Photo © Karren Visser. Sabah shares her memory of riding her bike, a favourite childhood pastime that stopped when it became harder for her to see. Her story speaks of hopes and dreams and how she is adapting to ongoing sight loss. Everyday pleasures, cooking, a visit to the Poundshop, and day trips mingle with her wish to marry and get on with life.
Listen to Sabah’s story
I’m Sabah and I was born in West Bromwich. I had no sight problem when I was born. My sight started to go eventually.
I liked doing exams, doing coursework at school, reading books. I liked going out, riding a bike.
I started learning how to ride a bike when I was about 10 years old, I think. And I used to go to the park with my Dad and he used to teach me. We used to do a lap all the way round the circuit. It was a bright pink colour and I got it for my birthday present when I was about 16 years old. I miss not being able to ride my bike.
I enjoy doing baking, cooking, going out with friends and family. I cook pasta, lasagne, noodles, and I bake cakes. Or I sometimes go out to the Poundland shop to West Bromwich to Merry Hill, Dudley and sometimes I go out on day trips to the beach, at Bournemouth. I really like Bournemouth.
The only thing I can’t see is I can’t read the letters. I can’t write. I can’t see from far either. I mean I can use my phone to take a photo of the letters and then zoom in. But I also have an electronic portable reader which the Council gave me, which is very helpful because it helps to zoom in to the writing.
I went to Birmingham City University studying early childhood studies. I only did course work and assignments. I didn’t get much help, but only because I didn’t declare my disability. Had I declared my disability, I would have got a lot more support and help that I needed. I was OK because I was able to travel to the university there and back on my own. I was able to navigate around the campus. I was also able to read books. I used to take photos of the books and zoom in on my laptop. I travelled there by train and train was easy. Train’s easy to travel on, on my own.
I’m not going to the university, so now I would like to find a job. I want to build my own career, especially because I might be getting married soon. I would like a career in teaching, would like to teach younger children, so the age of four or five. I’m hoping to be married by September (Sabah is giggling while she is saying this) and then I will look for work. My husband to be works at a barber shop. And when we get married, eventually, he will come over here and open his own barber shop as a business and I’ll be staying in Oldbury.
I would like to take up cycling again, but I’m not going to just because of my sight loss. There’s always the dream, isn’t there?
© Unseen Memories, produced by Karren Visser and Sandwell Visually Impaired, 2023.