being the inspiration to the story needs thanks, or else, she’ll haunt me forever, in an unpleasant way I’m sure. I have felt her presence too. And I’m not the only one.I sometimes had the feeling she was feeding me the story and helping my circumstances, turning them in my favour.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank my readers around the world for getting hooked on the story and encouraging me to continue when I didn’t have the inspiration.

All the places featuring in the story are real, but I have allowed some artistic freedoms when it comes to eateries and other places in Grimstad and Kristiandsand. The characters as well as the mid-summer drownings are pure figments of my overly active imagination.

Reflections on my decision to become a full time writer

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. But never have I felt it so strongly as I’ve done of late. I got two fictional short stories published in the magazine Magnets and ladders. This was awesome for me, because it was the first attempt at publishing my fiction and I was successful.

Some of you may also know that I right for the UK based magazine StyleAble which aims to make fashion, beauty and lifestyle accessible to everybody. And a few days ago, I had a phone meeting with the editor, who is looking to leave her day job and become a full time freelance writer. And the two of us, are currently the only regular contributors and maintainers of StyleAble, and we have some great ideas to make it really grow now we’ll both be able to devote more time to it. But we are also looking at other gigs, such as various magazines, Huffington Post etc.

Establishing a writing career, like we’re planning on doing, is not easy. The writing opportunities may be plenty, but unfortunately most work, at least in the beginning, is unpaid. Now, I’d love to write for everybody and anybody who like my ideas and I’m not in it for the money, but money is a necessity. And getting paid for my work, also serves as encouragement and confirmation that my work is valued so much that someone would pay for me to produce it.

I would say to any buddying writers out there who want to build a freelance career, that at first it is important to take every opportunity that comes along. Free gigs, low-paid gigs and higher paid ones if you can get them. But there comes a time, and I have certainly reached that point, where it’s important to be assertive, strategic and make sure you get paid a fair or good rate for the content your produce.

I’m not saying I’ll never do anything for free again. But I may soon find myself in the difficult situation of turning down good and free opportunities for better paid ones. It’s just hard to know where to draw the lines sometimes.

I am grateful to be working so closely with StyleAble editor Kiesha, who is both more experienced and have more contacts than me. Writing is very much about who you know and I’m glad not to be starting out completely by myself.

StyleAble can be found at
My short story Crossing over at:
And my short story The break-up, three perspectives at:

My 2013

During my years in the BBC, I had a colleague who read palms. Upon reading mine one day, she said “I’m surprised you’re not more confused than you are. Your creative and sensible sides are very conflicting with each other.” She is very right, which made me respect her skill. She didn’t know me very well at the time. And my 2013 has been very much like my colleague described me. It has been an extremely happy and uplifting year, but also a painful one. But let me rewind and do this month by month.

January: I fell onto the subway tracks and I survived! I think that was very miraculous. It’s one of Oslo’s busiest stations, and I fell at a time when there was no train coming. As I couldn’t get up because I had fallen backwards, a man jumped down to lift me up and a girl received me at the top of the tracks. Luckily for me, I was on my way to the doctor and feeling slightly hysterical from the fall, I got there with my two rescuers walking me.

Despite being in quite a lot of pain from the fall, I boarded a plane four days later and went to Monaco. I stayed with some Egyptian friends there on the 25th floor of a block of flats and I had the time of my life. Me and my friend who are both singers, held an impromptu concert in a bar in Monte Carlo that had karaoke, and it went down so well that we were asked to come back the next day.

February: I fell again. But this time I fell in love. That can be more dangerous and painful than falling off a subway platform, but it is more fun, those times when it is not agonizing of course. The man is a bright and good looking Ghanaian student, who like me, work for the student radio station in Oslo.

March: I took the radio presenter’s test, which meant that I put together and presented the hour long news and current affairs show on our radio station by me. I passed and I now have an official paper saying I’m a qualified radio presenter. Live radio presenting is something I’ve grown to love more than I thought I would and I do hope I have my own show some day.

