I went to a focus group for MS bloggers last week in London. I always try and attend these events because you meet fabulous MSers and get a chance to contribute to what’s happening in MS land.
I live in Brighton so it’s only 50 minutes by train, hardly an expedition but the planning and preparation involved is staggering!
Firstly, I have to take someone with me. This is in case of emergencies like falling over or being engulfed by the dreaded fatigue. I could manage on my own but I feel anxious and nervous without a friendly face next to me! This time the job of “carer” was executed expertly by my sister.
I planned the journey so we’d have plenty of time and called the “travel assistance” number to make sure they knew I was coming and would need a ramp to get on and off the train. This went without a hitch as usual. Say what you like about Southern Trains but the staff are always polite and helpful and never make me feel like a nuisance or a burden.
Anyway, the real fun started at Victoria station. When you don’t go to the big smoke very often you forget how scary it can be! I took my life in my hands trying to get from platform 16 all the way around to the taxi rank on my scooter. I narrowly avoided being decapitated by an aggressive brief case and screeched to a halt on a number of occasions as people stepped right in front of me! Pedestrians don’t expect you to be there so don’t look down!
Then there was the taxi ride to the hotel which was, frankly, terrifying.
The cabby got out and looked down at me and said, “are you going to need a ramp?” to which my sister rolled her eyes and agreed that we probably would. He then grumpily attached his ramp to the side of the cab and I attempted to drive into it. By this time it was raining, naturally, and my wheels span pathetically while my sister gave me a push!
Once inside I wasn’t strapped in at all so had to hang on with one hand whilst trying to prevent the whole thing tipping over as we went around bends! I ran my sister’s feet over a number of times whilst clinging on for dear life but she didn’t seem to mind too much!
Once delivered, dishevelled but alive, to the event I then had to reverse back down the ramp without tipping the scooter over. At this point I could have happily stayed in the bar at the hotel and bypassed the meeting all together!