|On the train with our brunch!|
Getting the bus to Brixton was my first experience as a disabled person on a London bus and I must say I wasn't particularly enthralled by the experience. In London the buses have a front door entry, middle door exit policy ensuring you pay on entry by the driver. However, the wheelchair access ramp is located at the middle doors and so I had to wait for everyone to get on the front door and exit the middle door before I could get on. My sister had to pay for the 3 of us at the front door and ask the driver to put the ramp out for me and Robyn who were waiting by the middle door, much to my horror, it is a less than discreet affair, but rather a flamboyant display of flashing lights, an alarm and a womens voice over shouting 'WARNING, DISABLED RAMP ACCESS' for the duration of time it took to get the ramp out (20 seconds) which felt like a life time. The whole process ensured that if everyones eyes weren't already on me for being in a wheelchair, then the hullabaloo of getting the ramp out made sure they now were. Robyn pushed me onto the bus and placed me in the wheelchair area which faces the back of the bus, so basically everyone, ensuring even more stares, fantastic. I gritted my teeth and bared it though knowing that this was the first of many bus journeys of the weekend and that I needed to be grateful for my wheelchair as I wouldn't be able to be in London without it.
|In my wheelchair on the bus which I hated|
|The delicious food!|
|Me and Robyn|
|Getting a sneak peak at the set as the first one in the venue!|
We awoke on Saturday to blue skies and sun, perfect weather for our plan to go to the top of the shard! After a full english for our brunch Katy, Robyn and I set of (by bus again) to the Shard and borough market area. We had pre-booked tickets to go up the shard at 1.30, we arrived and were met with insanely polite and on the ball staff who couldn't have been more helpful if they tried. I also think I got told to have a wonderful day over 10 times! I suppose they are ambassadors for London though so they have to be friendly and well mannered! It took 2 lifts and less than 3 minutes to whizz us up to the 69th floor where the indoor viewing platform is situated.
|Admiring the views with my sister|
|The view of 'city'|
|Flower display outside Liberty|
|My Liberty purchases|
|Carnaby street lights|
After a much needed lie in on Sunday we rose from our slumber at 11am! Another full english brunch to line our stomachs, we headed off (me in my wheelchair with water bottle and fleece blanket) for a leisurely walk along the Southbank to see the christmas market! We passed the London eye and watched a few street performers before settling ourselves at the rekorderlig cider bar with mulled cider! After a mooch around the stalls the temperature started to drop and it was beginning to get dark so we got yet another bus back to my sisters for a cracking roast dinner, chicken, sausages and all the trimmings as well as a glass of mulled wine!
|Beautiful Sunday roast dinner|
I have spent the last 3 days in bed recuperating, it may sound excessive to most but I was so drained after London, even though I was pushed in my chair I can't explain how utterly exhausted I was. I could barely stand up on Monday, Tuesday I was a bit more awake but stayed in bed for the day, today I've felt brighter, I got up at 2! I'm still not great, my mum helped me bath and wash my hair, yes at the age of 22 my mum has to help me wash myself and wash my hair because it is too exhausting to do myself, it's something I've just had to accept although I'm sure most 22 year olds would be mortified by it. I suppose I'm lucky I'm so close to my mum and don't mind her helping me, I'd rather it be her than a stranger!
I have few plans for the next week as looking after myself and getting back to 'good' health is my main priority! I am going for a meal at the pub with a friend on Friday evening, I have a christmas 'surprise' from a friend on Saturday evening, Monday I am getting my hair done and then it's just spending time with my parents for christmas before my sister and Nile join us on the 27th!