March/April: I also did the longest trip of my life so far. I traveled alone to New Zealand to visit a cousin and then on to Australia to visit a friend. I did so much on these two trips that I wouldn’t do them any justice by summing them up in this post. But let me say that I recommend anyone who can you should go there. I hope to go back one day, but preferably with some company because the flights are long. I slept as much as I could and I made some friends on the plane, for the duration of the journey, but still, company would have been nice. And I’d love to share a trip like that with somebody simply because it’s so incredible to be on the other side of the world. I did get to touch both koalas, kanagroos, wallabies, wombats and a kiwi.

April/May: I went to Iceland with my fellow master students. Iceland is also very amazing and we had so much fun walking on volcanos, soaking in natural baths and going out every evening. Of course, this all happened when we weren’t doing something study related, which was quite fun too. Especially because during our trip to RUV, the Icelandic broadcasters, we were shown around by Iceland’s most famous news Anker.

In May I also hosted a party with my partner for the first time ever. It was a Ghanaian party, meaning we served Ghanaian food. I learned never to mix Amarula and wine again!

June: I went to Skagen with one of my closest allies. Or is it called closest friends? No, ally is cooler I think. Skagen is that place in Denmark where you can walk out on the beach and have one foot in the Baltic Sea and one in the North Sea. I was there as a child, but didn’t remember because I was little. The place is magic and when you have a foot in each ocean, you can literally feel the two meet because they strike against each other

July/August: I wrote a teen novel for my niece for her confirmation. The title Vilde Gudenes utvalgte translates as Vilde, chosen by the gods and is about a girl Vilde who enters into the Greek mythological world to help make right a wrong that has been done and which have caused the world of the gods to die out. Writing it was a strange experience in a good way and I felt as if the story lived its own life and that I was just sent by someone to write it down. Writing in Norwegian was difficult for me however, because English has over time become the language I prefer to express myself in when writing unless we’re talking about informal emails and so on, where it doesn’t matter to me which of the two languages I use. But getting reacquainted with writing my mother tongue was also good.

August: I went back to Skagen with my same close ally who I’d gone with in June as well as my other half. That too was a nice trip and we had better weather. Next time I go to Skagen, I hope to swim in the Baltic Sea.

October: I made my first full length radio documentary. It’s entitled Faith as career, and features three people who have incorporated their faith into their life style or career choices. The first one is a girl studying to become a catechist in the Norwegian Lutheran church, the second a guy from a Pentecostal background who is the leader of the Oslo Youth party of a prominent Christian political party. The third person is a Catholic sister of the Dominican order who is also a physicist and who had and is continuing to have, a profound impression on me. The three made for a very good and dynamic documentary for which I’ve had some good feedback.

I also had a splendid girls trip to Copen Hagen. It was crazy, a little Sex and the City style. And yes, I did spend money on a pair of expensive high heels. Italian high heels.

So a good year. But despite all those good things, I have had some painful times too. I don’t want to talk about them in detail, but they have taught me a few lessons. Firstly, that only sadness can show you what really matters in life. Secondly, that people you thought were not that close to you can be of good help. Thirdly, that pain makes you a better person, because it forces you to develop, think and reflect and it makes your appreciate even small moments of happiness a little more. And finally, despite wanting to delete most of the last three months of 2013 from my life, I am in some twisted way grateful that I have experienced the depth of the pain I’ve been in. Because I am still here, I am still laughing and little by little, I remove myself from it all and show myself how incredibly blessed I am to have what’s even more important during sad times than good friends or a partner. A strong personality, psyche and sense of reality. And that’s how I know; I’ll eventually be completely alright again.

