MND Association, Cornwall Branch
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Elsie's Diary - 2014




Perils of weekends away


Anyone familiar with disabilities will appreciate the palaver of weekends away. Packing my wheelchair adapted vehicle with everything but the kitchen sink. We set off for our adventure.


Half way to our destination we take a refreshment break. All goes well until attempting to use the smallest ever Disabled Toilet. My electric wheelchair just fits within its confines. With help from my talented partner I manage a pole dance towards the loo. Success! Using his extensive skills and strength he manages to hoist me back to the pole to stand and returns me to my wheelchair.


We arrive at the hotel, all goes well the hired special profile bed has been delivered to my disability room. Housekeeping eventually makes up the bed. Next challenge the bathroom. The grab rail is so far from the loo, you would need 6 foot long arms to reach! (The childhood character named Twizzle comes to mind). Luckily we brought my Turnsafe, enabling the bathroom to be used. Improvisation is the key, thankfully my partner has it in abundance.


After meeting my daughter, her hubby and my son for a chat and meal, it is now bedtime. I have been prepared for bed, DISASTER strikes. My profile bed obviously had not been properly checked by the engineer who assembled it. The head cannot be raised! Fortunately the leg raiser does work. I usually sleep in a V shape, easing pressure on parts of my body. Having inspected each electrical connection under the bed, my partner emerges, dusts himself off, exclaiming in frustration we need an engineer! It is far too late to telephone my daughter who kindly arranged the hire, best left to a more sociable hour. My talented partner manages to strategically position multiple pillows. Disaster is adverted.


My daughter is contacted the following morning, advised about my faulty bed. All should be well an engineer will visit within 5 hours. After a pleasant day with my family my partner and I return to our room. The bed is not fixed. I am now sitting on the loo. Our room bell goes off like a siren, it’s the engineer. My partner greets him, demonstrates the problem. Promptly to be advised his office has made an error, he does not have the right part. The office staff had advised him incorrectly that the level of the mattress base could not be raised or lowered. My partner returns to me whilst the engineer rings his office. We hear him gently explaining to the female in the office the correct problem. We are astonished to hear him say “I am not shouting, there is no need to cry.” Apparently she has burst into tears………….he has to politely end the call. He explains he will attempt to locate the part needed and if unable to return will contact tomorrows duty engineer to advise him of the correct fault. With apologies he leaves.


Unfortunately a 2nd night using improvised pillows. By the end of the following day a second engineer has visited in our absence, still misinformed about the real fault, claims all is well. I now spend 3rd and final night using improvised pillows.


Despite hick ups, thanks to a loving family, partner and a strong sense of humour a thoroughly enjoyable weekend has been had by all. However there is more to follow…….


Upon entering my cul-de-sac we were faced with my drive being fenced off! A man was peering down a freshly dug hole on the pavement with a torch strapped to his safety helmet. My son’s vehicle and my partner’s were trapped on my drive, without access to move one vehicle I was destined to contemplate being blocked out of my home without the help of a fireman’s lift. As the fencing was hastily removed by a very embarrassed sole workman, I was reversed out of my vehicle in my electric wheelchair. The skies opened just as I speedily accelerated up my drive and onto the ramp inside my garage. A drenching avoided! One could say ‘all’s well that ended well!’

Moral: Don’t despair using initiative can save the day!


Sunday Rain


As my Carer left in the morning she said mischievously with merriment “if you go out take your rain hat!” How little did we know, it was sound advice.


My partner and I as the weather was grey, decided to visit an out of town retail store some distance away which had a café within. We arrive, as luck would have it, a disabled space right next to the entrance. My electric wheelchair with myself sitting in it is reversed out via a ramp from my super WAV (wheelchair adapted vehicle). So far so good, I drive myself into the store with the assistance of a kind shopper holding the door open; whoosh the draft blows free standing product notices like tumbleweed in a dessert. All are retrieved by my helpful lady, whilst I wait for my partner.


Now off to find the café only to be faced by a flight of stairs! The wheelchair access is outside the store at the back of the building up a curving upward climb. Fear not we can do this! We proceed outside the main entrance, where my partner plonks my rain hat on my head and checks out the route to the café, anticipating I would follow. Due to the wind gusting, I pull my rain hat firmly down. My movements are limited and you may recall I use a lightwriter to communicate. I now have restricted my vision; my rain hat is too low! I cannot see the road. My partner returns, realising my predicament, without adjusting my hat now takes control over my wheelchair and whisks me at speed around to the café entrance. The door is opened by a member of staff. I have arrived!


My latest fancy is a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows (a dessert in a mug!). I choose a hot cross bun to eat. My partner goes to the counter to order. He is shocked when my hot cross bun is microwaved to warm. We both assumed it would have been sliced in half, toasted and served with butter. To my amusement, (warped sense of humour), my partner is now expressing to the cashier his disdain; one could describe him as a hot cross customer with a cool bun! He returns to our table and hearing my guffaws sees the funny side. They have kindly used my two handled mug for my hot chocolate minus cream and marshmallows. Thankfully my partner’s chicken and bacon mayo sandwich with salad is a success. Whilst we are eating torrential rain beats down. Next challenge how to get from the café and into the store without getting soaked?


