Tag Archives: Out&About

The Experimental Expedition


You know when you are lazing in the wee small hours with your mind hopping and popping about and then is pings on a bright idea that sounds absolutely so right you then mention it to someone else – I had one of those.  I was thinking about the new addition and how tricky adjusting can be and exhausting for parents so I thought, what if Big Sis, her BFF and I take the four foot ninja out for a couple of hours, that gives him a treat and time that is just for him, it gives mum and dad a chance to sit still for five minutes, or take a nap and we get an outing.  Big Sis gave it the thumbs up and thus it was organised, on Monday after meeting Miss Daisy, we would go down the local seafront for a 2p session, some lunch, a walk about and play on the beach.

Mummy packed the avengers backpack with the essentials and Daddy rigged the car seat into Nana’s car, we all bundled in and belted up and zoomed down to the prom – which was packed, where do all these people come from, how do they know that that is there, it is not exactly tourist hot spot.  We parked and Ninja either holding the arm of my wheelchair or BFF’s hand we made our way to the amusements.  He had hardly put his first few in before the machine was all bells and whistles and yards of tickets come spewing forth, between the three of them I was kept busy folding and counting tickets.  Tummy rumbles suggested it was time to go eat and we made our way through the queuing crowds and found the cafe and a table.  Orders were placed and the little ticket said our number was ’35’, bless Ninja kept telling the girlie bringing out the food “I’m 35”, when our number was called we called yes and he put his hand up.  After we had eaten he said he needed a wee, hmm where are they “You go down there and round the corner, just there, I know” so off he trotted with BFF to the adjacent room at the cafe and sure enough round the corner were the toilets.  He is all about that kid!

We had said to him that after lunch we would go for a little walk [there is a broad pedestrianised walkway] to help our lunch settle down in our tummies. Eagle eyes had spotted the minion bouncy castle on the beach and asked if we would be going there, which we would after lunch had settled as we did not want it coming back up again.  As we walked along, below there is the boating pond where some people had radio controlled boats, one a fast speeding race boat.  Next to this is a small paddling pool area.  As it was the hottest day, and he had been slathered in suncream he did not take much persuading to take off his socks which he put inside his shoes and left for me to take care of.

Now we are all intelligent persons here and if you take one child and add some water you get …….


We had packed prepared 😀  He merrily wandered about, cooling off, trying to swim while laying on his tummy.  Nana got splashed a couple of times *teehee* she didn’t mind, it soon dried.  Time to return to Aunty who was in charge of shoes and bags, quick change [must remember with little boys the importance of making sure that the winky is straight and comfy in the pants, its an important job].  Reclothed and shoed we walked back down when Ninja said his lunch had gone down more now and were we going to the bouncy castle.  He waited in line patiently and was let loose for the fifteen minute session on the various bouncing things and assorted play items.

The most hilarious item of the day was next, when they returned to where me and BFF were waiting, we adults were sitting on the hard slope that goes down to the sand and Ninja was playing in the sand when some ended up in his face and he [without panic or tears] said there was some in his eye, he walked to Nana and as we grabbed tissues, cardigan or something ready to blow and get the grain away he declared ‘Is okay, I’ll use you” and grabbed the hem of her flowing top and wiped his face. BFF and I were trying so hard not to laugh out loud we were snorting air!

We headed back to the amusements to get rid of the last remaining 2p’s and feed our tickets into the counting machine, we were just a few shy of 1000 [they were very generous with their tickets].  He saw a minion but they needed more and the purple minion was at 1000 but the kind lady let us off those few – grand prize for the day and large [15inches tall] cuddly toy.

As we got back to the car there was a fairly large ship sailing into the harbour and he watched that while we left the doors open and aired the car, and got me in.  After we were strapped in and the engine started, in a sweet voice Ninja asked “Nana, can you take me home now?”, which is where we were heading and he followed that up with ‘I’ve had a lovely day” [awe, brings a lump to the throat].

He was returned to the care of his parents a mere four hours since we had remove him, lol.  What pleasant relaxing thing did daddy do? He had a shave! Later reports said that he was full of chatter and fast asleep by 9pm.  Mission accomplished.

It was not until later that is occurred to us that during the four hours with temptation and delights everywhere, there were no tantrums, he never ran off [he asked to run up the slope], he never created when we said we were leaving somewhere, he was not fidgety waiting at the cafe, he never asked or badgered for the shop or an ice cream.  He was a very well behaved little boy.

