Well I thought it was about time to fully jump off the wagon and have a good boozy session and yep I appear to still be paying the price two days later!!
It was a really great day at the Ashalls wedding, but I think the duration of drinking and probably also the variety of drinks are what finished me off! I seem to recall some 'strawpeedos' on the old blue wkd and shots of sambuca towards the end which really were the final nails in the coffin! Thankfully I didn't disgrace myself and remained firmly in my chair, which itself remained firmly on all of its wheels!! ....Although being in bed by 11.30 would be considered by many to be a disgrace I suppose!!
....having said all this I was lucky to simply be at the wedding really! Friday night saw a pre-wedding gathering of stag survivors. In an attempt to be sensible I thought I'd drive and save myself for the following day, all well and good up to this point! The mistake I made was giving my mate Bebbo a lift and placing any responsibility on his shoulders! ....as we left the pub I got myself in the drivers seat and Bebbo set about putting my chair in the boot, it requires a modicum of dismantling, with probably about a pre-school level of difficulty involved, and it appeared Bebbo had managed all on his own! ....so we set off home, picking Jenna up en route and jettisoning Mr Bebbington, only to find one wheelchair minus a cushion when we got back! ...now this is not an ordinary readily replaceable cushion, they cost about £600 and have a gel infil to relieve pressure so you can't simply pick a cushion up off the sofa and whack that underneath instead!
A few weeks prior to the wedding we'd been off to Munich for Ashall's stag do and my first trip on an aeroplane since getting myself a wheelchair! I was a wee bit apprehensive to say the least, but I had Paul coming along to make sure I was alright and didn't get left in a beer hall or anything! This role didn't get off to the best of starts when we couldn't get hold of him at 4.30 in the morning to tell him we were on our way to get him before heading to the airport! It turned out he'd been out for a couple of drinks the evening before to remember a mate of his and one thing had led to another and he'd only made it to bed at 4!! Anyways we managed to rouse him and still made it to Manchester in plenty of time and to be fair he was surprisingly compos mentis considering the lack of sleep! And for the rest of the day did a good job of watching out for me, this chiefly involved sitting in beer halls drinking steiners!!
The aeroplane part of the process was none too dramatic either thankfully, the whole process had its pros and cons! Chief pro was next to no queuing at the airport and all the staff were very helpful indeed, and the biggest downside was being handled like a bag of spuds when getting on the plane, closely followed by being first on and last off, adding a good half an hour to the flight!! ...the bag of spuds bit whilst not very graceful was at least effective, at the door to the plane I was lifted by two blokes from my chair onto a tiny chair that fitted down the aisle on the plane and then from this into a chair on the plane, job done no nonsense! .... The actual stag do was good, again I was quite sensible/boring just sticking to the beer all day and pacing myself as I didn't fancy getting lost in
The other thing mentioned in my last blog was an impending table tennis tournament, now something of a blurred memory, it really did whizz by, both the day and the table tennis ball!
....it was a real compendium of disabilities when we got there with about 12 different classes based on the types of disabilities people had, I couldn't help thinking it was lucky we weren't in Germany in the early 40's as they'd definitely have been turning the gas on in this sports hall!! ....I managed a 100% record on the day, not the type of 100% record you'd aim for mind! ....My first game pitted me against the British champion who came fourth in the Paralympics, safe to say I came second in that one! And then my second and final game was against another bloke who'd been playing for years and again I was runner up! But to be fair I didn't disgrace myself taking a few points off them both in my games, I think the best I managed was an 11-6 defeat, not too bad considering I've been to about 5 Tuesday night sessions so far! It certainly gave me something to work towards at least! ....there was a doubles tournament too that was much the same really, I was put with a guy who was also pretty new and had the same level of injury as me and we where drawn against people who were a lot less disabled in both games but again we scraped along, got a few points but again managed to lose all our games! So that's the story of my 100% record!! ...I've not been deterred mind and have even dragged Jenna along to the odd session with me, she's pretty good too! Worryingly she'll be beating me in no time, though I do have a decent excuse mind!!
As well as table tennis I've now been playing a bit of tennis too which seems pretty good and involves a little more cardio than its table based cousin! Unfortunately in the first week I overestimated how much my grip had improved and as soon as I tried to hit the ball I dropped the racquet! The not very refined answer to this problem is to get some sports tape and simply tape it to your hand, crude yet effective! So in the subsequent weeks I've improved a little although pushing yourself around in a wheelchair with a racquet strapped to your hand takes a little getting used to!
...I'm also still getting out on the hand bikes and dragged Jenna along to this too the other week, again she made very short work of it and made my efforts look a little feeble! It is pretty hard graft though and slightly demoralising when I have toddlers walking past me when I try and go up any semblance of an incline!! But I am getting a bit better week by week and this is all you can ask for! ....aside from these bits I'm also doing regular physio and acupuncture and also getting to the gym whenever possible so busy busy and racking up the miles in the car, I best check the contract hire agreement at this rate so I don't go over the mileage allowance!
.....after Jenna and I had our morning out on the hand bikes, a nice leisurely start to the day! We were due to be looking after Jenna's nephew Harry, in her infinite wisdom Jenna decided a trip to the farm would be a nice activity for Harry, which indeed it was! But it let me know where I fit in the pecking order as it was possibly the most wheelchair unfriendly place we could find! Basically it was hills and gravel with a few hills and a bit more gravel for good measure! So I continued my workout while Jenna and Harry had a lovely time! And every time I caught them up and had a breather it was time to move on again! Think I need a 4x4 wheelchair for days like that one!
Oh and next week I have a trip to Stoke Mandeville spinal hospital for the 'interspinal games' which is just a chance to try out loads of different sports with a few competitions etc... Each spinal unit from around the country attends and takes a handful of carefully selected elite patients! or more accurately the ones they liked! So myself and a few of the guys I was in Southport with are going so it should be a good week trying stuff out, having a few drinks and probably catching up on some shithead! ....I'm hoping I can take the table tennis title, I should keep it quiet I've been playing a bit!!
....and finally the ' night of musical excellence' is now this Friday, last I heard there where only 20 tickets left so if anyone still wants to come, get in touch with me or my colleague Nick (email on the poster) and we'll get you sorted! ....they've done a fantastic job and it promises to be a great night so I'll look forward to seeing you there!