May bank holiday.

We went to the All Points East festival on Friday night.
That involved a Bus to Kew bridge, a Bus to Kew Gardens, a Train to Hackney Wick
and then a 1.5 miles roll to the venue, by which time my iBot Battery was on half, and I still had the challenge of getting back….
Thankfully (!) I could get recharged on the platform at the venue, the organisation having the nous to realise that lots of wheelchairs run on electricity. Full credit to All Points East for that one.

After an hour, and contrary to the weather forecast, it absolutely chucked it down for an hour, and we were in the open, with no coats or umbrellas ( my bad … ).

But I had had the sense to keep some emergency tarpaulin in my bag, which actually was there to use as an improvised stretcher in case I needed to be carried at some point, if some accident had befallen me.

So whilst cuddling closely to Wendy under our tarpaulin, as the temperature had dropped and the woven type tarp was semi permeable to water, a lady about a metre from her said ‘ are you alright, is your leg alright?’

Wendy had been jiggling her right leg to keep warm.
Wendy said ‘ bit wet, but yes I’m fine, thank you ‘ putting on a brave face when in fact she was cold and soaked …
The woman then said ‘ oh, well in that case, can you keep your leg still, because the vibrations through the ground are making me feel sick ‘.
So just think about that… this woman is at a festival, headlined by The Chemical Brothers, essentially a ‘dance’ act ( as in heavy persistent bass beat ) and she is complaining about an 8 stone lady tapping her right foot to keep warm ( whilst sat down ) with rubber soled pumps on. Perhaps that was her disability, and eligibility for access to the disabled platform, being f’ing intolerant?

Anyway, it is quite funny, at the same time!

Walking/ rolling from Victoria park to
Hackney Wick Station took an 1 hour, Wendy running for the last half mile. The festival organisers, in their wisdom, declined to use all 8 exits clearly labelled on the park hoardings, and directed all 10,000 people through the same exit instead, it taking half an hour to just get out, and travelling in the opposite direction to our next destination, the train station.
Consequently there was no train to Richmond – the delay getting out meant we had missed the last train.
So train to Willesden Junction then instead, and then the 220 bus to Hammersmith, and then the N9 bus to home, 2 hours in all and back at 2.30. None of that is at all bothersome, but it does beg the question of ‘ is it worth it?’ I suppose. On balance it was though, the Brothers and Hot Chip ( the band not the snack ) were both brilliant.

Last night, after going to a ‘ Food festival ‘ in Syon park ( well I got free tickets so why not ), we made home modifications to my iBot. It’s gotta be 10 years old and one of the bits which are not custom made for the user ( especially when you buy it second hand on EBay like I did ) is the seat and back rest.
My back is totally f’d up, not straight and full of metal, so the standard car seat typa seat gives me sod all support. Soooo, having got a new backrest from Wheelchair Services for my replacement wheelchair which I’m due after 5 years of being in the same one, I effectively had a spare ‘ shaped for me’ backrest. It’s quite large, the backrest, and if you keep it, on the off chance you’ll need it, then the chances are that it’ll take up half a cupboard in your small flat for the rest of your life.
Lightbulb moment then – try to get the back part of the iBot off and get the custom backrest on instead…Me, unable to move that much, and Wendy ( not altogether experienced mechanically ) succeeded in stripping off the existing upholstery and securing a perfect backrest to a brilliant old iBot, so that now when I use it I’m not wobbling around like a Weeble anymore.

Result! Vast improvement and zero cost other than about 10 industrial cable ties ( the world’s most useful invention – other than the incredible in every way Wendy 😉 )
I do get a kick out of reusing stuff and benefiting greatly in the process…. #Recyclingnotthrowingstuffawaythatsbloodyuseful.

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