Rumour has it we are going to do it again in a couple of weeks, heading into town, to the children’s fun park … oh my ….


Posted by on August 6, 2015 in people


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The Capital Capitulated


I didn’t stop traffic this time, well I did but it was at the alloted crossing and when the button has been pressed and the green man was telling me it was safe to go. [Tales of that story can be found “I Stop Traffic”]  We did have a fun fab time, despite the last minute panics and frustrations.

Departingfrom a chilly station at 7.32am was a shock to my lazed system, we were met by the handy chap with the wheelchair ramp and put on the London train [first class, standard prices, that is were the disabled seats are].  Arrived about 5 minutes late, grabbed our lunchy buns and discovered that lift one was out of action, asked a policeman where lift two was hiding [round the corner where he was standing, typical] – ramped into the taxi and “Westminster Abbey please mate” – there is always something rather cosmo/metro-politan about jumping in a London Hackney and saying where you want to go :D. 

He dropped us off by the West Door and after doing the typical mouth agog, eyes wide tourist thing as this vision from the television is right there before your eyes, we processed our way to the North Door.  Jumping the que [sorry folks, they just opened the barrier and let me through]. Inside we were given our complimentary audio tour devices read by the smooth voiced Jeremy Irons. Beautiful building, and standing at the icon toomb of the unknown soldier was quite tinglng. So any notable names and decoration and so many strangers, makes you wonder why they were allowed to be commemorated/buried there [enough money I suppose].  After leaving the Abbey we took a look around Parliament Square and at the statues, Mandella, Ghandi, Churchill efore crossing the bridge to the Eye.

We sat and ate our lunch watching the world go by and the Eye go round.  We then went to the SeaLife Aquarium.  It is a lovely place to visit, to many enormous tanks with larger specimens in them, the turtles were huge and the sharks are always a draw.  The penguins were fun, they were playing follow the finger through the glass, so bird like when you see them up close.  We treated ourselvs to the book that includes four photos taken of you against the green screen.  I have the keyring and magnet and my Sister has the book for the four-foot ninja to look at.  We taxi-d back to Heron Tower where I had booked a table at The Drift which served fab food before getting back to the train for the 7.30pm return train.  Fell into bed just after 10.50pm, ready to be still and quiet.

ext years trip is already being planned – visit the Houses of Parliament [assuming it is still standing], then across the river for a guided cruise and a whizz around the Eye.



Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


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My swingometer is stuck


Yeap, that is me, I say to myself as I am reclined under that duvet of tinted bliss that today I shall …… and of course the probability of it actually happening is minimal.  Yes today I am going to blog … maybe about [think-think-think] the light bulb faintly flickers and goes out.

So what has been going on … let me see if I can bring you all up to speed.

LONDON TRIP – The strike was cancelled *woohoo*  but I boobed with Parliamentary tours, not realising the House of still ‘Sitting’   when were we going to go!!  Went went to Westminster Abbey instead …. I will write more about our day once I have retrieved my camera from Big Sis’s coat pocket [my purse is in her other pocket, oops].

4FOOT NINJA’S BIRTHDAY – Great-Nephew had his fourth birthday and Lord Murphy and Sergeant Sod bestowed a healthy dose of chicken pox upon him.  Poor lamb, he was covered in spots, all in his hair and all over his body.  Fortunately with the weather being fairly warm during the day wearing loose fitting t-shirt and shorts was not so bad but at night, despite no clothes and just a sheet he could get no sleep [nor could Mum & Dad] the helpful Pharmacist advised Piriton at night, it eases the itching and more importantly conked him out.  Despite that he had a good day, open house affair, so it lasts the whole day rather than an overwhelming descending of the hoards.  He still looks older, his height and so forth puts him at five nearly six.  He’s all fine now, infact he is creating chaos [with help from his Dad, Mum is trying to keep them both in order] at Butlin’s this week with his cousins and Aunt & Uncle.

