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Archive for September, 2009

Have you ever tried dancing in a K-2?  Well, you don’t know what you are missing! I went off to my nieces wedding last weekend and without even planning an adventure, it happened anyway… It was a beautiful hot, dry September day and after rushing to get dressed up and out the house in North London, we headed for the M25 in plenty of time to fight any nasty traffic incidents that happen when you can least afford them. Being a Northerner, I just cannot reconcile myself to the fact that from my daughter in North London to my mother in South East London, it can possibly take 2 hours!! For goodness sake, it is only about 30 miles and in any normal country this should be done and dusted in about 45 minutes.  Okay, enough of a rant about the traffic, get back to the topic at hand… Where was I?

Sara's wedding

Oh, yes, lovely weather, dressed up to the nines, survived the Dartford crossing and eventually we arrived at the venue in time for a wonderful ceremony and an entire afternoon filled with food, drink, music, family and laughter. Now for the k-2 on the dance floor.  Having been the dance floor diva of my day (the 70’s and dreaded 80’s), I really miss not being able to get up and strut my stuff to a good bit of music. After watching and listening for a while, I decided that enough was enough and if my chair could glide smoothly over the beach and bounce effortlessly across forest floors, how difficult could a few spins on the dance floor be? Grabbing my very worried hubby (I do drag him into all sorts of situations not of his making!) we joined a few other couples. I made sure we were well out of harms way (their feet that is) and proceeded to instruct my husband in a few dance moves – glide in, glide out and spin it all around. Next thing you know he really has got the hang of this dancing malarkey and we are dancing with the best of them. It was so much fun. We did have a couple of near misses when my handlebar caught in his pocket and he was millimetres from speaking like a choir boy for the rest of his life!

My only regret was that being the family paparazzi, I was unable to also capture the moment for posterity. Never mind, now we know how it’s done, we can get a few snaps at the next gathering of the clans…

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Take one bank holiday weekend and terrible weather and what do you have? A perfect opportunity for a bit of bundu bashing.  Hubby was away on a trip to Australia and I was desperate to go out and get some fresh air, so I invited my son, son-in-law and grandson to give me some support. Where to go? After a little thought I opted for Rivington Hall Barn in Rivington as it is not far from us and has a tea room for that essential cuppa to prepare us for the heavy work ahead.

Did I mention the lousy weather, of course, it was a bank holiday? It had poured for the two days prior and as a result it was a mud bath in the country but being the intrepid travellers, this was not going to put us off.

Parking was a little difficult as human nature seems to dictate that the closer to the door you get, the bigger the prize! Parking accomplished and now for a bracing beverage before setting off. Tea, latte, hot chocolate and bacon barms safely despatched and we set off.

The part of Rivington we decided on is near the Go-ape adventure facility and my goal was to see if I could follow the trail in my K-2. We started off on the high path which was reasonably flat but with enough mud to put off all of the other walkers with prams and wheelchairs. We however were not to be daunted and when the mud got too deep (not for the Trekinetic, but my son didn’t want to get his converse too dirty!), we just went round them through the forest! Roots, rocks and mud were no match for us and we were soon looking for more of a challenge. Rather than going along the path from the high road to the low road we cut across the forest down the steep incline towards the reservoir. Wow, what a buzz! We went zig zagging down the hill over the forest floor with the tree climbers whizzing past us on the zip line. My son helped out a little so that I could practice using my steering and drum brakes and soon we arrived at the footpath. Amazingly we were the only ones I saw taking the off-road option and definitely the only wheelchair that made it round the route. Bearing in mind that I have only been going off-road for a week and need plenty more exercise to build up strength, it was very tiring and I did need son-in-law power to assist me back up the steep slopes.

Muddy and happy we got back to the car and headed home. Next mission – find a way to clean off my wheels before loading the car!

(Photo’s not from original day out as we forgot the camera at home!)

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I decided that in order to make an informed decision on when and where I would use my K-2 rather than my standard chair, I would use it exclusively for a week so that I could compare the performance and differences between the two.

The first day in the office was quite an event. We caused quite a stir and everyone wanted to see and quiz me. This chair definitely turns heads and at one stage it was suggested that I may need a code on our time tracking system so that I could log how much time I spent explaining the amazing features on the K-2!

After the end of the first week I went back into my traditional chair for one day. I was now in a better position to decide on the pro’s and con’s of each chair. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to realise how much more manoeuvrable the K-2 is.  I love it so much that I rarely use my Otto Bock wheelchair.

I am lucky enough to have a big car so I could use my Trekinetic without needing to fold it for transport. It fits in the boot of my 7 seater together with my old chair folded next to it – I was not yet confident enough to give up on my old chair so continued to carry it around for a few days just in case – of what I am not sure! Anyway, a few days later and it is now assigned to the house as my home chair. Out with the old and in with the new – don’t they say “nothing ventured, nothing gained”?

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