I have had over 20.000 hits on my blog all time which is amazing considering how boring my posts have ben of late. I will try to amend that in 2014 and I may even post some of my short fiction from time to time. Thanks though to those of you who have read my ramblings and thanks for still returning. If you are on twitter, why not follow me at @Linn_M21 And if you enjoy my writing, you can read all the articles I have posted on
That is to say different articles than you find here, but probably some of them are on interest to some of my readers. On Twitter I also announce everything I publish. And should you be curious to see what I look like, you will find my picture both on Twitter and Stylable. I may include one on this site too at some point, though so far, I’ve left it as just a thought.

Happy 2014 to all of you and May the entire year be filled with laughter, good madness, and heart stopping moments of joy and peace and harmony.

Happy new year!

My 2012 highlights

Another year of blogging is over and frankly, I was quite surprised when I received a report from WordPress by email letting me know how my blog had done. I never received such a report with my earlier blog which no longer exists, nor with this one last year, so I figured that only the blogs that do well, or get more than a certain number of hits received one. The report told me my blog had 6000 views in 2012 from 99 countries. Americans, Brits and Norwegians are my most avid readers. My most read post was, not surprisingly, my Blindness and dating post which I know is linked to from Action for blind people in the UK. I know, it sounds like a shady porn site, but it is a very innocent organization helping the blind, so I will thank my friend Kiesha for linking it and say sorry at the same time for not having written more for her wonderful magazine at http://www.styleable

My year started with a break-up. Those who have read my blog since the beginning may recall me mentioning an Italian boyfriend. I didn’t write about the break-up, because I was the one who ended it and I wanted to respect his feelings. But though we may be over, my love and passion for Italy has, if anything increased. I’ve got a few good Italian friends in Oslo so I get to practice the language, and I was back in Florence where my ex comes from to visit friends I made there. I sincerely hope I get to live at least part of my life in Italy in the future.

In February, I started writing a novel. I won’t say too much about it, but I’ve always wanted to be a novelist and I had all the time in the world to make a start. It was hard. Both because writing well is difficult and because I chose to write in Norwegian. I did this both because I hadn’t written anything except e-mails in Norwegian for the past few years and I wanted to get to grips with my mother tongue again. Also, should the novel be released, it has a bigger chance of selling well in Norway since the market is smaller. And if someone wants to publish it and it sells, I will personally translate it to English. I had to put the first draft aside when I started studying, but I read through it a couple of weeks ago and realized it’s not so bad, so I’ve started the editing job which so far, is going well. It probably will take a while for it to be finished because I also have to start writing my master’s thesis soon, but I will do my best to make my book a priority when I have free time.

In June, I participated in a designer project which was a lot of fun. There were four groups of designers who were going to design something new for someone who had a disability. My group didn’t win, but we designed a professional network where designers could get in touch with disable person in order to make their products user friendly. The design bit itself, was in the website and how we laid out the project. The winning idea, was very similar to our own, almost identical, but we didn’t communicate with the other groups, so that was just random. I worked with people from Norway Germany, and England and it was three hectic days with very little sleep and a lot of fun. Later that month, I went to Florence, which was 95% lovely in every way and 5% “Damn, I wish I had a boyfriend here still so I could move here.”

It was in the summer, that I lost my faith. It happened gradually and it took me a long time to confess it even to myself. As my readers know, I spent a few posts ranting about Christianity and how oppressing it was etc. I haven’t really felt the need to do that since then. I am at peace with not yet having quite arrived at what I believe in although I will always keep values like the golden rule. I doubt I’ll ever get into a religion, but that I will be like many Norwegians, with one foot in the human ethics, and the foot of tradition in the church. I could write page up and page down about what my definition of God is, but it’s still something I’m trying to figure out.

In August, after a boring, very boring, July, I was happy to start university. I still think I chose the right course and I miss seeing my classmates every day now that we’re on a Christmas break. I haven’t failed any subjects. I have also not received the grades I want, but I am thinking it has more to do with how I present things rather than my knowledge of the subject, because I have read everything, and been to all the lectures. I will be improving this in 2013 and I will do very well on my thesis, I’ve decided! Becoming a news reader and reporter with the student radio station, has also been a great experience and I hope to do more for them throughout 2013. I also made some good friends there whom I love working with!

