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Tag Archives: travel

Granite laughter and happy tummies

enjoythelittlethings

I am back from my travels north of the bonny border, spending days with my BFF and her all-grown-up daughter.  I was trepidacious about boarding and leaving the aircraft not really sure or trusting the competency of the airports in handling wheelchair passengers, rather than those who are slow walkers.  Thankfully everything went reasonably smooth if not a little grab/grope. The technical terms for passengers such as I is Wheelchair Charlie [as opposed Romeo or Sierra].

True to form as soon as I arrive in the granite city the weather turns to fog, seamist and dank days – I was informed it had not been like that for a very long time, uhhuh.  Just us three gals together again, as we use3d to many moon ago, was lovely, stitching, talking, eating all the good food, playing games and finishing the jigsaw.  I was treated to a go in the bubbly jacuzzi bath, only nearly drowned once, I can still hear my BFF’s laughter as the jets sent me down the tub and stopped my feeble attempts to push against them.

What will stick in my mind, other than all three of us having plenty of bed space in the same room [separate mattresses, never too old to PJ party], is waking suddenly and bit fully com pus men tis to hear BFF declare “Wish me luck I am going outside to climb the ladder!” – I shall leave that teaser with you for a moment.

Aberdeen itself looked and felt a financially comfortable city, as we wandered the clean streets, there were a lot of people about that looked well dressed, in that their clothing were of good condition.  I only saw one homeless person begging.  Litter seemed to be non existent!  There were several groups about declaring “yes” or “No” to the referendum, it felt very different being in the place it would directly affect rather than t’other side the border [who would likely feel some affects too] I am not strongly politically minded but there was electricity in the damp air.  The variety of restaurants in their three shopping centres looked and smelt delicious – sadly didn’t get to par-take of authentic delicacies, save that for next time.

The Maritime Museum was an interesting building, right on the door step of the harbour, so many centuries of history, prosperity and tragedy links Aberdeen to the salty brine.  The exhibit showing how a polystyrene head had shrunk as it had experienced the pressures exerted by the water the deeper it went was eye catching.  Gift shop was rather lacking.

At the Art Museum they have a Kaffe Fasset exhibition, we got into the ornate old building and a helpful chap asked if we wanted the lift.  They use the exhibitors lift which means a brief backroom excursion before you come out of an enormous hidden panelled door.  I had not heard of this chappy but his textiles were so very vibrant and stunning.  Mind you the scarf at £168 someone chocked the throat.

We went down to the Esplanade one day, and yes there was sun shine bouncing off the deep waves, the wind was a bracing brisky.  Some hardy souls were having surfing lessons, I would imagine it a relatively safe beach as the tide goes out so far at low tide revealing a shelf like bed.  Although it does not take much imagination to see wild waves crashing and splashing when Mother Nature cranks thing up.  The char-grill aroma was too too tempting from TGI Fridays.

When all-grown-up-daughter had to leave for London, I could not help but shed a tear or several, it had been so very nice to see her after three years and feel like it was yesterday. Remember and reminiscing about the things we’ve all gotten up to and in to across our years.

Somehow I managed to not bawl my eyes until saying goodbye to my BFF at the airport.  Felt a right edgit as the helpful airport fellow wheeled me through the security cues, me sitting there tears streaming.  We sat on the runway for 20 minutes making us late arriving home.

Back home now and still not unpacked, still cannot get head organised when it comes to dinner and my arms and shoulders are aching like heck from having to be instrumental in this standing ‘up’ lark.

My BFF, her girls and I would be together practically every weekend or a day or two in the week, the break of three years flagged [with neon arrows and blaring klaxons] just how special, fun, entertaining, comfortable, normal our lives ran together and how much it is missed.  I am putting together my photos and writing my notes ready to put my travel diary together in a book my BFF bought me sometime ago that I decided I would use just for this purpose.

Sweet sweet arrivals and all too soon bitter sweet departures.  

Oh yes …. the ladder thing …. Well you see the smoke alarm in the Hall is mains connected with a battery back up, said battery must have been running out and it began beeping at 30 second intervals. You have to yank the think off the ceiling to open the battery draw. So she wanted luck as she went “outside” the bedroom to climb the step”ladder” …. I was wondering why she wanted to climb back in the house through a window!

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Travel broadens the humour

Travel Plans for 2014Travel

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots.
Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

 I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one Recognizes you there.

 I have, however, been in Sane.

They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there.

I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions,

but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt.

That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

 I’ve been in Flexible,

but only when it was very important to stand firm.

 Sometimes I’m in Capable,

and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

 One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense!

It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

I may have been in Continent and I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Electronic Intervention

update-your-blog

No! I ain’t gonna, so there 

Okay, well maybe just briefly.

I am in a mood – everything is an instant annoyance.  I play a cd and by the end of track one I am bothered by the noise, I switch it off, I turn on the radio and a caller, dj or newsreader says something and I am instantly aggravated, I turn it off.  I settle to watch tv and am immediately fed up with audience noise, or frequency of adverts or the innane-ness of a plot.  I pick up my crochet and by the third stitch am tired of trying.  I open a blog and after being subject to the video advert just sigh at the blank screen.  I open iTunes again and my web browser to add album artwork to the thousands that are missing and by the seventh the tedium can be handled no more.

