Walls and hedges, floors and edges, markers to our world’s defining spaces. Blanket stitching a creative space for everything to come, and everything to reflect upon; a place to heal within, to plan from.. A place to rest and go from next. A place to call home. A hub to conjure up new ideas and have fun in. A place to nurture old friendships in and grow new ones in.
We make temporary spaces naturally at our desks, in our childhood bedrooms, in our holiday hotel rooms, even it seems, ( from recent Netflix binges) in our prison cells. In the last three months of my pregnancy, when I was kept in more than I was allowed home, (due to a complication;) my corner of the ward very soon held an assortment of personal memorabilia. A cushion, paintbrushes, all the quirks and accoutrements I probably don’t know are me– but everyone else does!
As a child I held family open days to show off my new bedroom layout. Creating different versions of normal and making new from old. Hours of pushing the bed from one side of the room to the other with my legs shoving the base inch by inch across the floor and rearranging my Wham posters !(yes, I was that kid) and on holiday it doesn’t feel the same until the suitcase is unpacked, the toiletries are in the bathroom, and we know what time breakfast is. A little bit of home from home.
Every student flat, every house, every holiday campsite, no matter how temporary is a blank canvas for a new beginning.
Every one a new route to friendships and chance.
Occasionally there must be a inevitable spanner.
The walls are paper thin here,
Each paper rustle heard.
Each line of book surrendered,
T'wards rest like idle birds.
On wings of paper feathers,
Forgotten, inked at last.
Between the paper walls,
Burt embers of the past.
This paper cuts each finger,
A trail of pink and read.
We stitch each words so carefully,
Each hope with paper thread.
A paper trail of bows left,
Tied on the seat of kites.
They dive through days and shady lanes,
And feed on terabytes.
We're papering the cracks now,
To show we're almost real.
A chain of paper dolls stuck fast,
were lined up, toe to heal.
Our supper on our paper plates,
This picnic tastes the same.
And though the walls are made of card,
We're sheltered from this rain.
And while the paper calendar,
Knows not where life will take her,
We stumble through this paper maze,
and sleep on formal papers.
In time we'll empty boxes,
A cardboard overwhelm.
We'll sail on paper aeroplanes,
Exploring new, old realms.
We'll find our lost belongings,
In tissue, and newsprint.
And mark our new tomorrows,
With smudgy fingerprints.
This poem was inspired by life over recent months . A period of beautiful, but, at times; almost unbearable stillness.
Where once was busy routine, noise, people, structure and and planning of things to get through the seasons of the year; the details, the full stops and punctuation, the life chapters, those that will become embarrassing Facebook reminders in a year or two for groaning offspring; days going by in snapshots of celebration and those yet to be experienced.
What was to be a few months of waiting for a house move has stretched to over half a year. Not knowing an outcome for a move or a big life change is a hard thing to cope with, no matter whether you are a small or a bigger, experienced human.
When we make a home, it is the centre of our web. From there we can go places and do things and join things, make things happen. Grow roots.
For various reasons this year, this has been on hold a little while.
It isn’t always easy to stay positive without our p.j.c (personal joy collection. ) How easily our solid house of cards can become paper thin. A home is so vital but even more so, are the friendships we nurture within it. To say I crave the smell of chalk paint and new carpets, even a trip to b and q, would be an understatement.
But, when life gives us lemons..
If you had told me we would be packing for this many months, it would have been impossible to imagine what we needed. We could only take so much with us, most of that was for animals. Some clothes for each season and the basics. Which have been added to, seasonally including a birthday each and Christmas. It feels a little now that what we have here now, in our temporary home, is the sum of our belongings. When someone has a bad day, it is so easy to forget that this isn’t our life now. Or who we will be forever more. That this is who we all are now. And at times when it is hard, that this is the whole picture.
But every day is a new beginning. ( I love mornings) And in between the slow ticking of the clock are revitalising rushes of appreciation for what still is . And what will be.
There are still bookshops and mornings, hugs and sprinkles on your coffee, ideas and paws,
Sunrises, amazing architecture, hugs, tiny cinemas and beautiful views.
Happy memories from Skye Blue House inspiring New ideas for the next Home
In these twixt days and months, in the early hours, these precious daylight hours, when school keeps her busy, or cold winter evenings waiting for news of housey things; much is being created and made.
