>Couldn’t Resist

>I wasn’t going to update today.  But then I went for a drink with some of the creative writing group.  And one of them told us about The Red Hot Chili Pipers.  And I couldn’t resist posting this.  It’s really not the best video when it comes to the visual side of it but the music is amazing – We Will Rock You done on Bagpipes.

>Sometimes you gotta sacrifice the things you like

>For the last four years I’ve been involved in a swimming group for disabled people on a friday afternoon.  It’s mostly been great fun and I’ve got some good friends from it.  It also allowed me the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends I’d lost touch with – the session is public (although specifically for PWD and carers as necessary) and they belong to others groups which also go.

I love to swim and when I first started going I was living in my old flat way out of town and struggling to get places and do things.  In short, I was very depressed (I lived there July 2004 – Dec 2005 and joined the group at the end of November 2004).  So it was great for me.  It got me out of the house consisitently because the weeks when my depression was bad and i didn’t feel like going it was usually more work to pick up the phone and say I wanted to give it a miss that day than it was to throw a swimsuit and towel in my bag and go.

But lately I’ve not been enjoying it.  A lot more people go now and it’s much more crowded making it much harder for those of us who want to go in the pool and properly swim to actually swim.  In some cases I’ve felt it unsafe.   And I’ve been coming out of my depression which made some of the niggles harder to deal with – because I have the energy to be annoyed by them now and to want to do something about them.  There are other related issues but I won’t go into them.

As much as I enjoy swimming and enjoy most of the people the two together just wasn’t working out for me any more.   I was just getting more and more frustrated and I wasn’t able to do what for me the group was about as I wanted too.

So last week after many months of soul searching I made a decision and I said to the charity who run the group.  “thanks for everything, I really appreciate it.  But I’m not enjoying it and I think it better I stop coming and let someone else have the opportunity.”

I’m gonna miss everyone a lot (well, almost).  And I didn’t expect to be as sad about it as I am.  I got a little choked up talking to my volunteer driver and I cried a little after talking to the coordinator.   Tears of saddened relief.  I know this is the right decision for me but it doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye and walk away.  I didn’t go to the group as a whole and say goodbye, I’ve spoken to my particularly friends and told them. and I know the others will find out that way.  I couldn’t face going and doing that.  The cowards way out perhaps but it was what I could cope with.

I don’t want to give a bad impression of the people involved as I’ve said I have good friends from it.  It was there when I needed it and it was fantastic – just what I needed.  But it wasn’t giving me what I needed any more – I’ve grown and moved on and my needs and wants have changed.  it was time to leave.

The group may be gone from my life but I hope the good friends from it will remain.  And I’ll still swim – Mum and I will start going again after Christmas.  As possibly will a good friend and I.

I’ve always been a great one for song lyrics and quotes and use them for emotional buoyancy, getting through the tough times.  As I was writing e-mails and talking to friends and coordinators about giving up the swimming group all I could think was “sometimes you’ve gotta sacrifice the things you like.” and about the song it comes from which I’ve posted below.  Because I do love to swim.  It just wasn’t really possible for me to swim like I wanted to as a part of that group any more.  And the frustrations that brought on were really not good for me.

Born to Try – Delta Goodrem

 


Doing everything that I believe in
Going by the rules that I’ve been taught
More understanding of what’s around me
And protected from the walls of love

All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

No point in talking of what should have been
And regretting the things that went on
Life’s full of mistakes, destinies and fate
Remove the clouds, look at the bigger picture

And all that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

All that you see is me
And all I truly believe
All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try

I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

>Concubine

>I occasionally do online surveys or questionaires for market research companies.  They are fun and My TNS at least gives you nectar points for your trouble.

I was doing one which opinion world sent to me earlier this afternoon.

And I about killed myself laughing when I read the question

Are you: 

The householder

His spouse or concubine

Other

>”I’m NEVER doing that again.”

>For reasons only known to one person and one person only instead of getting the train to Oxford on Saturday I was sent in an accessible taxi.

I’d had a phone call from Oxford Friday evening to say their lift was broken but they could let me out of another door (not public use normally) which would avoid my needing to use the broken lift.  Would that be a problem?  And I said no so long as they showed me where I was going as it would mean I was leaving from completely the opposite side of the station.  Fine, she says, I’ll walk you round to the front of the station – the path is accessible but not great (I don’t know it).

Ten to eight Saturday morning my landline rings.  And wakes me.  At that time of the morning my thoughts were 1) I’m not getting up. and 2) oh my god someone’s died.  still not getting up though.  terribly sorry you’ve died though whoever you are. But I’m still not getting out of bed.