In October, I got my new flat. For the first time ever, I love staying in the house. But without all the visitors and dinners I have served and will keep on serving, it wouldn’t be so exciting. Great to live near the underground and the forest at the same time!

Christmas was nice and filled with family and good food. I got many gifts including a rice cooker, a printer, African jewelry and sweets. But the most wonderful thing this Christmas is that I got my wonderful, handsome, intelligent and beloved friend back into my life. Remember the one who said I was on a slippery slope and whom I wrote a long post about because I was so upset? It’s all behind us now and I’m so happy he’s back. All I need to do now is convince him to want to marry me! 

Tonight, I’m having two highschool friends over. I’ll cook a Thai green curry and we’ll drink some nice wine and probably chit chat all night.

I wish all of my readers a happy new year and I thank you for making me want me to continue blogging by reading and commenting. I especially want to thank Michelle because you got me writing that fictional story about Tony and Jenna. It feels like I know you now. Elisabeth for her precise comments and being my real life friend and reader making it possible for me to get a lot of things done that otherwise would be tricky. And to Bruce. And Bruce, if you read this, please reply and tell me where your new site. I have to admit I haven’t read much blogs this autumn and was puzzled to n I couldn’t find it when I wanted my Bruce fix. You have been great in my time of leaving my Evangelical faith.
And to the readers who are silent, or have commented only a few times, you are equally valuable to me, so thanks to you too.

All in all, 2012 has not been a bad year, although it’s been boring at times with little happening. But moving to Norway is something I’m glad I’ve done and I know 2013 will be quite adventure filled. My first adventure is visiting a friend in Monaco in only 16 days. Bring it on! 2013 starts tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be blogging more soon, in 2013!

Stressful Street Navigation

On a request from a reader, this post will explain how a blind person moves about on the streets. I’ve decided to write it in a semi-fictional fashion, mainly because it will make a much more interesting read than a dry factual description. By semi-fictional, I mean that either I, or my blind friends experience, or have experienced these things whilst moving out an about. Thus they are true, but they are put within the context of a fictional story.

I had been clockwatching for the past hour. This meeting had really taken forever. I was sleepy and wanted to get out. I had a dinner appointment with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time in a fashionable tapas and cocktail bar only a 10 minute walk away. I wasn’t all too familiar with the route, but I kind of knew which direction to go in and it was a little too close to grab a taxi or get the bus or underground. Besides, the weather was lovely.

“So that’s all settled then,” said Ms Green, my uber boring and serious boss. “Everyone knows what they’re doing now, so I suggest you all get the project started ASAP and we’ll meet again next week to discuss the progress.” I looked at the watch again. I loved the fact that since I was blind and used a Braille watch, I could look at the time whenever I wanted simply by flicking open the lid and feeling the hands of the watch under the table. And nobody noticed that way. At least, I thought they didn’t.

I went over to my desk kicking a bin someone hadn’t bothered to move which made a terrible noise. “Crap,” I thought as May, our team assistant ran over to move the bin. “I’m so sorry,” she said in her loud squeaky voice. I cursed over helpful team assistants as well as open offices, picked up my handbag, unfolded my cane and walked over to the lift. While waiting for it to arrive, I checked my iPhone to see if anyone had called or texted, but VoiceOver only informed me that 2 people had liked my facebook status and that someone else had commented on the facebook status of a friend which I’d also commented on.

