Archives For driving

The 29th of April.

Today has been so exhausting and so good.

I slept less well – super cold last night and no lung capacity to get more layers so I froze until I was too tired to care. This morning, I decided not to climb the stairs so as not to waste oxygen, so I just hung out in my bedroom until it was time for us to go out to see Tez Ilyas. He was great, as expected, i mean that’s going to be the case for every act I mention. I had to help him out at one point because the members of the audience he picked were not answering the question he asked correctly. Not paying enough attention!

He ran over slightly, so afterwards I literally just had time to grab a coffee before heading over to The Youth Wing to see Phil Wang. That was problematic, because the way I went meant I got stuck at a flight of stairs, but thankfully some very kind strangers offered to carry my chair down the steps (without me in it) and then I was back on my way. I got in and parked on the end of a row, and ended up with various members of sketch groups Pappy’s and Daphne to my right, with Tom Parry sprawled across the floor, snorting with laughter. For a work in progress, it was pretty slick, and I’ll be keeping a lookout for the finished product on tour.

I had Lolly Adefope straight after in The Canteen, so I left The Youth Wing the way I should have gone in, so I could get myself some more coffee before making my way back round to the other side of the school. On the way, I bumped into one of the women I hung out with last night, and she was going to Lolly too.

Coffee in hand, I drove down to The Canteen to join the queue. Being in the chair, I got moved to the front, which turned out to be a blessing and a curse. She was due to start at 4, but there were technical issues – there were cables that were needed and I watched people running back and forth trying to get hold of the right ones. This went on for just over an hour, and every time somebody came back, the hearts of the queue lifted, only to fall again when the doors didn’t open. I felt really bad for the guy who was checking the tickets – he knew nothing more than we did, and there wasn’t really anything he could do, I could hear people behind me getting (understandably) frustrated because this was going to impact upon their attendance of their next show, so they were having to decide who they wanted to see more. I was okay to wait, because my next show wasn’t until 7.15, and I was glad I did.

Her show is a reply to her reviews from her last show at the Fringe, in which she was criticised for not referring to her race enough and for talking about it too much. It would be like me doing a show and discussing or not discussing my disability. I have to applaud her too for her excellent singing, and for dealing with groups of people leaving towards the end of the show. Super impressed.

It ended just before six, and I was starving, having only had coffee since my crumpet at breakfast time. I got myself a smoky sausage in a bun (relatively easy to eat and no danger of spice) and ate it while watching all the fun dogs around. I even met a famous dog, Rosie, who is regularly heard on Rhod Gilbert’s Saturday morning show. She is a very good dog.

My next show, The Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd, was up stairs, but when checking the venues yesterday I’d been informed that there was a lift I could use. Today there was a worry because they had put an Out of Order sign on the door, but that was just to put able-bodied people off using it. Sneaky.

It was a small room and VERY HOT. Lots of people crammed in. The guests were Phil Wang, Kiri Pr’chard-McLean and Nish. Usually, the show is Cariad interviewing a comedian about a particular death, but today the topic was just death in general. In an amusing fashion. The last topic was “last words”, and Cariad asked them all what theirs would be. Phil missed a trick with his answer, and Cariad asked if there were any questions. I put my hand up and Nish pointed me out. I could have asked something poignant, but I had to say that surely, Phil’s last words should be “Wang out.” I saw the pun and had to say it. I don’t know if it’ll be on the podcast but I hope so. The only time I think my brain has worked that fast.

My next show wasn’t until 11.30 and also included Nish in the line up, so he met me back downstairs and the rest of the evening is a blur of faces and saying “Nice to meet you.” I did mean it each time, I just met a lot of people! We went to the bar in Y Plas where pretty much every comic at the show was.

Honestly I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, I just remember that for once, I wasn’t telling the story of my life ten thousand times, people just treated me like I as part of the gang and that pretty much never happens with people who don’t know me. It was just the most fun.

My oxygen ran out in the middle of Beat This, so I had to text Mommy and get her and Daddy to come and swap it over for a new one. I thought that might be enough to tide me over, but thinking about getting the taxi back on my own, having to deal with the chair, I just knew that it was going to be horrific. I cancelled the car, and sneaked out the side door. Knackered, but elated.

The 30th of April.

Going home early. It’s fine, we just don’t have enough oxygen for me to do another night.

