Well it has been a few days since I last wrote on my Blog mainly because of a lack of time management, I am going to have to do myself a timetable to make sure I do the things I need to do and don’t overlook anything or miss it out. Now though, it is time to write about what I’ve been up to for the last few days.
On Sunday we unfortunately had to take my Wife’s new car back to the dealer from which we purchased it as it had developed a problem with the gearbox during the week. As it is not used every day I called the guy and asked if he was able to help at all, I was to be honest expecting an unfavourable answer but he said that if we took it to him then he would take it to the garage that he uses and get them to look at it. I felt I should go and so I transferred in to the car for the trip back to Exeter. It was easier than I had thought it would be to transfer in to it and I did not need to use my slidy board to do it which I was very happy with. And so, with me in the car, my Brother ready to drive the car to Exeter and Darren following in his car to bring us back, we set off to meet with the guy.
We arrived after only forty minutes and met the guy who was apologetic and polite. I gave him the keys, ensured that he had my contact number and after a quick chat about what was going to happen, I got from the car to my wheelchair, (which I had to use my board for), got in to Darren’s car and we left, bound for home.
On the way back to the bungalow we stopped in to see my Brother in Law Tom and his Girlfriend Danielle at his home. It meant that Darren would know where Tom lived and also gave us a chance to catch up with him for a coffee and to generally take the piss out of each other. After probably around a half hour or so we left him and Danielle and carried on the short journey that was left to get to the bungalow. The rest of the day was spent at home tidying and messing about in the bungalow together, my Wife, my kids and I. In the evening the kids had their baths and hair wash ready for school and once in bed and settled, my Wife took the opportunity to have a nice relaxing soak and jet bath before retiring to bed, this left me a little time to have a quick go on the games console. Unfortunately Darren was also on the games console and needless to say, it was not an early night again when we finished.
On Monday my Wife and Tabatha took my kids to school and `Pickle` to nursery, they left the Chucklebus in Ilminster and walked back to the bungalow. The plan was for Darren and I to walk back with them to Ilminster, the girls arrived at the bungalow and they had a drink and then we all got ready to leave for our walk back. It was decided that we would take Darren and Tabatha’s dog and also my dog, `Duke` for the walk to Ilminster to give them both a really good run. We made sure that the dog’s were ready to go and Darren said “Are you going to put your new wheel on then?” I of course replied with “Yes” but what followed kind of screwed things up a little. “I just need someone to get it out of the Chucklebus for me.” Darren, Tabatha and my Wife looked at me and said, “You are bloody joking”. “Very good love,” said my Wife, “Where is the bus?” This did not bode well, but Darren jumped in to his car and went and got it out of the bus and came back. Wheel attached, we were ready to go and collect `Pickle` from nursery and so we set off for our walk.
The weather was really not too bad for the walk and the dog’s were really well behaved. We had to take the road to the cycle path as the trees had not been cleared, I am guessing that the Council had not found out who owned them and so they would not be cut. When we got on to the cycle path, we came across an older Gentleman who was cutting the fallen trees with a hand saw. He was retired and it seemed as though he may have suffered a stroke at some time in the past, but never the less, he felt that he could help people by clearing the trees, and what a job he was doing. A really nice public spirited guy. We left him and continued our walk down the cycle path. We got probably as far as the bridge at Knowle St Giles and my Wife said, “Darren, have you got the keys to the Chucklebus?” The answer was not a good one, so you can guess which of the “Yes or No” answers it was. There was no one who wanted to walk back to the bungalow to go and get the keys and so we just continued our walk throwing piss taking comments around. We eventually reached Ilminster and as there was time to spare we popped in to the Stonemasons to get a quick cola. We then collected `Pickle` and started our walk back to the bungalow.
