Thursday, June 22, 2006
The weather seemed a bit hit and miss so we opted for the pub lunch. We went to a nice, fairly upmarket place called The Woodhouse which had really nice gardens and did nice food too. It's just as well the gardens were nice, as they had no readily available disabled access and I was feeling so rotten I had to be in the chair. They had one ramp, but that led to a locked door with curtains across it and no bell or anything, and there were no "please call for disabled assistance" buttons by any of the stairs into the pub either. Still, I was lucky enough to not be on my own, so we sat outside and the others went in to order the food, and I just tried not to drink too much and end up needing the loo.
After lunch, we decided to go to Burton Dassett after all. It was a nice drive, and then we got out and Steve had brought a folding chair for me to sit in. The others had immediately run up the nearest hill, so I decided to join in and with Steve on one side and my stick on the other we took the easiest route up the hill (with a couple of breaks) and set up the chair in what seemed to be the least windy spot, in the lee of a stone turret.
At first it was all very nice and idyllic. Beautiful scenery, happy friends, loving boyfriend. We put the kite together and tried to launch it but the turret was playing havoc with the wind currents.
Which is why they all wandered off.
I tried to get out of the chair to follow them, but I couldn't. I was stuck. And even if I had got out of the chair, I'd have been staggering and collapsing and making Steve worry, and I know he doesn't like thinking about me being disabled, he'd prefer it if I seemed as normal as possible and kept as safe as possible.
He kept coming back to me every so often, and if anything that made me feel worse - like a great big useless anchor, dragging on him and stopping him from doing what he wanted to do. Then he was coming back less and less. Half the time I couldn't even see them any more from where I'd been deposited.
I don't know how long we spent on the hill. I know it was 2pm when we ate lunch and 5.30pm when we finally got back in the cars and left Burton Dassett. I was getting more and more tired, I was getting colder and colder, I was slumped in the folding chair and the wind had come round and was whipping my face with my hair and that's probably a good thing as it gave me cover for the crying.
Steve and the others came back eventually, and by all accounts they'd had fun. I'd pretty much cramped up in position in the chair and needed help getting out of it, then Steve helped me down the hill again which involved severe pain, lots of tears and several rests. I was praying that I could just be folded into the car and go but I really must learn to say those things out loud, as praying doesn't work.
Since we were all together again, I tried to join in again by throwing a frisbee, but even with the help of the wind my arms were so weak that I only managed to make it go a metre or so, which got me summarily laughed at. Didn't matter, I couldn't have crumpled up in on myself any more than I already had.
I ended up sitting on the grass as I couldn't balance on the bench, then I ended up crawling towards the car as I couldn't walk at which point it was considered funny to put things on my back without me noticing and snigger at me.
I think Steve had a reasonably good time, but I think both of us would have had a better time if I'd been a good little crip and stayed at home in bed. Maybe I'm just fooling myself to think that I can integrate.
at 10:18 am