We had to get into Mach earlier today, because there was a massive cycling race that started in the town and was going to close the road that we use to come in on. We got in at about eleven, and I sat in the car while Mommy and Daddy went to get coffee and some sort of breakfast pastries. I ate my co-op cinnamon swirl, then set off to Y Tabernacl for Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown. Matthew and Ben said hi on their way in, and when the queue started to move, I went over to the lift to go up half a floor so I could enter the hall. There was a step down to the pews, so I just parked my chair at the best vantage point. Josh was a guest, and he saw me so he came over. Kiri was meant to be on the show but had yet to arrive, so other comedians were being texted en masse. Who turned up but ol’ Nishy Kumar? Kiri appeared shortly after, so we just got an extra person’s-worth of funny for free. I had a joyous time, particularly enjoying the quickfire round jingle that Tom and Ben recorded with Nish and Josie last night at Y Plas when Josie was full of Pinot Noir. I can’t wait to hear it when it goes out.

They ran over, as one has to expect, so then I had to bomb it down a rather steep hill to The Mach Arena for Josh and Friends. The wheelchair view in there was less good, but enough that I could just about see. We had stand-up from Josh, Matthew Crosby, Nish and James Acaster, then he read out some classic scrapes from his book which are all hysterical.

Upon coming out, I bumped into Amy, and we talked while Mommy and Daddy went to get food. I informed her of the racist attack Nish had just endured (Josh threw a massive ball at him but he was not injured), then they went to get lunch and we went to eat ours. We discussed oxygen levels, and we only had one full bottle left, so came to the conclusion that I only really had one more show left in me. Mommy and Daddy went back to the house to pack up, and I went to get more coffee and see who I could see before it was time for Sara Pascoe.

Happily, a lot of my lovely pals were still around, so there was Nish, Josh, Fin, Tom, a whole host of people. We whiled away the time together until everyone had to beetle off to our respective shows, and I left loving my wonderful gang.

Sara was fantastic as always, and I look forward to seeing the finished piece when she takes it on tour. I didn’t have time to hang around to see her afterwards because Daddy was coming to pick me up. We returned to the house, packed everything into the car, and we set off on the long drive home. I am so happy and I’ve had such an incredible weekend – definitely going again next year. Hopefully without any extra oxygen.

The 20th of May. 

I am feeling very excited about this weekend. Tonight is Katherine Ryan, tomorrow off to meet the Wilder-Heritages and Sunday is X-Men!

Today has not been particularly thrilling. Blog post this morning, then let the kitties run around and be mental. Lots of playfighting today. I tend to let them carry on until there is crying or growling, then I intervene. 

After lunch, I decided to go to the gym. However, that turned out to be kind of a bad idea because a) it was very busy and b) there were lots of people there who irritate me. After an hour and a bit, I’d had enough, so I binned off the rest and went home. 

Since then, I have got changed, made myself presentable and re-done my nails. I shall update after the show. 

[Time passes.]

Such a fun gig. When you enter a venue to the calypso beats of Sorry by Justin Bieber you know it’s going to be good. We were gifted an extra set of 45 minutes by her support, Stephen Bailey, who is very funny and delightfully filthy. He was not fazed by a staunch defender of Blackpool. In the interval I got taken backstage by Annie the tour manager for a brief dressing room hang, where I presented Katherine with Violet’s elephant, and we talked about my blog, how no one hits on me at the gym and the fact that we have zero chill. I always have such fun with comedy pals, and Stephen is now a member of the cool gang. 

Katherine’s set was excellent as always, and she dealt very well with the drunk chap in front of us. He was very irksome. But now I must go to bed because I have a very early start tomorrow. 

The 21st of May. 

I love it when a plan comes together. 

This morning we drove down to Ashford so I could meet Robyn, Stu and Herbie. We left at eight, stopped briefly at South Mimms for coffee, and we arrived shortly after twelve. 

Robyn was making our lunch, so Stu and I chatted and I gave Herbie his Moomin and Stu the cookies we made, which reminded him of the gift he’d got for me. It was was a magic/joke kit, from the John Lewis haberdashery because the only other thing there he could find was a make your own pants kit which he didn’t really feel was appropriate, and I concur. Besides, endless fun to be had with fake insects in ice cubes. Herbie was very shy of me at first, but soon enough I was being presented with Lala, Al Fox, books, and even his light-up shoes. I am definitely in there. 

We had a delicious pasta bake for lunch (no mushrooms) which Herbie was not enormously impressed with, but he did then enjoy lots of blueberries. He is full of anti-oxidants, that boy. Much better at fruit than me, evidenced by our pudding of chocolate cake.

After lunch, Herbie got a bit grumbly and tired so Stu took him upstairs for a nap, and Robyn and I swapped medical stories. Stu came back down and we talked about some of the weirder things that have happened, like my hallucinations, and we have a title for my imaginary future book – I Don’t Want To Be A Scone (The Waiter Only Takes The Fancy Bedpans). It’ll all make sense when it comes out, worry not. When Herbie woke up, I showed him the Moomins song on YouTube and we took some photos while I tried to get his attention by making cat noises. 

It was time to go too early; I was having such a lovely time. Meetings with Twitter friends never last long enough. 