After two eternities, one waiting for the lift, and one waiting for it to descend from the 9th floor in which my office was, I was outside. I knew they had dug up my usual path from the door of the building and down to the turnstiles, but where they worked changed every day, so it would be exciting to see what would happen today accident wise. I prayed I wouldn’t step into red paint, something I’d done two days earlier, or tare my new dress on some other crap which was in my way. I was gonna have a good night out in a dress and heels and I wouldn’t have time to go home and change. But all that met me today was a temporary fence which wasn’t tall, but I reckoned I wasn’t supposed to climb it, so I walked to the left, cane in front as usual. “I wonder how the heck a normal person navigates this,” I thought as I discovered that left of the fence lead into the bushes, so I walked right. Only to discover that it was blocked by something tall. I stopped in front of the fence, listened to hear if anyone were around, and lifted my right, then left leg over, I realised immediately as I walked a couple of steps forward that I’d made a bad decision, because right in front of me was a steep step down. “You cool?” The voice came from right in front of me and startled me so much I involuntarily stepped down the step which was steeper than I realise and landed on uneven ground. “It’s tony,” said the person who was now standing next to me. “No!” I screamed inside. Tony was a guy from the office I, despite trying to deny it to myself, had a massive crush on. “Yeah, what’s up with this fence thing anyway?” I said fast. “It’s not easy. You should have taken another way from the office around the back. Want me to take you out?” Yes please,” I said and took the arm he offered me. “Did you stand there when I came?” “Yep, I watched you climb over the fence and nearly caught a glimpse of your underpants.” “Shut up!” I laughed. “I’m sure you are a woman with good taste,” he replied smoothly as we went out onto the street through the turnstiles. “Doing anything interesting?” he asked. “Meeting a friend for tapas and you?” Off to a live football game with my brother and a couple of mates. We should hang out one day.”

I couldn’t believe his words. And I must have been looking pretty stupid standing there smiling as he ran to the tube station to get the train. “Are you ok there?” An old lady grabbed my arm. “You do know the lights are green now?” and with that, she dragged me towards the crossing. I hate being grabbed. I think it’s rude. If I need help, I either ask, or if someone asks me politely if I need help, \I either politely accept or decline. So because this old woman was rude in my eyes (I know she wanted to be kind, but I’d had a very tiring day,) I wriggled my arm free which got her out of balance. “So sorry, I said, annoyed, but now worried that she might have fallen over. “But I’m not actually crossing this road and I’d rather you ask if I need help than grab me.” “I only wanted to help,” she said and went away in a huff.

I turned right, and walked confidently forward. I knew I had to walk quite a while before hitting the T junction I needed to cross to get to the right bar, so I relaxed as I took in all the impressions around me. A car drove by playing loud Jamaican dancehall music which made me gently sway my hips to the rhythm. A mother shouted at her protesting child in a language which sounded like it came from India and a drunk man I passed, kept shouting “Grrrrrrrrreat goal!” randomly. The smell from the Turkish bakery mixed with the sweet scent from the newsagent next door and made me hungry. So far my journey was going well and I felt that I navigated elegantly the parts of the street which was cluttered by using my cane less vigorously. A couple of people asked if I needed help to which I said no. To the ones who asked “Are you ok?” I walked passed ignoring them as this is a question I don’t like. I don’t understand why so many people feel the need to help a blind person who doesn’t actually look lost. Or maybe I did look lost? Are you ok, was a question I found alarming from strangers at any rate giving me the feeling there must be something wrong with me.

I had reached the T junction and I hated this, because I was never sure how to actually cross this bit. I knew the first one was straight forward, but though I only really had the options of crossing left and right at the second one which sounds easy enough, it wasn’t quite so easy because I had to walk almost slightly diagonally and then turn right a little to get to the crossing. So not a straight t-junction. The first time I’d tried to find this bar, I’d gotten completely lost, because somebody on the street told me it was straight across the road, a mistake sighted people often make because it may look like it’s straight when actually walking there is far from it. Also, this crossing had no sound so I looked for the light to feel for the cone underneath which would start spinning when the light went green. But, I regretted that move when I bumped right into a person with numerous bags and caused him or her to even lose one. “I’m so sorry,” I said stepping away from him/her. He/she did not reply, but bent down to pick up something I had managed to knock out of the bag. I turned the other way to hear if someone was standing next to me, and I was lucky. “Can you tell me when it’s green please?” I asked. “Yeah.” It was a teenage boy. Oops, I don’t like asking kids for help, especially not teenage boys. Not because they don’t like to help, but because it’s makes me feel even more uncool than I usually feel when walking outside. “It’s green,” the boy grumbled, and I followed the others across the street till I reached the next crossing.