TOOTHY STRIFE – Last Sunday my left front tooth cracked.  It cracked and crunched so loudly I thought the whole thing was about to fall out! Decamped ourselves at the Dentist [top of my road] for help … X-ray showed something not that common, the tooth has eaten itself from the inside out!, the end thirds show nothing but the middle third is all hollow and only the enamel has been holding the tooth together, but that has now cracked at the gum and bone.  It has to come out, false tooth denture to be made  not sure how I feel about that, not mentally ready for this kind of change. How am I going to manage the item and what is involved.  Added issue that Dentist is on holiday from Tuesday, hoping with fair winds that she can do the necessaries on Monday.  I am nursing it along carefully.  I am nervous, anxious, and so forth about the extraction, the pain [please paracetamol or ibuprofen are as much use as smarties], the healing, the falsey, the managing to eat, drink, spit, swill etc.  Plus I cannot show this because Big Sis [only one who can take me and lift me about] is highly, very, uber dental phobic, so I am brave facing like mad!  But well, it is what it is and well what happens happens, I am trying to be philosophical but come the day …….

Lunchtime beckons …..


Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Hot Top Shopping Tip


Monday just gone, my Big Sis, her BFF and myself bundled up, sharpened our elbows, got our scary faces on and decided to go and shop up in the big city [Norwich].  We have done this for a few years, a starter to get into some festive spirit, have a little jollity, go somewhere lovely for eats and get some shopping done as well and every year we get jostled, I get clumped by back packs and people try and walk in front of me and some shops are so crammed it is neigh impossible – we had a plan …… it came in the shape of a dogs squeaky toy shaped like a cracker … I would ‘squeak’ my presence … we thought it would be a laugh [sometimes you can get away with strange and crazy things when in a wheelchair].

We had a second idea … one of the malls does cheaper fixed priced parking after 3pm, most of the shops are open until 7 or 8pm so why trudge and fudge first thing, get there at 3 and have a lovely dinner, then pootle home after the rush hours. This is what we did.

We were astounded!  The Mall was busy but not crushingly, the shops had a few mingling browsers but getting to goods was no problem, the streets were three quarters deserted.  I hardly had to squeak!!  Even the dreaded Primark was less like a village jumble sale and more like a calm department store.  The Card Factory as a store is always tight to get the chair around but even that [okay it was 7.30 by then, but still] was manageable. PLUS we got to see all the lovely twinkly festive lights and street decorations in their bright glory.  We sang along to carols, to festive tunes and adverts, we giged and danced within the aisles, we laughed together.

You will never guess what else happened – we found what we were looking for, had time to mathematicise the offers and purchased our goods.

Festive shopping – put an extra pair of socks on, and go at 3pm, makes it a pleasure rather than a chore.

All that is left now is to wrap them ….. I am really going to get started, right now. after checking this, yes I am …. I have to, my Big Sis has ordered me to, she pointed her index finger at me [thats me in the clag up to my arm pits] ….. right then, tape, ruler, elastic bands, pen, scissors both sizes, paper, bags, tags, I am armed and ready.


Posted by on December 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Yard Arm Twisting


Twenty years ago today, this became my home for a month.  It was exciting and terrifying, encompassing and isolating, exhilarating and exhausting – I did everything, navigation, pulling on ropes, lots of pulling on ropes and the coiling and tidying of them afterwards, there was food preparation and dishes to do, daily ship cleaning and participation in the rotational watch, where we took helm, kept watch, completed Met Office reports … oh and watched dolphins, whales, fishermen and the skies.  The night skies have never looked so brilliant nor the dark as dark.

I boarded in Southampton and eventually made it to the Canary Islands, the crew of 52 started as utter strangers and grew to comfortable friends – well you had to, there are no cabin doors just curtains and en suite is a mis-pronounced piece of candy.

During all my trips I kept a very detailed diary which I called my [dis]Abled Sea-persons Twig, many years ago I uploaded it to LiveJournal but it has been removed or lost over time – shame really.  Three of my trips are blogged on my web site, I really should get round to adding this one as well.

Looking through the photos and books of that time the memories are warm yet edged with a sorrow, some of those faces are now dead, people have moved on to other adventures and pastures, but for a month we were in our own little bubble and shared a great deal together.

I miss that version of me – but maybe not the permed hair.


Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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57 Packets of Crisps!!!


I must admit I am having something of a productive week, which will fall into disaster having declared it so as Lord Sod, Major Murphy and Flt Sgt Fate are just waiting to dig in.

I have been taking care of those small jobs, the ones where you need to empty the draw and put away the paperwork, where you get round to uploading the 500 photos that you intend to get printed off as a christmas gift to someone [don’t worry they’re not one of my readers], the writing to the Blue Badge people because they forgot to send back of evidence of entitlement, the emailing the new Managing Agents because they are now 10 months late in doing something statutory,  email new bio blurb to MD boss, my Yuletide list [which my Sis forbade me to include books, dvds, cd’s, downloads, vouchers or gift tokens, my first list showed photos of £5, £10 & £20 notes she rejected it], the gifts ideas of what to get, emailing family members of what they might get “Granddad” or “Nana”, ordering those little oddities from eBay – all those types of to-do’s.

