Yes, I made the 9 am departure of the Stoke Mandeville Xmas shopping bus.
They loaded 2 old ladies, plus myself, in our wheelchairs, tied us down with security straps, started up the throaty motor, and we were off!
Parallels with the Variety Sunshine Bus, familiar to unkind school children everywhere, were not lost on me….
10 minutes later we were unloaded in the shopping Mecca that is….Aylesbury Town Centre.
Grace, Jill and I set off for Poundland first, where I wheeled down the aisles, basket on my lap. Stocking fillers my objective, I easily frittered away 23 quid on the tat that the tradition merits.
This is the first year that I won’t be able to sneak upstairs in the dead of the night to fetch empty stockings from beds, to return them minutes later bulging at the seams with space occupying, but cheap, treats.
Is that one of the best parts of Xmas or what? My youngest, Amber, stopped believing in Father Xmas last year, but funnily enough didn’t stop believing in the stocking idea..
To be honest, seeing their faces as they opened a dozen or so badly wrapped ( by me ) trinkets was just magic.
I reckon I’ll want them to have stockings til they’re about 30, as I love the whole thing.
Next we went to Boots, where I just got confused by the endless variety of cosmetics, and shavers, at my new eye level, enticed by nothing I saw ( it all seemed so expensive after Poundland !)
I made us go into TopShop after that, where I went crazy, buying 2 things…
Grace and Jill left empty handed, untempted by the sexy Santa knickers at 3 for £10.
Flying down the sloping Mall next, we shot into Marks’, up the lift and into the M and S cafe.
Other than our helpers, Rosie and Danielle, I was probably the only person in there under 70. To fit in, I enthusiastically sipped my cup of tea, as the minutes ticked away til our deadline of 11 o’clock.
I introduced the topic of female shaving ( down below ) into the conversation , as Bev Cracknell had just written a very funny article about it, for the Telegraph.
The old ladies just looked bemused, the young physio girls slightly uncomfortable at the change of topic from the choice of cakes to the merits ( or not ) of vaginal hair.
Suddenly, as I was just getting into my stride, it was time to go home?
Back down the lift, into the bus again, and home in no time, our shopping extravaganza over as quickly as it had begun…..
Christ, what an outing that was.
I had no idea being in a wheelchair could be so much fun.