Soon we will grow flowers. Until then we will just grow more (im)patient and bigger piles of paper…
Sometimes the big picture takes a little longer to materialise !
There was a girl who looked like me
She followed me close by.
If someone hurt or saddened us
She hid away to cry.
She weighed as heavy as a rock
But couldn’t quite be seen,
She sometimes almost went away
But re-appeared in dreams.
She often spoke in voices
Quite like those I knew so well,
The tag team of complicit pain
Who cast their icy spell.
We look inside the mirror
Thinking, I know who is me
But you know you are deeper still,
Than anyone can see.
We see the version of ourselves
That we accept as truth.
Honed out of mixed perspectives,
Thrust on us since our youth.
The saddest waste of life is what
we all can sometimes do.
To trust the doppelganger,
Who pretends that they are you.
Go back and hold your own hand
In the places, times and hours
When your wondrous thoughts and feelings
Were swamped by other’s powers.
Refocus where you stand today
Right now, and ever more,
The person who can walk alone,
A giant through the door.
Without the weight of what was then,
And who you never were.
For all that is ahead of you
For you, but best for HER.
Please click on our website
I have spent quite a lot of time looking at clouds recently.
Either through a doorway at dawn or at dusk when the spectacular paint box of colours and shapes sploshes across our patch of sky. Or sometimes from the inside of a wheelchair as I get trundled on a too- far- to-walk-path or as passenger in the car, I have been awestruck by the never ending capacity for the fabulousness of clouds.
Fluffy snowy cloud mountains hovering on the rooftops of the town, volcanic explosions backlighting the gloom of greys creating clouds of such density you surely must be able to ride on one. Dramatic inky washes, Turneresque pastel streaks of wonder, explosive fiery bursts splitting their intense vibrant blue canvas. We paint the skies with our eyes.
I’ve always loved skies, like gazing at the sea, their vastness make us feel tiny, our thoughts less important. Ironically being mindfull makes our minds less crammed full of clutter.
Watching the clouds pass through the sky I focused on my breath. It hurt to breathe. The week before quite suddenly I hadn’t been able to. After a week of feeling quite strange, a day in A and E, and an extra unexpected ambulance call out, it turned out there was a problem with my lungs. It looks like it was a blood clot. It was extremely painful and frightening.
Quite literally all there was to do was put one moment in front of the next, trust and focus on my breath. It hurt to laugh, to bend down and especially to breathe in cold air. Several times I almost blacked out going outside. In these moments we cling to those we love and the skills we’ve gathered . And trust that we know it is temporary.
I have been reminded.
As someone who is limited by mobility, I use my time and energy differently to a lot of other people. Rising early, using that burst of energy, keeping extra warm, scouting for disabled parking spaces close to the shops or the beach. But it is the world we are used to. Accepting new levels of limitations is another layer of challenge. Accepting even more help is even harder.
But like the skies that change, so too do our needs and our strengths. When there is no choice but to come fully home to ourselves we find we had been patiently there all along. And no amount of illness changes who we are.
These last few months have been ( again) fairly isolating. In a time where nothing is permanent, it can be tricky to hold onto the walls. Your feet need to be firmly on the ground at least somewhere, even if it is just a springboard to travel from and to return to , Staying true to yourself without any of your belongings, with your normal clothes or reference materials with books or tools and equipment; creates an opportunity to pare back to who and what is most important in your life.
After the start of the year, crammed full of community events and time with friends, choirs and art groups in Scotland, these last six months have felt frustrating; of time moving slowly, or time not being filled with our planned version of events. But when time is standing still second by second, we are offered a revitalised appreciation of having achieved in both large and small ways.
Take a breath
It was a summer of getting to know the area, enjoying the warmth and indulging in the odd treat here and there!
Autumn sauntered in with her rich fruity tones.
The zoo continued their daily antics. Bumble and Bonnie the guinea pigs, Max and Molly the cats and Horace the flat-coat retriever. Bear is now living somewhere new with more space and freedom to be his wild self. We will always love you Bear x
A few months shuffling about in one small chalet….
To a larger one …
The girl grew as they are wont to do…
And much Art and Poetry was made
Keeping up with friends by post has been invaluable. Online classes and weekly galleries can be seen on seasparkle.org.