Half an hour or so later it rings again.  And I dragged myself out of bed and called them back noticing with no little relief that it was my local train station that were calling me and figuring they’d keep trying till they got me so the only way I’d get more sleep would be to call them back.

And I was told that the lift was broken and I’d be going to Oxford by taxi.  I queried it as Oxford had already said they could cope but was told it would be easier if I went by taxi as otherwise I would have to be pushed round the station.  Which makes no sense as I all but always go in my powerchair (I’ve only been on a train in my manual chair once this year that I can think of – well, one occasion but that was about six trains what with travelling both ways and all the changes), but whatever.  And the taxi would drop me wherever I wanted in the city centre, just name the place. Oh and don’t bother to get a ticket (which also didn’t make sense whenever I’ve had a taxi instead of train before they’ve insisted on seeing my ticket)

Great.  Not what I had planned but this is shaping up to be good I think.  Back to bed for half an hour.

So i get to the station and one of the journey care assistants came over to meet me and we wandered back out chatting a bit (chocolate’s bad for you she tells me as she catches up to me as i buys some).  Just as we got there the taxi arrived and he starts getting me in and secured.  The accessible taxi here is something i rarely use and whilst it does it’s job it doesn’t really have enough head room for me (only just) so I wouldn’t want to do it often.

Start with a five minute delay while he panics and searches the car for his pen which he’s lost.  Eventually we start moving only to stop by the taxi rank at the other side of the station car park.  He speaks to another taxi driver and they leave their car to search for a pen to lend him.  Crisis over we eventually pull out of the station.  And it’s almost immediatley obvious that he’s a typical taxi driver with the weaving and bobbing in traffic he’s doing – and that he missed the memo about driving smoothly (no sudden acceleration/braking if possible) when you have a wheelchair user in the back.

Where do you want to go he asks.  I named one of the biggest, poshest hotels in Oxford.  It’s probably the most well known and near to where I was meeting the NaNo-ers and is on a road with lots of on street disabled parking.  I know it well because my Dad almost always drops/meets us there.  He said he had GPS but didn’t know where it was.  So I asked to be dropped at the Playhouse – a little further down the same road.  He said no he didn’t know it.  And no I said, I couldn’t give him directions.  You’re the taxi driver love and I don’t drive (I didn’t actually say that but I thought it).  So I know Oxford as a pedestrian.  What about the New Theatre or the Westgate (shopping centre) – nothing doing with either of those.  I was rapidly running out of places in the city centre where he could drop me.  So I suggested the station but he didn’t know where that was either.

And I couldn’t think of anywhere else outside of the pedestrianised zone.

So he says “I drop you at Starbucks.”

The only starbucks I know (other than the one in borders) is in the pedestrianised zone so I pointed that out to him.

Driving through Oxford I was following where we were going.  Which was a really good thing because he dropped me at a tiny out of the way starbucks I’ve never seen before further away from the main shopping streets than I usually go.  And he announces he’ll drop me there.  I’m like “OK” just wanting out of the damn taxi (I don’t get car sick but I also usually transfer out of my chair into people’s cars rather than being clamped down  and I was worried about where I was going to end up).  

Oh, we’re on the wrong side of the road he says.  Which we’ll add to the list of things that didn’t make sense given that there was somewhere to stop and the ramp came out of the boot.  I’m just going with it though and assume he’ll go further along, find somewhere to turn and go back.

But then came the moment.  The one that had me going “Mum’s going to get a phone call saying I’ve died.  I’m actually going to die”

This is a busy road in Oxford, there are buses and taxis and bikes and people everywhere.  And he just pulls out and does a u turn in the middle of the road.  You’ve never heard that many drivers shouting or horns going off as at that moment.

Finally getting out of the taxi I had to walk in the wrong direction on the road for a short distance to find a dropped curb to get on the path.  Then I walked back past the taxi.

No sign of the driver, the doors and boot still wide open – and the ramp down.

I can only imagine there’s some major reason why he had to drop me at Starbucks and no where else – and why he disappeared like that.  I’m guessing he’d gone for a fix of some kind.  But I’ll never know.

And that, my friends, is the reason why when asked if I enjoyed my chauffer driven trip to Oxford at both stations on my way home (Oxford and here) I ranted about taxi drivers and said “I’m NEVER doing that again.”

And why, should I find myself told the train to Oxford is out for me (or as in this case more difficult than usual but still doable) so they’ll pay for a taxi again I’ll be considering how vital my journey is.  And whether I might not prefer a trip to Reading instead.

>Writing a New 101 in 1001 list.

>The 1001 days of my 101 in 1001 project end on Sunday next week (which makes this something like day 994).  For a few months I’ve been toying with a few ideas for the next one.  And I also had a few which were completed but not marked off on here.

