I’m back…



I’ve been having a fun old time recently…  My first exam in a good few years; my second year of law completed; a realisation of things that that I miss…  And my first trip out in my wheelchair on my own.

Yep, last week I sat my first law exam and the first exam that I’ve sat since my insurance exams in 2000 – THIRTEEN years ago (which were themselves the first exams that I’d sat since my O levels in the 80′s), and DAMN it was tough…  I sat for the first five minutes in a cold sweat…  There were other OU exams going on, and I feel for the guy that got up after 15 minutes and walked out.  Apparently he turned his paper over and just went white when he saw the questions.  I’ve now got to wait until the 29th of November to find out if I will be resitting it in April…  Coincidentally, that is the day that the books for my next module will be sent.  Oh joy.

What do I miss?  With the change in weather, I realised that I really miss wrapping up and going for good long walks.  I am lucky enough to live in a semi rural part of the country; half an hour away from a major city (Liverpool), with all the benefits that that entails, but with a country park and walk (Wirral Way) , a massive common (Thurstaston) and a site of special scientific interest (Hilbre Island) and beach on my doorstep.  But the only things not denied to me are the city and the edge of the beach.  Now I appreciate that I can go some way along the Wirral Way, but not far unless I take my chair, and it wasn’t really designed as wheelchair friendly…  Do you think that I could sue as being in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act?

It’s amazing the things that you really take for granted, and it amazes me how people can prefer to stay in and vegetate in front of the TV when there’s a big old beautiful world out there…  I overheard someone I once worked with, somebody that confessed to “not liking going out [to the countryside] because it was ‘mucky’” enthusing about a telly programme that was about the British countryside!  I felt like grabbing them and shouting in their face “DON’T WATCH IT – EXPERIENCE IT!!!”

That’s something else I miss:  Working…  I know it sounds sad, because let’s face it, nobody really LIKES working, but I defy any normal person to take more than a month off work through choice…  At first it’s a novelty, but then, eventually time begins to drag and you start going stir crazy because you’re not interacting with anybody – that’s why I’m so grateful for uni – it fits around my MS and the tutorials give me a chance to meet up with people, and this is REALLY sad, why I like Facebook:  I’ve “met” some incredibly interesting people on there…  Unfortunately I’ve also met some d*cks, but luckily, unlike the real world, you can very easily “unfriend” them and block them so you never have to listen to their racist cr*p or stupid views again!

Anyways, the week before last my legs went on an awayday without me, and up until then, when that’s happened, I’ve stayed in; but I decided that that was daft, because at the end of the day, there is going to be a time when they will go permanently and I have a perfectly good wheelchair that was tailor-made for me, so I had better get used to using it…

So I went to West Kirby in it.  Aren’t some people lovely?  The bus pulls up, the driver lowers it, but there’s still a two inch “step”, so I ask the driver to lower the ramp…  Mr Gracious – muttering under his breath and when we pull up in the village, the same…  However, the driver on the way back more than made up for him – she was lovely, and even pulled up away from the stop on the way back to a spot where it was easier for me to get off.  But I’ll tell you something:  It really brings it home how disabled unfriendly buses used to be…

I also found something out:  You can’t reach the free samples on the deli counter in Morrisons with a basket on your knees…

Any hows…  I’m off to Greasby as there is less walking to the Co-op from the bus stop than there is to Morrisons in West Kirby and I don’t want to use my chair today…



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