Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Big Day Out!

Today, im pretty sore and very tired but more than that, im proud of myself. Yesterday i pushed myself from the car park to the London Aquarium, 99% round the LA and back to the car park again. The most i have pushed myself in the wheelchair to date. My arms ache but its kind of a nice ache, a you-pushed-yourself-but-not-too-far ache. Its warm and reassuring. Im pretty sure its the belated endorphin high making me so happy but ill take it, thankyou very much!

I was desperate to take the children somewhere, even just on one proper day out this holiday. Im so sick of my pain levels (which have gotten worse, not better) preventing us from living our lives so much. I endeavored to do this trip come what may. Im guessing that tomorrow what may come is bucketloads of pain and self pity but ill deal with that bridge when i have to cross it.

The day in general was brilliant. GH had a few mini meltdowns at the lack of signs as we drove through London and the satnav kept telling us to drive off a bridge to get to the car-park (i kid you not) but we made it there ok. Tommy, Ellie and Father-in-law (from here on 'fil') met up with us under the London Eye as their route on our adventure involved taking the train. 

We got to skip the throng of queuing Sea life enthusiasts as id paid for our tickets in advance (after no small amount of saving and scraping on my part). Id strongly recommend doing so as you get a slight discount and dont have to stand in the rain with excited children. The Aquarium itself is pretty wheelchair friendly, with lifts and fairly wide corridors and big rooms. Its a shame the general public is, at times, not so wheelchair or family friendly! I didn't even try to count the number of times a group barged through ours, separating us. Luckily though, all the children are on board with day-trip behaviour and know to stay close and keep an eye on each other. Well, except Lottie but to give her credit, she did very well. 

One thing i am very proud of - i breastfed John in the Amazon-style part of the aquarium. Nursing in public is something i feel strongly about but can be a bit shy to do at times. Not a soul noticed though, as far as i know, so there was no nasty confrontation to deal with.

The only disappointments of the day were me not being able to see the penguins - they were too popular and despite me waiting for over ten minutes to get to the front of the crowd, people just kept pushing in front and wouldnt let me through, 
the lack of signage at the photograph collection point informing us that that was the place to hand in the childrens treasure hunt forms (they had all got the answers correct and had been assured a prize for doing so by the staff member who gave them to us) which meant they didn't get handed in and they missed out on the much-awaited prize
the fact that the wheelchair-accessibility ended in the gift shop. I was informed i would have to go a fair way back through the aquarium in order to get out. So GH ended up having to bump me down 5 steps, which was pretty rough on me as he was too tired by then to be able to be very gentle.

The very best bit of the day, aside from being able to see the seahorses, rays and the turtle was Lottie on the way back to the car. After we'd said goodbye to Tommy, Ellie and fil to go catch their train, we headed back towards the car, stopped briefly to buy the most expensive waffles known to mankind (seriously, ripped off - we got three and they came to almost £20! Had i known, or been able to see a price anywhere we would have walked right past!) and then Lottie tripped and fell, getting her jumper, dress and leggings muddy. 
I decided then that there was no point trying to save the leggings, which she had almost grown out of, and so we let her go to town on all the massive puddles the rain had created.

That small decision made her day and brought joy to so many others too. Every passer-by who saw her delightedly splooshing and sploshing and stomping through all the mini lakes along the way to the car, caught a bit of her happiness. Id not seen so many smiles and laughs from strangers in a long time. Tourists even stopped to take her picture, not that she noticed - she was having the time of her life!
We ended up having to completely strip her off to put her in the car but she didn't care, she had her blanket to keep her warm. I think that looking back, she may not even remember the fish, but i bet she'll remember those puddles :D 

Being in London was enough for me, i love that place, almost as much as i love Brighton. There is so much to see and do. Living in a village has its perks, but there is such little difference here, so little to do and see and experience. There was art at every turn, a funfair on the way back from the aquarium. I honestly didn't want to leave. I hope we can afford (somehow) to get back there again soon.

Hey guys,
I want to thank you all for your patience, sticking around while i had a break from blogging. It wasnt planned and i still dont really understand it but it did me some good because im back, feeling a lot less sorry for myself and eager to bore entertain you all.

So, in that vein, im going to tell you what ive been up to.

Life has been a bit of a mix here, as it is everywhere i guess. GH and i have struggled a lot, together and sometimes not so, to keep our relationship going. Its been a pretty rough patch but i am hoping we are getting through it now. 
John is properly crawling now and is fast approaching his first birthday, but he is still so much a baby to me. All the others were so much more independent and a lot less interested in me and my affection by this age, and im really enjoying getting a baby for a bit longer. Not that he'll stay this way for long, i know, he is already a climber and can cruise the furniture.
We have had birthdays too, Lottie and Ellie are now 3 and 6 respectively. Tommy is preparing for the fast approaching start of the new term at a new school as he is moving up to Secondary.
There has been some friction in the wider family too, some rather ill-thought-out comments and questions regarding my current health and the current 'state' of our relationship have lead to some ill feeling and that isnt easy to get past when your heart is already so full. We are trying though.

Mostly though, it is what it is and we are what we are. I try to keep us all positive, looking forward and working together, all the while supporting my twitter addiction.

Off to write new 'diary style' post now, love to you all xx