I took some time this evening to work out exactly which goals are completed, which are part way through and realistically can be easily finished by next Sunday (about another four or five – like my favourite writings project or the website one both of which need about two hours or less spending on them at their current stages of “doneness” to move to finishedness).  I think it’s likely I’ll be ending with somewhere in the region of 46+ tasks completed.

And I finally but fingers to keyboard and noted down the beginnings of the new list.  So far I have 20 things.  My thought is to have as few “repeats” as possibly.  Ideally, I would like to see the only goal which appears on both lists to be goal 101 “On day 1001 publish a new 101 in 1001 list.”

In an ideal world I would write the entire list without input from anyone or reading any other 101 lists for inspiration.  But I think that’s unrealistic.  So if you’ve got any suggestions leave a comment – no guarantees but it might be interesting.  Or does anyone else want to do their own list and try this with me?

Out of the three people who I told about this and “did it with me” (my friend Shi, my sister and my mum) this time round I think I’m the only one still thinking about it now.  Although my mum was talking about her list earlier.  She lost hers though which kinda stumped her project!

>Belt Plans

>I’m thinking about making a belt.  I need one, I’m bored of my current projects and I have loads of remnants to use up.  So it feels like a good idea.

I was thinking stockinette, about six stitches and knit till it will go round me then keep going till I get bored.  Well, first I was thinking garter stitch, but I think unless it was knit sideways it might be a bit stretchy which would defeat the object.  and the very idea of knitting it sideways feels like a long job.  I like the instant gratification of seeing something grow quickly which means shorter rows rock.

But then tonight I got thinking that some form of i-cord belt might be fun.  Maybe make a shit load of i-cord, much more than I need then cast that off and back on again, using the original i-cord to make more.  Which I think would make it more chunky and durable but I have no idea really because I know very little of these things.  Just that i-cord is fun to make.  It does occur to me however that I would probably need new DPN’s to do that as I only have one size (4MM) and would probably need bigger ones for the second stage.  Which does slightly put the kibosh on that for the time being.

Thoughts, anyone?  Sair? Vicky?  Anyone else reading this who knits and I can’t think of atm?

And yes, I do have a ravelry membership before anyone asks – my username is funkyfairy22 (same as on ebay and twitter) – and I do realise this might be better posted there.

>”It’s always nice to find out from a complete stranger that you’ve had a drastic lifestyle change”

>I love to joke and mess around.  It’s really fun.  But the trouble with that is it can back fire on you.  With me having different carers at the moment I’ve tamped down on the crip jokes and such around them for the time being for fear of that happening.

The majority of a group of people I know seem to think that a good friend and I are gay.  The friend in question is married and they know that but there are still rumours about it.  They’ve thought it for a long time but whether they know that we know they think it I don’t know.  (If that confusing sentence makes sense).  We joke a lot.  We joke about being disabled and about other stuff.  And we joke about the fact they think we are gay (in fact I think it was probably a joke (about something else) that made them think that back in the day oh about two years ago).

We went out to eat last night.  And she told me she had to dress nice to “take you [me] on a hot a date.”

 Then we were talking about what I am going to tell someone about why I’m not going to do something.  She suggested tell that person it was because I’d been offered sex as an alternative.  I replied “yeah I’ll tell them I’m gonna be having a lesbian love tryst with you instead.” (which I actually might tell them because they so totally wouldn’t know how to react and it would be my last chance to mess with them).

We did talk about sensible stuff too, like where her husband was and my flat and just generally stuff.  And we insulted each other lots like usual.  It was fun and I enjoyed it.

There was a couple with a little girl at the next (occupied) table.  They kept looking at us weird but I figured it was two crips in chairs by themselves type thing and didn’t really pay any attention.

I went off to the loo and when I came back she was laughing – and the other table was empty.

Turns out the little girl had tried to walk past our table and they’d grabbed her and gone “don’t go near them, they’re gay.”

I don’t really know what to make of that – I think it’s pretty funny as does my friend and my mum laughed when I told her (as well as wondering what people think of her and one of her friends).  But I’m also very aware that if it wasn’t a joke and we really were gay that probably would have been very distressing.

Anyway we finished our meal and headed home via the cinema to find out what was on if they have more than one wheelchair space in each screen and if they are together (they do/they are. but one of the women working in there so did not understand what we were saying).  Then I took a detour to walk her to her car (because I always treat my dates right) and headed home myself.

*

I sent an e-mail to another friend last night and told her about a load of stuff including this incident.  As she put it in the reply –

“It’s always nice to find out from a complete stranger that you’ve had a drastic lifestyle change”