Once a week office space waiting for the laundry!
Remembering every day what makes us happy, even if we have to wait a while…
Sudden illness, a change of direction, a change of pace throws us, We expect it all to be back how it was. But life can’t ever stay the same.
No matter what that looks like for each of us
It can be cathartic to become unwell somehow. I don’t say that flippantly, and I can only speak from my own experience and those who I have spoken with.. But, occasionally we are blessed with an opportunity to gain insight into what is real and what is snake oil.
Unable to catch that last bit of breath, a series of strange little coincidences balanced the universe again. There was a peaceful inevitablity. I just had to not laugh too much. It hurt.
Maybe, the universe took over?
I can breathe a little easier now. Yesterday my daughter made me a delicious dinner, after my first foray out in town walking a few hundred yards. We shared her cheesy chips. We were simply in the day.
It is time to get cosy
Tomorrow will happen regardless
There will always be clouds.
We must just look up.
Have A Fabulous Christmas, stay warm, stay positive and stay in touch
Autumn hides the cobwebs just as spring brushes them clean;
Subscription to the promise of a new you yet unseen.
Starting fresh sounds simple, leave the ghosts behind.
Clear the debts from credit cards, from lovers, heart and mind.
Open up the blinds again, paint the rolling view,
Truly understanding what it feels to know your you.
Hold your nerve a little longer, time is still at play
You got through the hardest part, first few steps, first day.
All the courage you require is curled up in your heart,
Every move in this game now awaits your hand to start.
Who could squeeze their life inside a tiny little room? Make their food with dolls house plates, a bucket and a broom? Trust in friendships lasting from another place inland Feel that even far away, their hands are in your hands?
Looking past the clutter, seeing what’s beyond. Pushing through the brambles to the lilies in the pond. There’s a view beyond the spot we stand on in the rain. There’s another path beside this bumpy, strange terrain.
Keeping safe your mindset when the noise is getting loud, Standing still and centered in the roaring gush of crowd. Slowing down each racing breath, finding space inside, Moving air to crushing lungs where fear is trying to hide.
Starting life in places new, without an anchor firm, Centres you from deep directions, ones you’ve yet to learn.
Sometimes taking one more step beyond our comfort zone Further than we ever dared, far away from home;
Distils every drop of courage, cleaning jewels of fate Suddenly where once were walls, there’s an open gate. Suddenly where once was distant; brush it in your hand. Suddenly no longer dreaming, walk on soft green land.
Take this moment look around, all the steps so far, Nothing vital left behind, perfect as you are. Friendships travelled with you, words and thoughts and line, Breathing slowly when you feel, nowhere close to fine.
Every gloomy hurdle, every battle won, Finds your light the brighter, closer to the sun. For every moment conquered, everything you feel
Shapes the life you’re made for, every dream made real.
We celebrated five years in Skye Blue house recently. Five years in St Abbs. Five years of watching my daughter turn from a child into a beautiful young woman.
Five years of furry feet, blue paint, furry feet in blue paint, and repainting blue paint before furry feet go back outside and make blue paw prints .
Five years of weathering the storms. All kinds of storms.
Five years of isolation. In the cave on the cliff in the wind, five years of intense Artwork and writing.
Five years of healing. Five years of waiting for the wind to drop. Five years of waiting to hear from rheumatologists what the body knew already; that this climate often makes your condition more painful. But five years of the best tonics, moments lost in singing, laughing, planting and growing and creating with, and for others.
All journeys create possibilities, for friendships, opportunities, detours and adventures. On ours here, many have been shared in stories online, and turned into poems and illustrations. Best of all has been the friendships grown through teaching and sharing in Art, with our choir buddies and drama buddies , friends who will now last a lifetime. Friends who leave precious memories.
Our home has undergone a radical transformation from it’s old self. A Fireplace was put in, thank goodness, as it saved us when storm Arwen hit. Although not much else was saved. A caravan upturned, blew its windows, took its contents and spewed them back out, Christmas gifts, vintage china and sewing supplies landed all over the garden whilst two shed roofs were ripped off and trees disappeared. A home here, was going to be interesting, little did we know it would involve a brand new skillset.