The problem is a frequent one, January-itus, a black dog period, grey cold damp days, waiting for the dratted white stuff to really f–udge things up, the impending crushing disappointment because dream plans will be moth-balled all because of a disease I never asked for.  Add a heap of resentment for allowing myself to be used, abused and put upon by the business of where I live, the exasperation of idiots round here to seem to think that although I am no longer in-charge I will do what they ask me to do as a favour to them ‘fark off!’.  

There is some floundering going on, so many projects have come to an end, yet I have no time or energy for anything new.

Oh good grief, time to go cook something, again.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Crushed!

disappointed smiley

This is going to be tricky to explain.

For some years now I have been holding on to a dream, I had a feeling and believed one day “this” will happen.  I am not one to hold to hope after all my family motto is if it wasn’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all, that is how we roll.  None the less I allowed myself to dream and have faith in a way that “this” will come to fruition. It evolved and developed contingencies. It made me smile and feel warm at its potential excitement, not just for myself but for others as well.

Yesterday the possibility of “this” really happening became possible as dates were announced for a certain person to come to our shores and just as suddenly all hopes were dashed.  Of all the weeks in all the years they had to damn well go and choose that one.

I cannot go.

The event will never happen again.

Life has taught me to expect disappointment and as yesterday loomed with its potential, an element of me knew that something would prevent me from the experience and it would call into question several different aspects of myself and my life.

On the outside and as far as anyone will ever see I shall shrug my shoulders and go “Oh well, can’t be helped”, but inside is another story. I am angry, I am seething to the point of utter despair.  My MD has denied me something else.  It has taken away from me my job; my finances; my car; my music; my piano; my sailing; my social life and friends; my enjoyments.  it dictates my food, my drink, my sleep, my clothes, my actions, my furniture, my hygiene, my every breath. It is a cold wet hard slap in the face that my life is not my own, I am not the one in control and I am not the decision maker.

As an Aries, I could blow into a full on tantrum strop and throw out all my toys – it wouldn’t make me feel any better and it wouldn’t get me anywhere closer to what I want.  It just leaves me feeling that there is no point thinking of anything beyond my four walls.  Don’t worry folks if I am quiet for a while.  To paraphrase a phrase, I am always disappointed it is the depth than varies.

The comments have been turned off as I am not looking for solutions, suggestions or sympathy, I just needed to put this somewhere.

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Been Getting Around

bus-train-taxi

I’mmmmmm Baaaaaaaaaack!!

The past couple of weeks have been hectic and not my usual.  My best bud invaded me for a weekend and then she kidnapped me back to hers for a week – all mildly adventurous as it involved a taxi to the train station, train to the city, bus to city appointment, bus back into city and then kill some time before train to her town and taxi to her home.  Thankfully the weather was sunny and bright and all plans fell into place, things ran to schedule, sorted.

There was then another bus ride to go into her town for a mooch about – bus drivers are a bred apart, do they only now full on pedal one or full or pedal two.  I am in my wheelchair, brakes on and they’re not duff, I am hanging onto the hand rails for dead life as we swing around yet another blessed roundabout or screech to a halt at a stop before zooming off into traffic.  My core got a serious physio workout.

Whilst at hers she taught me some basic crochet.  She is an AWESOME crocheter, the things she has produced from the sweetest tiny baby booties to full double bed sized blankets are breath taking – of course as is her way she just shrugs thinking that because she can do it anyone could do it so it is nothing special, well bah-hah, they are and she most certainly is.  It was a craft I had pondered about trying not knowing whether my dexterity and bent fingers and wrists could cope with but it is not uncomfortable and no un-do-able, although I will never ever reach her standard or ski and would not want to.

She sent me home with some yarn and I have been merrily attempting to perfect the rib effect headbands.  The red wool has been uncooperative and after I had finished the damn thing is so tight and all higgled and uneven, but as a first ever attempt [after let me see 1, 2, 3 false starts] I suppose it is not so bad.  Tackling a small flower next, who’d a thunk you could learn something useful from Youtube!!!

It was sad to leave her, we so rarely get much time together now she has moved and I always grieve a little after coming home for a period of my life that was brighter that I should have made better of.

Anywho, I am trying to get some structure into a lapsadayzickle life – ha wont last – desk work on a morning [emails, check sites, play about abit etc] then a house hold chore and luncheon, then spend the afternoon beneath the craft lamp either cross stitching, crocheting, reading or working a project of some kind.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Sponsored Swim ~ shameless ask

swim

On October 18th, a young lady called Ruth Jermy is attempting to swim 64 lengths of her local OUTDOOR swimming pool, through sponsorship she is raising funds for the Jubilee Sailing Trust who own and operate the only tall ships equipped to take disabled and able bodied sailors.  I met Ruth when she and I were on the same voyage on board the Ts Tenacious sailing from Bermuda to Miami, she was to be my ‘buddy’ the able bodied volunteer who would help me with the getting about and doing the do.  Turned out we lived less than half an hour from each other.