The 12th of May. 

A day of mainly driving so not a great deal to report. 

Got up early because we needed to take the kittens to Shaki at the vet at 10:30 as she’s taking them to be neutered tomorrow so Simon can pick them up on Saturday. They were very good at travelling, barely made a sound, they just looked at me mournfully through the bars of the cat carrier. 

We were supposed to be setting off at twelve, but that went out of the window when Daddy discovered a nail in one of his tyres, so he had to take it to be fixed before we could go anywhere. We finally left the drive just after half past one. 

It has been a very uneventful journey. I crocheted three cat legs, listened to nostalgic 90s sunshine music, and I resisted the urge to buy a brownie batter Krispy Kreme at the services. Oh and we saw many tiny baby sheep!

Now I’m sitting on the single bed in the room up all the stairs, and I am going to read Stalker by Lars Kepler until it is time for dinner. I have identified one dish on the menu that I am prepared to eat (everything now involves aspects like “soy sauce meringue” or “mango and alfalfa sprouts”). Breakfast looks more promising – do I choose French toast or buttermilk pancakes?

The 13th of May. 

I am in need of vegetables. I have eaten a lot of artery-clogging food today. 

I had a much better sleep then I did last time we stayed at this place – I was still warm but I got rid of a layer and slept like a log. I met Mommy and Daddy for breakfast at 9 and I went for the French toast. It was scrumptious. I got a phone call from Shaki after I’d finished, to discuss the kittens’ bowel habits. After a lengthy chat about what they’ve been eating and when certain things have changed, they will now all be staying with us until at least Wednesday when they will hopefully be back to normal. 

The weather was glorious, so we packed up the car and had a drive round the Great Orme before going to pick up Taid. When we arrived, he was still having his breakfast so we amused ourselves while he got on with getting ready. He’d changed his mind about the lunch venue because he wasn’t enamoured with the service at our original destination, so we went to The Castle in Conwy. 

The menu choice was absolutely vast, but I eventually settled on the Saltimbocca sandwich, which was a fried sandwich stuffed with mozzarella, parma ham and sage-infused chicken. So good. Conversation mainly revolved around a grave that we have the deed to and whether we put a stone on it or not. Such excitement. 

When we’d finished, Daddy and Taid went to a clock shop because Taid was having an issue with one he’d bought from there, while Mommy and I went to the ice cream parlour across the road. I got two scoops, one salted caramel and one coffee, while Mommy had one of peach ripple. Then we sat on a wall outside in the sunshine and watched all the dogs that walked past.

Back at Taid’s, Mommy and I sat quietly in the corner for an hour while Daddy installed our old tv in the place of Taid’s. Once he’d plugged it all in, it became apparent that the better screen showed up the dodgy signal Taid gets, and in the end, he decided he wanted his old tv back on which you can’t tell that the picture is crap. 

Having sorted all that, it had got to quarter to five, and we really had to get going. Three and a half hours later, we are home! Becky has just been round to chat about her new job and other life events, and soon it will be time for bed. 

The 5th of November. 

In feeling decent enough to go to Death Cab tonight. I won’t be able to sing along, but I can live with that. 

I had a Zopiclone which certainly helped my sleep, although I was a little bit groggy this morning. Worth it for uninterrupted sleep though. I wrote up a blog post and worked on a prototype for a mitten for Luna. I’m still not happy though – it’s too big for a one year old so I’ve got one more idea but at this rate I might just make some for her to grow into. 

Oasis had some dresses that I thought might work for Christmas so we had a quick trip into town so I could try them on. I took three into the changing room and had to get one in a bigger size (it seems I can’t breathe in an 8 with no give), but chose one. However, by the till I saw another one that I thought would be good so I bought that too and I will try it on here. Before going home, we went into Selfridges because Starbucks are doing red cups and I have missed peppermint mochas. I have no self-control. 

Upon our return, I went to see the kittens, and have been sitting, scratching their bellies until now. I’ve just seen a piece on the news about a girl with leukaemia who’s gone into remission with gene editing, and I am so jealous. I know it’s experimental and who knows what might still happen, but I am so jealous. I know I can’t think like this, but if only. 

The 6th of November. 

I am in a place in Wales where everything is proudly local except for, apparently, the soap, which is Scottish. 

Death Cab were so good last night; I’m so pleased I decided to go. The only other people on the entire balcony were a couple but I was able to go into the area basically just above the stage so I probably had the best view. I will never not be obsessed with Been Gibbard’s dancing. Zooey was a fool. He sang Passenger Seat with just piano and it was so stunning, I never realised what a lovely love song it is. Plus I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Transatlanticism and What Sarah Said. My favourites forever. 