Walls have held murals, garden stones have become colourful pathways, fairies hid in corners, flowers bloomed and Art was made in one of three stripy beach huts. Very few months, even in Summer, stay warm consistently, so when it was good weather- all outside jobs had to get done at once!
It may sound far-fetched, but the climate impacts hugely on joint pain and arthritis. Something happens inside the bones, inflaming the pain, pressurising nerves, slowing blood flow. When temperatures drop even a little, when air pressure changes, when it is both damp and cold there is a shift inside, almost like the body knows it must protect itself from unnecessary movement. Walking, bending and getting out of bed becomes harder, fatigue (annoyingly) wins out just when you’re having fun. After about August, there are less and less usable hours of the day (in the North!), and this means that from late Summer onwards, a more insular lifestyle once again looms because you feel cold. Needing more rest, (no matter how much you do to combat symptoms) , winter becomes a necessary retreat.
Positivity becomes a necessary armour, a way of life to balance the enormity of this struggle. Certainly some days are easier than other days, but the common link for most sufferer’s wellbeing is warmth.
Every year, in this cycle, there is a time portal where new ideas can become new realities. Those – keep – you-awake-at-night- ideas that might, seed and grow into real flourishing, exciting, life enhancing adventures. Activities that if you try really really hard can be organised and achieved whilst the sun is out and the bones are a bit less creaky. This is, on average, for us here, three or four months. ( I know this because it is how long the heating isn’t on full) Perhaps only a few days of that time are really warm.
This time pressure is both exciting and utterly crazy. It makes it impossible to plan things around the year, because there is no pacing. Adrenalin works all the harder for completing projects in warmer times, ( think what you’re doing right now, what your days are like in this sun.) For most its a time to lie on a deckchair with a good book, or avoid the heat altogether. If cold is the enemy, precious hot days can cause an ironic over exertion and subsequent fatigue. (This can also appear that you have no mobility problems, and impact on the support you need) If only that were true, as you crawl into your bed while the day is still light and the birds chirp happily; but at least the chair is painted and the pots are de-weeded.
Nature’s paint box on a sunny Day
Last Summer we considered a move to a warmer climate. Our road trip adventures were planned for months, and we manged two long, long journeys to the South of England and back again with carloads of belongings, and an assortment of animals of all shapes and sizes. In case you missed it, here is a link to come back to.
We needed a lot of belief in what we had planned. The countdown began, the boxes packed, the maps unfolded. Post Covid, we were all stepping gingerly into the unknown.
But, the best laid plans…. Just when you think life is going in one direction…
For reasons best left to history, and after a lot of deep breathing, praying and motivational speaking by a too-wise-for-her-years young companion…….
Our journey then, ended where it began, back home . (which now, thanks universe, we appreciate!)
We squashed back into the car, all seven of us, two car loads in one, all the paws and madness, and drove back to Scotland after arriving the night before. With no school clothes organised, she started back the next day, and we crash landed into life as we knew it . I set about unpacking the house again, repainting the walls, throwing energy into teaching my lovely Art classes and spending time with those we love. We were and are seasoned pros at getting on with life.
In these last couple of years, we have had the fortune to know and care about such lovely people.
So much artwork has been created, shared, and inspired us all to keep going. And we will continue to do this remotely and together online throughout the Summer and beyond.
These memories and connections are a part of something very special, and sharing artwork on our seasparkle site has created an ever expanding exhibition, no matter the experience or theme.
This little village holds its magic if you know where to look.
A bounty of ideas for any creative
During this last year, we have all learnt so much about our own resilience and ability to just cope. In life, it is often very difficult to gain approval from everyone, or move forward without having a consistent network to support you.
But the greatest thief of living life is fear, even if it comes from a place of love. Often we are numbed into a paralysis not only by our caution, but from those around us. And sometimes, we just got to trust those instincts. And the ones who have been there all along.
This time we are feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It has been a long time coming, this journey of ours. Freedom to seek out the sun and find our true colours. Freedom to explore and take what we need to where we choose to go.
And after months of planning, this is Our Big Adventure – part two..
In a few moments time, we are going on another road trip.
For weeks we have been living like students surrounded by bags and boxes, with ever shrinking space inbetween.
The juggling of Life and Art was a bit of a challenge! Making stuff takes… well a lot of stuff….