At the moment a pot of goulash and bolognese are cooling in the kitchen ready to be dished up and popped in the freezer. I initially thought of titling this blog as “Washing Up Again” as I need to wash the saucepans [again] before doing tonights dinner.  Tomorrow I am cooking the chicken curry if I have enough freezer containers left.  Oh yes, I also defrosted the fridge Tuesday.

Yesterday after Tesco had delivered my shopping we jaunted out to the new store “Home Bargains”, it is not exactly a supermarket but it has a range of gifts, home items, household goods, toiletries, stationery … kind of like a Wilkinsons with more food and bargains.  They had crisps on offer – we do not eat many packets but do begrudge paying the main stores prices [6 pkt multi pack £1.69 or 3 for £4] – they have 12 pkt with 2 extra free for £1.49, ahh I hear you wonder, some generic unknown brand but no these were Walkers, nor were they near their nuclear explosion date, also to tempt were french fries and quavers for even less.  We stocked the cupboards, getting home I had to do the math, 57 individual packets that worked out to 13 pence each – that has to be the bargain of the year!!

With so many little jobs cleared out the way, I can tackle some bigger ones tomorrow, like contacting Sky about their telephone/broadband package and telling Vodafone I intend to change things.

Must message niece before I forget, I need a hair harvest.

3pm soon, I have earned some time off, 15-1 with my feet up I think …. do I want a packet of crisps with my coffee???


Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Tumbleweeds and Ghosts


Across the past few weeks I have been out and about to various places, some afar some not so, but Wednesday my Big Sis and I ventured into our local town.  We tried to remember the last time we went in but could not think back beyond July, so months it would seem.

Parking in our usual car park that always seems to be 3/4 full we took a walk through the Victoria Arcade, which has long been suffering from lack of shops, with at least 2/3rds empty, even with the incentive of months of free rent and months of half rent by twelve months they are gone and the austere dark windows return.  The bright light is the awesome breakfast at the tiny Pop-In Cafe which fortifies us for the remainder of the day.

Leaving the Arcade we turn towards the Market Place and immediately there are four double fronted shops in a row, now empty and boarded up, across the road is another double fronted shop that has been empty for at least three if not more years.  It stands next to the two-storey Marks & Spencer store which will be shutting soon, the food outlet is moving to an out-of-town retail park and the clothing/gifts etc is just closing altogether.  Such a sense of forlornness.

Around the pedestrianised Market Place the quay side banks have recently relocated into empty stores, Barclays, HSBC have joined Nationwide, Halifax, Santander, N&P, and Lloyds has double its size expanding into what once was Burtons.  No doubt before too long Nat West might consider relocating their forgotten branch more where the action is.  Across the other side the four storey building that was once a thriving Co-Op store is empty, rumours of it becoming an academy, rumours of it becoming flats.  Like other buildings in town, it will be bought by a developer who will do nothing until the building is condemned to be torn down and prime land is either sold or built upon.

Further along the Market Place there are shops with windows caked in dust, the paint flaking from weathered doors, and everywhere the detritus of leaves and litter whirl along as tumbleweeds.

The people look tired, worn down and grey, so many with walking sticks, frames and scooters, so many with prams and pushchairs.  The occasionally suited individual stride towards a cash machine or heads towards the shopping centre for Starbucks or Costa lunches.

The whole town is economically deprived and severely suffering for it, there is a huge heavy sense of depression, hardship and poverty.


Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized



Halt! We went there


On Thursday we three intrepid travellers embarked the train and trundled to the big City, approaching we recognised things like the sculpture at the Olympic Park, Canary Tower, O2 arena struts, the gherkin [which became our navigational beacon], grabbing a fresh baguette from one of the station eateries we dined al fresco in St Botolphs garden.  With map in hand we headed for our destination, detouring through the Trinity Square Gardens we were across the road and glimpses of red between the bustling, mingling crowds we were at our destination.  

We had all seen in the papers and on tv the beginnings of the poppies installation and as we approached the railings you cannot comprehend the evenness of the colours, that the poppies are not all at even height, how many that there are, as the installation has grown.