This morning just involved sorting out the stuff to bring to Wales, and this afternoon has been driving. By the time we arrived, it was dark, and despite it only just being six o’clock, I was very sleepy. A very nervous chap called Aled showed us to our rooms, and at half past we were back down for dinner. I had a frankly enormous steak and so couldn’t fit in a pudding, but I do have the free shortbread biscuits so all’s well that ends well.

The 24th of July.

Nothing to say about today. I am exhausted by poor quality sleep but that can’t be helped until I get back in my own bed. I blogged, saw cousin Tilly in the background on This Morning (they had segments from Heathrow and she’s going to Canada), and went out to get coffee and a brownie from Espressini Dulce this afternoon. The guy who works there is cute. Sigh. 

I’ve spent the rest of the day reading Death in Florence, fully identifying with the old man who finds himself totally irrelevant to anyone he finds attractive, embarrassed that he even thinks of himself with them, because in truth be is invisible. But now even be has managed to get a beautiful, young girlfriend, as unlikely as that is. I am firmly convinced that no one sees me as a prospective partner; I am invisible. A girl in a chair, alone. 

The 25th of July.

Driving day. Awake at half past seven, we left maybe at nine? I’ll miss Falmouth, everyone there is so lovely. In the car I read the paper and listened to lots of music. Got lunch at M&S in the services and stopped again at Gloucester where I had some shortbread and some shortbread and some coffee that tasted like garbage. I bought some apple, spinach, lemon and kale juice to get rid of the taste, and they had the Konditor & Cook book in the shop so I got that because I want Curly Wurly cake all the time. 

When we got home, I had to give the hamster a shake because he’d left all his food out and I was concerned he might have died. 

The 18th of July.

Holidays! Oh it has been a long day of travelling. I was up at half past six because we were supposed to go out at eight, but then Daddy woke up late so it was more like half past. We drove to the fancy Gloucester services for breakfast, but none of it really appealed to me so I just had more coffee. Lots more driving. We got to another service station when Daddy said “Well, this is horrific” and we promptly turned the car around without venturing inside. We found another one a little later where we bought sandwiches and ate them in the car. 

That was our last stop before arriving in Falmouth. The flat is on the bottom floor so I don’t have to contend with stairs, but I’ve been out for a brief bimble but I am nowhere near as strong as last year so I’ll be using the chair all the time. Hills are not fun. The only good thing about my trip was that I went into Ciuri Ciuri and they had made Cookie Biscuit gelato just for me because I am special. 

We appear to be going out for food soon. 

The 19th of July.

It was supposed to chuck it down all day today and pleasingly, it hasn’t! I didn’t have the best of sleeps – my bed is really creaky, so I think I’m going to try the other one tonight. 

This morning I stayed in and Daddy went out a couple of times so I got him to bring me coffee back each time. I did go out for my lunch though, but I got Mommy to come with me just in case of any problems. We looked at shops I can get the chair into, but if I can’t, I can disengage the joystick so no one can drive off in it. I wouldn’t leave it where I couldn’t see it though. I got a smoked salmon and egg sandwich from Picnic and a lemon sorbet smoothie from Elixir, which was lemon, orange, honey and frozen yoghurt. It was delicious. 

After coming home, I’ve shaved and moisturised my legs and watched boats in the harbour while listening to Amber Run, and we’re trying to decide where to go for tea. 

The 28th of November. 

A Zopiclone night which I am grateful for, but a number on the scales I did not like quite so much. I am five pounds heavier than my normal, stable weight and it completely freaked me out, especially with all the food I bought yesterday and Christmas on its way. 

Fiona and Nick’s wedding was today, so Mommy and I went to the church to see them get married. It was so beautiful – I was fighting back tears for most of the ceremony. I’ve known her for nearly twenty years and I just feel so overwhelmingly proud of my friend. 

Since we left, I have had the most horrific migraine that won’t go away, despite painkillers and lots of water. We’re supposed to be at the evening reception tonight but I just feel so dreadful. Going out is in no way an option. 

Becky’s M&S dresses had arrived so she brought mine over for me to try on. I had a thoroughly demoralising morning, first trying on that dress and it was too small, then a series of other dresses that usually fit but were all too tight so I felt even worse about my weight. 

I’m just miserable tonight. 

The 29th of November. 

In Wales. It has not been a particularly eventful day, as this morning involved taking the courtesy car to get its AdBlue topped up and then waiting for Alison to come back from wherever she had been so Mommy could take her to pick up her car, then we were able to leave. 

The rest of the day has been spent driving, with a stop for coffee halfway. The hotel is very nice, and my accessible room is quite vast, especially the bathroom! We had dinner in the bar, as in the restaurant you could only have a four course meal? The least calorific option was a smoked salmon risotto, which was so filling, I only ate just over half of it. 

I am not envisaging a particularly good sleep tonight, but we’ll see. I might be surprised.