As well as the concert, there was a fashion show
A Craft Fair
Three Art Workshops,
A Book Illustration
And a holiday to Turkey
All in the middle of the chaos.
For the zoo, as long as there was cuddles and food, life remained the same in the nest. The house might have been a Rubik’s cube of boxes and huge bags, and the space between shrinking, but food and love still got delivered.
The future is an exciting blank canvas, thoroughly primed, brushes at the ready…
The caravan left yesterday to its new home…
We are getting the maps out..
The excitement is mounting…
Books and Art and all that “crap you’ll have trouble ever shifting ” is safely sorted, and in storage thanks to months of hard work, patience and help from one or two angels😇
Six months ago all of the above were just ideas, conversations, which became plans. A lot can happen if you believe it can !
Every scrap of kindness will be with us always.
A few goodbyes with our favourite people before our journey begins.
And now.. before the next chapter starts all that’s left is to sprinkle a little glitter
and thank the universe for all that it has given …
See you on the other side!! All our love, Liz and the zoo xx
Travelling anywhere now feels like such a blessing. Grateful for every new avenue that opened up, we all yearned for so long to be, not only; anywhere-but-the-village; but anywhere-but-the-sofa. The world had closed it’s pathways, as we peered through windows, marooned, masked and frightened, shrouded in uncertainty as to how we might ever explore distant shores again.
Time inevitably stumbled on, pandemic, what pandemic?
Here we are now in Antalya, Turkey . And as far as we can see, there isn’t a mask in sight, There is no social distancing and no body parts have been sanitised.
It is quieter than expected here. The British school holidays haven’t begun yet, impacting on how many older children there are here. A bonus in swimming pools to oneself!
This is an all exclusive offering all the usual facilities, a very smart and organised hotel. It is beautiful, one of the cleanest and friendliest hotels we have been to. And it is is enormous. There are several pools, the hotel has its own beach and jetty, and there are even a selection of hotel cats who are allowed on the furniture.
Nobody has body swerved us in a queue or ducked away from a tickly cough. It almost feels as if, life has pretty much gone back to normal for a traveller. Only of course if you travel with mobility issues: you are often still faced with exactly the same old problems.
This holiday began well. Newcastle Airport was brilliant. The lady at the car drop off offered to take our trolley in for us, the desk wasn’t open but the staff offered alternative seating and the assistance service was as usual kind and efficient. The man pushing the wheelchair even waited for her majesty to choose perfume in Duty Free. (no, not me) Now that’s beyond his usual job remit!) .
Just like Covid19, an illness, pain or a disability can be invisible until it isn’t. People easily make snap judgements on your demeanour and your look and often don’t know you are sore. Yes, that’s a compliment in a way, but it is a constant red herring. The invisible smiling armour you must apply can wear thin very quickly as fatigue and pain begin to creep in. Travelling is way harder with mobility problems.
Maintaining your own style, your personality, your way of keeping organised is essential for anyone’s self respect. Which as we all know is a full time job you have to make look effortless. While most people are contemplating their airport look, the newest novel, the newest sunglasses ear buds and phones, your average immobile person is hoping not to miss their flight as they navigate the airport obstacle course. And still attempt a smidge of dignity after being wheeled about the concourse, riding the conveyor belt of chance and loss of personal control.
However, the important thing to remember is not the cards you got dealt, but how you play your hand. Managing being in permanent pain, being unable to simply do what others around you can, takes all your will power not to be sad about. Feeling powerless can be a choice though. To travel happily, one must accept our changing needs and how to best accommodate them.
Unless people know you, if you look well, you might look like you can manage.
When I first got ill, it was confusing. Even family ignored the level of pain I was in and the various and contradictory diagnosis I was receiving. If you don’t have an obvious fixable thing that can be operated on, many people believe you are simply making up your illness. Auto immunity conditions, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, lupus these are real and they really do hurt. Operations leave scars, scrape bones horribly, leave us needing more support as joints deteriorate. Unfortunately much of the change is internal and tricky to fully fix. At best we create a damage limitation plan, at worst if we aren’t careful we can easily give in to its decay. For me that was not an option. (Although some days are far far harder)
Somehow, accidents and operations are easy to give empathy for. The stealthy, creeping deterioration of disease is a greyer area. It is hard to describe how I can’t walk more than a few feet sometimes, and with warmer air and another day I might get around the block with my sticks and our dog, Bear. It isn’t very sexy having an arthritic condition. Almost without warning your day’s potential changes; from looking not too bad and covering all with a smile to a sudden crippling fatigue leaving you stranded in pain, and making you want to weep. But it is true to say, the weather helps and a holiday was essential.