It is important to know now that at this point, the girls have walked to Chard and then back to Ilminster, a total so far of approximately ten miles, at this point they are supposed to be getting in to the Chucklebus and driving back to Chard with `Pickle` while Darren and I walk back meaning that we have all done a ten mile walk. The distinct lack of keys for the Chucklebus now obviously means that we are all now walking back to Chard, including `Pickle`. The walk was going really well until my new wheel went wrong somehow and kept facing to the left making it incredibly difficult for me to travel straight and after around a mile of struggling, I removed it and hung it on the back of my wheelchair for us to look at when we got back to the bungalow. It was when we were around two miles for the bungalow that my Wife and I realised that I had a Doctor’s appointment at three in the afternoon and that the time was rapidly closing in on that time. We not only had to get home, but I had to get in to Darren’s car and get to the Doctor. It was at this point that I had to acknowledge that I was not going to be able to make the time without help and therefore Darren pushed me the rest of the way which was around about two miles. I was a bit gutted but seven and a half miles right off the bat using my arms to move myself was something that I was proud of and I know that I would have made the complete journey had it not been for my appointment.
I went to my appointment and my Wife collected the kids and the van, Darren had driven us over and we were eventually ten minutes late for the appointment. I had called ahead and told the staff but as I was the first appointment of the afternoon, and I had a double appointment booked, it was not a huge problem. Appointment over and a furthur appointment booked, we headed home. I made sure that I had a jet bath to prevent my muscles from seizing up and had an earlier night than I would normally have had having really worked myself on the miles we covered. Really proud of my Wife for the fifteen miles she walked, needless to say, she slept well.
On Tuesday Darren had an appointment in Taunton and asked my Wife and I if we wanted to go along. This would also help him as he was unsure of where in Taunton his appointment was as he is still learning where things are. My Wife and I decided to go with him and I again transferred in to the car. It is hard for me to explain to you how different it makes me feel when I am sat in the seat of a car. I sit in the front as it affords me more room to enter and exit the car, to be in the front and being able to see properly the roads and traffic is great. To not be sat in my wheelchair in the back of the Chucklebus makes me feel somehow less disabled, a sense of normality from before my accident and more a part of the journey. Not having to shout to the front of the car to talk is also nice. We directed Darren to his appointment while my Wife and I went to a few shops. After a short time Darren called to find out where we were and we all met up again and looked in a few more shops before heading back to the car and back to the bungalow.
Tuesday evening was TA and once again Gerry kindly drove me in. I had two new recruits who had been issued their kit. The trained lads were doing a test which is required and so it was all go. I asked one of the junior NCO’s to help me out by explaining some of the kit to the new recruits and also assist me in assembling their webbing. The evening went well, I arranged for junior NCO’s to take charge of the new recruits in their relevant TA centres for the following Tuesday parade night and had a chat with the instructor who had been running the test that evening. I had not seen her since my accident but did remember her even though I had met her only a couple of times on a course that I had unfortunately failed to complete as the final part of the course was to run just after the date of my accident. After a chat with her it was time for Gerry and I to hit the road and head for home. Upon getting to the bungalow, Gerry said goodbye and headed off for his house in his car while my Wife got me out of the Chucklebus and in to the house. A quick cuppa and a chat and then it was straight to bed. I had every intention of writing my Blog when I got in to bed but that was not to be the case, almost immediately that my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light.
I woke this morning to hear my Mother in Law arrive at the bungalow, she would be taking the kids to school and nursery this morning to give my Wife a break in so much as she would not have to rush around getting dressed and taking them, it meant that she could stay comfy in her PJ’s while she did the bits of housework etc before starting the day properly. This did not go 100% according to plan as she got back in to bed with me and gave me a cuddle which was great, but also meant that we both fell asleep again, not that I was complaining as I was having cuddles!. It was around a half hour later when we woke and the day started, washing and dressing and getting in to my chair was the first stage but this was interupted by a call from Alison. After some verbal abuse about my still being in bed, which I did not retaliate to and merely agreed, simply because it is easier to let it go and wait for the time to strike! She asked about if I would be up for our Wednesday `st-roll` and arranged to come round. I continued to get up and square my personal admin away and once in my chair it was time for my Wife to go to an appointment she had. Only a couple of minutes after she had left, Alison arrived and we had a coffee and chat while we decided if we would definitely be making our trip to Ilminster as the weather was not hugely favourable.