As I manoeuvred my way to find the next and final crossing, I heard someone shouting my name that came running towards me. “Oh, my, gosh! It’s been ages man. How are you?” The girl embraced me in a tight hug. She smelled like fresh mint and sweet perfume. “Fancy seeing you here,” I said when we broke apart. “I know man, how have you been?” Good thanks and you?” “Stressful at work, but everything’s going well. Hey, I need to go, but I’ll take you across and we should so go for a coffee and catch up soon. I want to hear all your 411.” “For sure,” I said. She left me at the entrance to the little arch way in which the bar was. I knew I knew her, but I just couldn’t place her voice and subsequently, I wasn’t entirely sure who I’d just greeted so warmly. I mostly do recognize my friends of course, but some have more memorable voices than others and people I haven’t met a lot, I have more of a problem recognizing, I am always too proud to ask who they are so I just play along.

The bar was crowded, but not full. This time I’d found it on my first attempt, and not nearly destroyed the door on the coffee shop across the archway which had already been open, but which I thought was the closed bar door. I listened until I thought I could hear the counter and started walking slowly. Walking fast in a bar by myself is a bad idea since I never know where bar stools and tables are. At the counter, someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned hoping it was my friend. “Hello, Excuse me, but can I say something?” It was the voice of a middle aged man I didn’t recognize. I nodded. I had a suspicion of what he would say, but then, it could be something I really needed to know like I somehow got paint on me or something nobody else had bothered to tell me and laughed at all day. “You are so brave and inspirational.” I sighed. “Don’t be patronising I said. Before he had time to reply to defend himself, Juan, the funny and handsome bartender turned towards me. “I think this lady is looking for some Cuban porn stars yes?” I giggled as I always did at the name of that cocktail. “Two if you’re still doing two for one,” I replied feeling my tense face muscles relaxing in a smile. “Did you know I am Cuban?” I had paid for my drinks and he guided me to a table near the window. “Really?” “Yes,” he said pulling out the chair for me in a gentlemanly, not patronising way and put the drinks in front of me. Enjoy!” he shouted as he turned on his heels. In that moment my friend came over to me and grabbed one of my two drinks while she started babbling none stop. “Yes Juan, this will be a great night thanks,” I thought and laughed out loud at something my friend had just said.

Basic questions on blindness

Sometimes, I like typing the words “blind people” into Google to see what I come across and I get results that make me laugh out loud and some that makes me sigh in exasperation. And I understand people out there have a lot of questions about blind people they’ll most likely have unanswered. Either because they don’t know any blind people, or because they know someone, but they are too shy to ask.

Also, blind people don’t exactly put information out there on the internet for anyone to read, because, the idea of it is a little ridiculous and because the understanding of lack of knowledge on the part of the sighted are not understood. I am only recently beginning to see how much interest there is around questions on blindness and what opened my eyes to that, was my post on blindness and dating which has had loads of hits. I can see what people search for when they find that article and usually the questions are so extremely basic that I’m wondering how people don’t know better.

If you are sighted and have little or no experience with blindness, this post answering the most basic and common questions are for you. I will do my best not to be too condescending, and I hope this will help when you first encounter someone with little or no sight.

How do blind people use a computer?

We use normal computers, but we install screenreading software on it so that it either speaks to us, or displays information on a Braille display. Braille is the name of the letters for the blind invented by Louis Braille and we read it with our fingers. Because of this, we can use computers as efficiently as a sighted person. Most of us learn touch typing from a young age as well, and so blind people tend to type rather than using voice recognition software.

How do blind people manage to match their clothes?

