To help me midweek, to relieve others of the “burden” (I’m joking, I’m feeling mischievous) of me and to help with the housework my wife has condensed her hours so that she can have a Wednesday at home. Seeing that I have been low recently she suggested actually going out and doing something to get me out of the house. We thought about visiting a local castle and museum so did our usual pre trip research;
- What is the access like (a very steep hill, well it is a castle on top of a keep)
- Are there disabled parking bays at the top? Yes 2 (best get there early)
- How accessible is the attraction once indoors (website says ask a member of staff inside and they will plot you a wheelchair accessible route, lovely touch)
- Is there a cafe for lunch. Yes
All in all very promising and thanks to Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom our LG wants to visit the museum. We are getting ready this morning and I get a phone call whilst in the bathroom from my brother asking if we are about as they were going to go out for some breakfast and come and see us afterwards. I say I’ll talk to my wife and call back in 5 minutes as we had thought about going out. Well about 15-20 minutes pass and then the home phone rings. It is my brother hoping that my wife answers so he can check with her if I’d mentioned it or forgotten (as my meds have a tendency to do) and he didn’t want to offend me. The decision is made that they will come to our town and we’d take our children to a local indoor play area, that we have been to before.
Their disabled access is excellent and the one disabled parking bay is close to the entrance (I have only encountered one time that this has not been available to park in and that was when someone arrived at the same time as us parked there and then barefaced lied to me about having a blue badge when she didn’t have one. You can’t change ignorance, I do however wish I’d captured an image of her when I wheeled into the entrance area behind her). They have a low entrance counter that I can comfortably lean on to write down our kiddies information as required. This leads into a huge soft play area that the kids can go wild in. Now obviously this isn’t set up for me in my wheelchair to go cruising up equipment and down slides however there is plenty of room inside to manouver around and in the middle is an eating area from which you can see most of the climbing area. So although not actually taking part in the roaring around and climbing I can still see much of it and with it being quiet hear the shouts and squeals of Daddy as my LG is waving to me from several feet in the air. The only downside was that to get to the outside area you have to go over some deep gravel which I couldn’t do in my chair under my own steam and that the area is then laid to bark. Plus side though is it encouraged me to take a short stroll on my walking sticks to stretch out my legs and get out of my chair if only for a few minutes. The staff are all lovely and understanding and have in the past carried food and drink to my table for me!
We left around lunchtime and decided to stop off for a bite to eat at a pub near our house, the accessibility here is good, the eating area is all on one floor (although no disabled toilet that I have seen and to get to the pool table and dartboard there are steps with no ramp/lift). Lunch had the added bonus of bumping into Nanny and Grandad and this pleased the girls no end. Exhausted from the morning’s excursions we returned home for me to collapse and soak in the hot tub for the afternoon. It was good to relax and unwind (although the morning had hardly been stressful and we were no more than 10 minutes from home at all times) and I soaked for about two hours.
Tea was a carvery followed by an ice cream in our garden as the last of the suns and the evening has been spent looking at photos and having my wife recount some of the things we did today. I remember it, just not some of the finer details, the meds make days a blur and almost sometimes as though you are floating above events looking down on to them as opposed to being a part of them.
I do however know that today has been needed, seeing my LG run and charge round, have time to learn to climb some very high soft play equipment and get to the top all on her own (the benefits of going when it is quiet) and have some fun and laughter with my wife and family followed by a good long soak and all within a few miles of home has certainly lifted my spirits. I’ve nurtured my spoons had plenty of rest and downtime, paced our time out and about and accepted help from others so that despite the extra pain and meds I have had a few hours this morning and this afternoon where life has been more bearable.
We also have researched another place that is local and can be visited in the future if my spoon count is good, and I have seen an ideal next motability car that will have room to fit a lifting arm to get my scooter in and out along with fitting in a number of my other aids like my wheelchair. All in all despite yesterday’s bad news a much more positive day! Mood swings who’d want them hey!