Ventured up to London today to make the most of the last mild day and for a change of scene from Bushy Park and Hampton Court. Getting up and out now takes the best part of two hours with carer assistance so leave at 11 on chair and head for nearest manned station - Hampton court. Takes about 15 minutes giving me about five minutes to get ramp sorted. Approached staff member with "train dispatch" jacket and get response of "I don't do ramps, go and find the guard" an unusually unhelpful response. so with train about to leave I go to look for guard. Manage to find and get aboard. Reach Waterloo, ramp arrives and off I go. Accessing the south bank is a breeze and on a warm sunny day its a good place to go. I had come up a week earlier with less time available to see if I could get to tower bridge, which I could despite the uncomfortable cobbles around Tooley St. But I also discovered that the Thames Path at Blackfriars has been shut until 2011! So wheelchair users have a half mile detour to rejoin path 100 yards further up. Anyway I thought id go to Tate Modern where there was a Pop Art exhibition. was hoping the trip wouldn't require any tricky tasks but exhibition required ticket which involves following
1)having to speak to ticket counter lady and hope a)she understands my slurring and b)doesn't then treat me like a idiot. Unfortunately neither occur.
2)get her to understand that she will need to get my debit card out of bumbag
3)try and enter pin with knuckle
4)try and get her to understand that the phone she removed to get my debit card needs to be put back in the right way so I can pick it up later.
I know what I'm in for every time and there is a massive temptation just not bothering and as everything gets harder the temptation is given into more - but not today!
with aquired ticket I go in. not sure it was worth £12 but there was some good exhibits including ones by damian hirst.
only other challenge is the constant issue of lift buttons being too high to reach and having to wait for someone to help. I had to wait in a lift for 10 minutes once because the doors had closed and I couldn't reach anything! Finally someone else called it.
next challenge is lunch. Earlier I had got my carer to make a sandwich and put it in the wheelchair side pocket. The challenge now was to get it out! I had only just managed it last week but today - no. so have to ask passerby to help (see 1 above)
sit on south bank and notice how london's skyline is permanently spoiled by at least 20 cranes, but its still a nice place to spend time.
took myself across the millennium bridge and back before heading back to waterloo. got the faster surbiton train (always a bit risky because if they forget to unload me i'll end up in Alton or Portsmouth! ) and came home via kingston and bushy park. home at 5 in time for carer to help me with everything.
despite usual hassle, a good day out.