So, we arrive here having requested assistance at each side of the journey. The airport assistance had pushed me with one hand whilst pulling another man with his foot at breakneck speed through the airport. Whilst she ran to keep up. He then tipped me out at baggage reclaim. Once we had finally found our cases, sadly trundling about last (as we were first on) , we made our way to the door, having been told a rep would great us there and help get us to the hotel. There was no rep, it was midnight, hips had seized up, and everyone but us was running towards a coach.
The distance was horrendous, far longer than I can ever walk. But to add to the pain, a coach of waiting tourists, an anxious child running back to me every five minutes to check and the knives in my hip bones, found me eventually in my seat in tears. This wasn’t how I intended to start my holiday.
Having to ask for help is the worst thing when you actually need help. At your lowest, the absolute last thing you want to feel is that you have no power left, no dignity, no ability to care for yourself. Unfortunately, some of these things can be true, and what you need more than anything is a mind reader who knows your needs before you do, sees you as a real person still and does not make you feel guilty for asking for help. The trickiest of ages for a carer is a teen . Without going into detail, let’s say their heads are elsewhere and the world only includes their own image. A natural stage indeed but travelling with one relies on a travel structure as well as teenage hormone fluctuations.
On our way to the hotel There was no actual rep, just an envelope thrust at each party. Perhaps this was the new normal? Maybe things would be alright once we could finally unpack.
Once in the hotel, despite having organised a disabled friendly room, one near a lift, in the main block, we were told it was (vague hand gesture outside). We were led through acres of garden, the walking sticks making little difference to our young bellboy, to a very far away building at the edge of the complex. The young lad pulling our cases was nice enough, but it just felt like again, I was apologising for being slow or unable and it was agony. The moment the door closed was the last straw for us both . This room if it was kept would be a prison- too far from anything to enjoy. Cue a meltdown of epic proportions ( both) although mine was rather less blasphemous) and a promise that this would indeed not be our holiday spot.
But it was one o’clock in the morning and, “Yes, I know we can’t fold t shirts into cubby holes, and put our make up on the counter, but that can wait a couple more hours; now stop shouting and go to bed.”
The next day took another six hours to rehouse us. What that meant was not being able to properly access medicine, toiletries and swim stuff, and not relax into the holiday. And that isn’t good enough. Because there are thousands of spaces in this hotel, and (from what I could see) very few people with additional mobility needs. This had been booked due to the proximity to facilities, and I had specifically asked for assistance support. She had to get special permission to be out of school as a young carer too.
The new room was exactly what we needed and finally we could get settled in. Any complaints fizzled out as the staff throughout the week were attentive and polite.
Drawing attention to what can go wrong for a traveller will. I hope, make organisations better listen to us. Luckily, on this occasion it was tiny details in the big scheme of things which could have improved our experience massively. The holiday company booking us were asked all the right questions and knew specifics.
For example, there is a steep set of stairs here to the low pools and beach. Although the hotel has every available amenity; most involve walking. There aren’t very many accessible poolside loos, meaning one must plan for each potential route each day. As a self service all inclusive, it would be helpful to have ways to carry food to tables in the restaurant, or to make accessing the various food and drink spots easier for anyone not able to traverse the resort. To enjoy an evening drink in the room involved a complex system of separate ice, mixer and vodka, and a (not always) compliant assistant. Although a little sugar bribery goes a long way ..
Tracking down our rep by phone eventually, we asked for trips suitable for low mobility guests. Initially before he met us in person, he said there were none. ” Only if you can walk. ”
It is easy at this point to just give up. But lying in heat all day doing nothing is not our thing. So we met the rep in person and he got more of an idea of our situation. We booked an excursion to various stops in one day, including a river cruise. By the end of the day, I truly could barely move, but we saw enough sights to justify the pain, and managed some discount shopping too.