That is a matter of learning which colours go together and which does not. When I buy clothes, I always remember the colour of each and every thing I own and can match that way. I have a little machine as well called a colour indicator which tells me what colour a certain clothing item has. It’s not accurate, but if you have two tops that feel exactly the same and you know that one is blue and one pink, you will be able to tell the difference by using that machine. Cutting the label on one of them is also a handy trick. For simplicity, I only own black socks so as not to mismatch there.

Do blind people have a concept of colours? The short answer is no. Being completely blind myself, I only classify blind as not being able to see anything at all apart from perhaps some light, so even though some people are termed as legally blind can see colour, they’re not part of this article, because I do not know anything about seeing a little bit. But I am digressing. Blind people have, if they are born blind, no proof that they have a concept of colour. However, I know for me and for some other people I’ve heard of, that we have our own image of colours in our head. So for me, if you say that the shirt is maroon, I’ll immediately understand what you mean, but whether it is the same maroon that you can see, or even the same maroon other blind people imagine, we’ll never know. I enjoyed painting when I was little, and my mum used to put different kinds of grain in the different colour pots so I could mix and match to my hearts content. I recently heard of a blind Turkish painter who uses exactly that same technique.

Are blind people able to cook, clean and do other housework?

Of course. Although I have to say not everybody have parents who are willing to teach them from a young age and so sometimes they can find it hard. But blind people can operate cookers and ovens as long as they have buttons. We can cut fruit and vegetables and all that. Of course, certain things are hard, like separating egg yolk from the white, but if you have a blind friend who cooks well, let him/her make you a gourmet meal if he or she so wish. Sometimes the fingers look as if they are a little bit too close to the knife or oven, but unless you hear a loud piercing scream or a series of swearwords, assume it’s all under control.

Laundry is not a big deal. My fully sighted parents always had one basket for the dark and one for the light clothes and this is a great tip for the blind. I’ve already talked about how we recognize our clothes, so as long as the washing machine is easy to use and have buttons, it’s all fine and hanging the clothes out is a piece of cake.

Cleaning is possible, but a blind person doesn’t always have a way of knowing whether a spot is left etc, so a cleaner is a good idea. However, maintaining a clean house in between having a cleaner is something everyone can do if they can move. And even sighted people have cleaners.

Shall I tell my blind friend if he/she has smeared make-up, a spot on their shirt etc? Yes please! You can be friendly and discreet though.

Do I always help a blind person who looks lost or who walks along and doesn’t look lost?

If someone looks lost, ask if they need help, but if they say no, leave them alone immediately. If they look fine, but you want to do a good deed, look for an old lady who looks like she may need your help more. Or an old man.

Can blind people live independently?

Yes and thank goodness for that. A blind person with no additional disability and who has learned the necessary skills all children should learn can live and maintain a pretty and happy home.

Is total blindness black?

I’ve heard some people say it must be gray, however I have know idea. I have detached optic nerves, so in my case it is colourless. Don’t try to understand it, because you probably won’t be able to and I can’t explain any further.

What is it like to be blind?

Let me ask you this: What is it like to see? I think coming up with an answer to that is pretty impossible just like it is in my case. How do I know what being blind is like? I can’t compare it to anything. It’s all I’ve ever known. Only someone who has been able to see before could maybe answer that question for you.

Do all blind people need the same kind of help?

No. And the important thing here is to let the blind person you are with tell you what he/she needs. It might be fine helping with cutting up the food for one person, while for someone else that is an insult. Some people like to hold your elbow and some like to walk next to you etc.

I cannot think of any more basic questions, but if I forgot to cover something, please leave me a comment. Let me just end by saying that blind people get educated, get jobs and careers, date, go travelling, have sex, have children, go grocery shopping, have dreams. In fact, our lives are remarkably similar to YOURS and we are as different as all the sighted people out there. Just bare that in mind when you meet a blind person for the first time. Or a person with any other disability for that matter. And by the way, you can say watch TV and see you later to a blind person. They are figures of speech and we use them ourselves.