That morning HM The Queen had been to visit and place a wreath of poppies.  there had been a light showering of rain drops which only brought out their vibrancy as the sun dapped through the clouds.  As a piece of sculpture it is by itself astounding, without adding a name or face to each flower.  No one flower is visually more noticeable than any other, all are equal, a feat in itself.  The quantity, the spectacle is quite breath taking and I imagine at night when the wind whistles through them slightly, it would be quite eerie.

Did you know there had been a menagerie of animals housed at the Tower? As far back as 1210 lions were there, with a polar bear, monkeys, an elephant and a grizzly bear were added later.  There were some incredibly exotic creatures housed.  In 1832 the animals were ‘donated’ to the new zoological attraction in Regent’s Park.  Through out the tower there re these wire sculptures of several animals.

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The central and most common structure is the White Tower, patrolled by the Ravens. They are curious creatures, I think their utter solid blackness, even their beaks and eyes, the size of them, gives them an evil aura, though like many animals used to humans they’re probably quite characterful and funny in their ways.

9jewel house10 onguard

The Jewel House [in the Waterloo Barrack Block] was incredibly dark as you entered, it took several minutes for my eyes to adjust to the pitch darkness.  The screen projected montages of various coronations were interesting.  Other items associated with the Coronation of a Monarch were informative [I never knew there were so many Maces!!].  The only item remaining of the original coronation regalia is the 12th century golden anointing spoon [Cromwell and his croonies dismantled and sold off everything else].  The bangles, sceptres, orbs, swords [and scabbards] were so finite in detail.  The numerous crowns themselves were smaller than expected, but they do tend to sit atop the head rather than on the ears. Each sparkling beneath the led lighting and you glide past on the travelator.  Queen Victoria’s tiny diamond crown she so often wore was baby sized in comparison.  The solid gold salt’s were grand central table pieces, I know salt was highly prized but to pass the salt would have taken an army of beefy footmen!  There is also the three foot across gold punch bowl that holds 147 bottles of wine.  Plus the lilly font that all royals have been baptised from for centuries.


As were walking past traitors gate a Yeoman was making his way back to the tv crews and he kindly paused for a brief second to snap this photo.  They do not often wear their posh-reds, as the air pollution does cause considerable damage over time.  Did you know they have four uniforms? Each is a different weight, according to the climate [bet that means they’re forever changing them!]

After leaving the Tower we meandered along the Thames under Tower Bridge and into St Katherine’s Dock where by chance we spotted a couple of curious craft.  The Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana and another ‘thing’ that looks like a dog.


It was after leaving here, making our way up St Katherine’s Way that I stopped traffic [I am going to dine out on that nugget for years].  Before making our way back to the train station we sat and watched the world go by at Tower of London Park, the sites that passed us, fashion has a myriad of ways it would seem! 

Oh and a grey squirrel seemed miffed we didn’t have anything for him [or were in his way to get up the fence].

If anything was disappointing about the day, it was the lack of alternatives for disabled users, yes my ticket was discounted [by about 10%] and the carer got in free, but they have so many great videos on YouTube it is a shame there was not somewhere there, where you could have watched a continual loop of even a slide show of photos of the various exhibits that a wheelie cannot get to see and visitors do not know are there until they come across them.

Thoroughly enjoyable day though – utterly knackered and our legs, hips and backs are yet to recover.


Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized



I Stop Traffic!


Yesterday my Sister, Bro-In-Law and I ventured to the capital to visit the poppies and the Tower of London.  With time to spare we took a walk along the river and through St Kathrine’s Dock, stumbling by chance up on the Queen’s Row Barge the Gloriana as seen during the Jubilee Regatta.

Starting our way back towards the Tower Gardens we came up an incline and as we were getting our bearings, gazing at Tower Bridge to our right and working out where to head to cross the busy streets a white van beeped at us, politely wanting us to cross infront.  We waved him on as we were not sure what our plans were.

The next thing he hops out his van and comes towards us, assists with getting the wheelchair off the pavement [not that deep a curb] and weaves us through to the other side and gets my wheelchair safely on the pavement.  We thank him and off he trotts without fuss or favour into his van and jumps in and heads off on his merry way.


Not many can say they stopped traffic at the Tower Bridge.

I’ll blog more about our day across the weekend – Sister still has my camera in her bag … also my purse .. oww-err!!


Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Uncategorized