We decided to go and this time we would take `Duke` with us as well as her dog `Jack`. `Duke` was going nuts with excitement when we got his lead and was a bit of a handfull when we set off. Once on the cycle path the dogs calmed down as we let them off. I had my new wheel fitted but the first part of the cycle path was still hard work, never the less we carried on. The trees had been cleared by the elderly Gentleman as I had previously said and this made a real difference getting round them. It was not long before `Duke` found the blackest mud puddle and lay down right in the middle of it, this could be a problem when my Wife met us at the nursery to collect him. We continued on our journey and with the dogs not visible there was only one place they could be, sure enough, two splashes were heard and they were swimming in the river. This was excellent as `Duke` was again golden instead of black, no telling off for me. I was laughing about this with Alison when I received a text message. I had texted my Wife to let her know that we had `Duke` and this was her replying, it said. “Ok, don’t let him get dirty, see you at nursery.” Bollocks, Alison and I agreed that as we had received the text AFTER `Duke` had got dirty, we would plead our case. Before we had reached the half way point my new wheel played up again and kept tracking to the left making it impossible for me to continue with it and so I removed it and hung it on the back of my wheelchair. I called my Wife to ask if she would meet us at the half way point as there was no way we would be able to get to the nursery to meet her in time.
She met us and took the dog’s for us, it would be too cold for me to sit outside and eat lunch and so she said she would take the dogs, Alison and I would be able to complete our Wednesday `st-roll` and have lunch as we normally do, it would just be a little harder as I would once again be on standard small castors. We continued on our way and after battling the head wind we were up against, we made some reasonable time. The cycle path is being opened up to horses as a shared bridleway, cycle path and walkway. Clearly there are not enough bloody fields surrounding the cycle path for the horses to play in. I am not against horses, in fact my Sister in Law rides horses but really? On the cycle path. I know exactly what is going to happen and indeed it has already started. Horses will believe they have the right of way. Cyclists will spook the horses causing arguments. Dog owners will get in to the arguments with the horse riders as the dog’s will spook the horses. Parents will not take their children along the cycle path as they will be concerned about them getting knocked off by the horses. From a selfish point of view, horse riders are not required to pick up the shit left by the horses and this will then mean that I have to ride through it and get it all over my hands. As a knock on effect from this it will end up in my house or van carpet. Further more, are dog owners, no matter how responsible really going to pick up after their dog when there will be horse shit everywhere? So a big thumbs up to the member of the South Somerset District Bright Idea’s Club for really thinking this through. Unfortunately though, when the cycle path becomes really covered in horse poo, I will still go to Ilminster for my Wednesday `st-roll`, but I will go on the A358. This will probably cause absolute mayhem as I will have to be far enough out in the road to avoid the drains and this will hold traffic up. This will be my only option as I am not prepared, nor should I be expected to get my hands covered in crap just so that the horse riders can come out of the fields. And today the first evidence that I am likely to be right, horse poo on the cycle path. Watch this space.
We had a really nice meal and a good laugh over lunch, mixed with conversation of a more serious note and then the time came to settle the bill and make our way to meet my Wife at the car park where we meet our kids after school. It did not take as long as I had thought to get there and we were only narrowly beaten by my Wife in the Chucklebus. We all loaded in to the Chucklebus and headed back to the bungalow for a coffee, I unfortunately did not get to talk to Alison at all as I had a call from the guy about the car, which requires a new gearbox which he is trying to sort, and then from Op Nightingale. Alison had left to go and cook tea before I had finished the conversation on the phone which was unfortunate but I will call her tomorrow briefly. And so now I am sat with NCIS on the television, everyone on bed and me writing my Blog. Tomorrow I have my mate Sean and his Wife coming round for a coffee in the evening which I am looking forward to. Aside from that, who knows.