The hotel offered a spa service with several types of massage. When letting them know I needed a gentler type of massage, they insisted it would cost double because it was a special child’s massage because I am disabled. I cancelled that reservation. Paying double for half an experience seems daft. So instead we went to a traditional Hamam and had the full Turkish Bath experience. I declined the hot stone extra that could fix my arthritis for an extra £35 euro.
A few tips on travelling with health or mobility issues
It goes without saying that most people managing an illness or disability have to be fairly organised. Or they have a carer who is. Making sure everything you need for the day is not only packed but accessible. If you were your carer what would you give yourself?
Traveling is a great way to discover different areas, cultures, and cuisines. When it comes to traveling with mobility issues, planning a trip can feel overwhelming; however, it just takes some planning in advance to set your travel concerns at ease.
Plan in Advance
Call your airline, bus, trains, and hotels ahead of time to discuss your special accommodations and figure out what amenities are offered. By calling ahead, you’re able to gain more information and be proactive about preventative issues that could occur.
Factors to consider
Reserve a seat ahead of time
Call and discuss disabled accessibility of platforms/lifts/facilities
Request a seat close to the bathrooms
Ask about storage for any special equipment you may have
Questions to ask when finding a hotel to meet your needs:
How are the rooms set up?
Is the bathroom accommodating to prevent potential falls/slips?
What in-room guest services are offered?
What additional amenities will be provided to ensure your stay is as relaxing as possible?
Additionally, consider what special equipment you’ll need, the stamina and needs of you or your caregiver, and the accessibility of sites; planning these factors prior to your trip will help eliminate hiccups.
Traveling with mobility issues can seem overwhelming when you think about all the factors at once; however, when you take the time to plan in advance, you’re able to accomplish one item of your checklist at a time and successfully plan your trip.
Knowing what help you need to ask for can be hard. Especially if you look relatively OK, sometimes pain and limitations are not so easy to see. But a break away from it all can be possible for you.
Making sure your holiday team are briefed to enjoy all aspects of your trip.
Travelling full stop relies on several things for the monkey and me. Planning, belief, patience, acceptance, and a vision of an an end goal.
To have a mobility problem can affect your sense of self. But letting those fears win is losing your ticket to adventures and possibilities. Yes, you might need help, but you can chose to how and what to accept with gratitude and know it does not lessen you as a human being.
A kernel of power still burns inside on your pain days, frustrations when you can’t access freedoms like you perceive others can, will pass and new avenues will open.
Those initial hours in the resort could have been the undoing of all the hard work of getting abroad for the first time in four years. But so too these things will pass. And each day thereafter staff were aware and helpful. Managing to get around the resort with the help of the photographer, even resulted in some pictures of us, for once not looking cold and windswept!
We all need to remember that we can make things happen if we really want them. Everyone needs help sometimes, and by letting others help you; it becomes so much more possible for them to see what you are giving to and being in the world. Pain might be your constant companion, but it can sit and wait while post Pandemic life gets a chance too.
It was wonderful to have a spot in a Spring craft Fair last month, dusting off the labels and the boxes and showing a range of Art prints, cards, cushions, mugs and brooches.
Storm Arwen took it’s toll on the caravan which now needs a replacement for it’s steampunk metal windows. (which I quite like!) The caravan is too heavy for me . So it has been cleaned up and is now for Sale. Do let me know if you are in the area and fancy a Summer project!
I am delighted to be able to tell you about my upcoming exhibition at Coldingham Village Hall over the next couple of months. The work will be hung over several weeks as events are on in the hall, and will culminate in a private view at the end, where sales can be taken home straight from the wall!
The Art club were asked to make a piece for the Jubilee. I gave each member a different letter to create their own style of Artwork. These were then put together as a collage on board and will be displayed in Coldingham Priory.
It’s been nice to see faces again.
Nobody is an island. Our place remains full.
Artwork was made all winter, along with many poems written. New pieces have come back from the printer to become prints, cards as well as originals.
There was even a little drama. …..
After three years, The people of the Sea Eyemouth project, finally came to fruition and we performed our show, including the film created in lockdown and Artwork made by yours truly.
And here is our art group’s display in a shop window in Coldingham.
We have new plans coming soon, but until then sending you all a big Spring hug x