Here is a video about what the Trust does … it really does change people.

 

https://www.youtube.com/v/IuJvpHWQgFY?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

There are blogs and photo’s on my website about my voyages, I have sailed with people from ages 18 to 80’s … from the troubles of Northern Ireland to the tranquility of the Shires, with those life has treated roughly and those who have been blessed.  Strangers become friends, barriers are swept away, the essence of team and the joy of camaraderie  abounds.  I miss it, I miss it almost as much as I miss my piano and the memories always come in a tear.

4Ruth

Ruth first sailed as buddy to a cousin, she enjoyed herself so much that she has sailed numerous times since, volunteering to be a ‘buddy’ to a disabled stranger, having no clue as to what or how much help they are going to need.  That is a special person.

If you do have any spare pennies down the back of the sofa, I would appreciate if you sent them her way.  She is raising funds to go towards the maintenance costs of these magnificent ships.

You can give at  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Ruth

Ships

Thank you xx

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Train Strain

train cartoon

I took a brave pill and did something solo for the very first time this past week.  I took the train

The last time I went anywhere by rail, it was February 2004 when my friend and I had an appointment at the American Embassy to get my visa for entering the USA via the tall ship I was voyaging on later that year.  When you have an able-bud, two heads and her muscles get us to where we need to be all rather straight forward, usually.

Now I have travelled on my own before, wheelchair bound, but it was always direct flights [Houston, Bermuda, Gran Canaria], with these you know the plane is not going to suddenly dash off with me still on-board and the cabin crew know help is needed and make sure it happens ….. but ….. with the train, it is very much a stop-and-go affair and these days it don’t hang about either.

I emailed the assisted travel people with what must have seemed some very simple blonde questions about how their service operates, sometimes it can be difficult to ensure a well meaning able bodied call centre person realises the full implications of “I cannot wheel myself”.  A quick reply was received and all seemed to be in order.  But I forgot to ask the most basic of question – do I book my tickets with them or book with whomever and then contact them hoping the wheelchair space is available. Which then made me think that having to book with them would mean I lose out on offers, following the ever present ethos that as a crip, living on benefits, I have oodles of cash to pay extra for everything!  Thankfully when I called the tickets were the prices regular-joe pays and all was set, reference numbers noted, all was set for the day.

My mind was whirling and worrying, what if Peterborough don’t drag me off, I’ll end up gawd knows where, stranded, like a paralysed mute, how would I get back!!  What if the space is taken and there is no room.  What if the person supposed to help, doesn’t wheel me to where my friends are waiting. What if there is a breakdown or engineering works requiring coach transfer .. oh gawd no, what if I get the half dressed drunk insisting on sitting near me and talking to the world, or the bemused geriatric who comes over all concerned parent in wanting to entertain me and help, or the screaming child ….. what if what if what if  what the heck am I doing??!!??!!

The day arrived, my Sister wheeled me to the customer services desk, and some jovial chaps were aware and sorted me out.  The ramp was put down and Lynn parked me and then abandoned me, lol.  I organised my coat pockets, so only my tickets were in one for easy grabbing come conductor time.  I took out my book, calmed my racing heart and quietly hoped.  The journey was uneventful, no weird passengers, no chatty individuals, all quiet, rattling along, bouncing and bobbing with the motion and camber of the train.  Peterborough was arriving, oh please let the system work, I’d like to visit Liverpool one day but not today.  There was no reason to fear, the uniformed man was waiting with the ramp and right behind him were my friends – oh what a relief, familiar faces!!!

When the time came to return home, we got to the station and waited at the little help booth when the man walked up and asked “Are you the lady for Norwich” .. Yes! I am known of .. phew the system works, people do read their memos .  We waited on the freezing platform after being taken in the little beeping yellow buggy up and down the ramped overpass.  Train stations are such desolate places when there is no train there.  As the train pulled in, the ramp was put down, there was some motion in the carriage as the lady was asked to put her child’s stroller in the luggage rack [she was not very impressed and moaned about it].  Tearful goodbyes were said before the man rolled me into place.  There was a moment of panic when realising that the train had approached the station from the wrong direction and the half mumbled barely audible announcement said words like Cambridge, Stanstead, London Kings Cross … nooo!! that is not this train, my train surely, they couldn’t have put me on the wrong train, could they? It said Norwich on the front, but … … … there is always that 1% possibility … … … I felt a flush rise to my cheeks as I wondered what the hell I could do if they had when I overheard someone saying that they were going home to Thetford. Oh good, if it is the wrong train, more than one of us is on it.  It was a noisier ride home, but thankfully no one engaged me in conversation, I sat nose buried in my book.

Norwich appeared along with a lady with the ramp, but no Sister – oh heck, was she stuck somewhere a wrong turning had taken her.  No she was waiting at the barrier, the Lady all ready to wheel me all the way to the car.

I think I should award myself some gold stars I am feeling quite proud and brave .. of course that will only last until the next time I have to go then I will be back to the nervous wreck

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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