I’m a teeny bit nervous, and for once it’s not down to discovering a Dreaded Brown Envelope from the DWP on my doormat.
Nor is it about waking up to several texts from The Teenager at Uni along the lines of, ‘Mum, muuuum! Oi! Where are you?’
These are usually sent way past my bedtime so I don’t see them til the morning. I frantically text back, imagining all manner of horrendous possibilities, then curse when I eventually get a reply, ‘No probs, just fancied a pizza and had no money. Soz, Lolz.’
No, my nerves are simply down to having my photograph taken, quite possibly my least favourite activity of all time. I don’t have a good side. I don’t have a not-so-good side. I am just totally un-photogenic. From any angle, I resemble a Flump.
I’ve been made a Disability Wales ambassador for their campaign, #IAmEmbolden, and my role will be to encourage more deaf and disabled women and girls into further education. There will be a ceremony in the Welsh Government building in March, hence some photographs, which will be displayed on the day.
It’s a cause I’m really excited about, as I didn’t realise just how much support there is out there for people like me who need a little extra help with studying. Without it I certainly wouldn’t have completed my degree back when MS started and I absolutely would never have even contemplated taking a Master’s.
So, I’m starting to panic. I want to look calm and encouraging. What to wear? Sitting down or standing up? Hands clasped or at my side? Most importantly, how long can I suck both my stomach and my cheeks in?
I’ve heard about a few tricks – put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and it’ll give you cheekbones. Nope, it makes me look gormless. Be shot from above, and that way they won’t capture your double (triple) chin. Nope, I looked as if I’m trapped in a manhole.
Knowing my luck, I’ll end up posing like someone from one of those catalogues that fall out of the weekend newspapers – pointing at some far off place or pretending to laugh and point at the same time.
I’m putting my faith in Photoshop, in the hope they can tweak a few bits here and there. It’ll be a lot easier than wrapping my entire body in cling-film tonight, turning the heating up full blast and praying I lose 8lb.
As long as I don’t do my fish-face, I’ll be fine. I think.