It was decided my partner would take the internal café stairs to collect my WAV. On his return parking by the wheelchair access, the ramp of my WAV was lowered in readiness for me. He had an inspired idea, the car rug has a waterproof backing. I am now completely covered from neck to toes in my car rug, with my rain hat firmly secured on my head. With the assistance of the brave café waitress my partner takes command of my wheelchair controls as my arms are trapped under the rug……… we go again with a wheel spinning whoosh up the ramp, tray and lightwriter dropping from my knees plus blanket escaping from beneath my feet ending under wheelchair wheels we grind to a jerking holt! All items hastily retrieved and wheelchair trapped rug released I am finally under cover! Brave waitress is soaked and my sensible partner is reasonably dry, having donned his jacket and hat earlier. Back to the main entrance we drive, into our original parking space, which is partially sheltered from the pelting rain. We are finally ready to go shopping…….


Moral: don’t forget your rain hat!


Mother’s Day


Upon ringing a delightful old traditional English Inn, the staff rang back to advise my son that they had taken the trouble to change the seating plan to ensure my electric wheelchair could be accommodated. My son was very impressed with their thoughtfulness.


Mother’s day arrives, flowers are delivered from my daughter just before we are ready to leave. Perfect timing. We arrive in good time at our destination a very unusual event, but a vehicle is parked in front of the access route through the garden which is the disabled entrance. My son armed with the vehicle registration, make and colour heads off to request enquiries are made to locate the driver. 15 minutes later I am still in the car park. My partner now makes further enquires, apparently the wrong details were noted by the waitress, the search for the driver starts again. Success a bashful and apologetic driver is located, the vehicle is moved.


Although we are seated very late, nothing is rushed. We enjoy a delicious relaxed meal. We leave without incident, no crashing into tables, an accomplishment for me. The ramp of my wheelchair adapted vehicle is lowered ready for my regal assent. The controls of my wheelchair are taken over by my partner. Unfortunately my wheelchair is in too low a speed setting, being without speech I am powerless to convey this vital information. With a gravel churning jolt I am suspended partially off the ramp. With the instruction of, ‘I am going to reverse you off the ramp, there will be a bump’ ringing in my ears, I land with a gentle thud on firm ground. Disaster adverted. We merrily return home, chuckling about our eventful outing.


Moral: Always allow extra time for the unexpected!


The Dangers of Drinking


Back in 2008 my Speech Therapist brought Nutilis thickening powder into my life for aiding drinking. Little did I know what kind of experiences I would have using it.


For the uninitiated it is thickening agent which is added to liquids to aid swallowing. The amount used varies according to the type of drink eg milky coffee, squash etc and the individuals needs. There is a measuring scoop provided in each tin. Simple you would think…………..


Interpretations of the size of scoops can vary with most people, some use a level scoop, others use a rounded scoop and some a heaped scoop (rather like teaspoon measurements with sugar), the amount used can have disastrous results for the unsuspecting drinker.


Ideal for squash
Ideal for squash
Perfect for hot drinks
Perfect for hot drinks


From experience I have learnt squash is more manageable and tastier than just water. The squash is made in the usual way, then 2 scoops of thickening powder are added, stirred briskly in ensuring there are no lumps! The interesting part is when the sampling is attempted. Firstly carefully lifting the beaker off my breakfast bar, a risky operation with dodgy grip, placing on my laptray, unscrewing the loosened lid, next is the exciting part………will it be the correct thickness? If too thin I am in for a controlled drowning (coughing, spluttering and spilling). If too thick, a slow moving sludge impossible to swallow resembling wallpaper paste (has been known not to spill when accidentally knocked over with the lid very loosely screwed on)! Thankfully 6 out of 7 days it is made just right, producing a refreshing drink.


When going out I cheekily request my 2 handled mug to be used as it is much easier to grip especially with hot drinks. I don’t expect my large mug to be filled to the brim, just the normal measure of cappuccino, latte or hot chocolate. Imagine my amazement and the gasps from everyone around me when it was filled to the brim with my requested hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows. The whipped cream was in a peak over the top with the tiny marshmallows cascading off the top! My partners challenge was to stir in my powder! IT WAS DELICIOUS! A small compensation for having MND! They even kindly rinsed my mug afterwards, wonderful service. Since my first surprise, most places have treated me with the same generosity, proving people can be very generous and kind.


Think of me and others like myself, when you have a reviving coffee, tea or refreshing drink, will we be enjoying ours as much as you?


Moral: always be prepared to request a remake of squash!


Wet Room Adventures


My deluxe Selsa wheelchair is an asset! When using my specially designed wet room my wheelchair plays a vital part in transferring me to the toilet with the assistance of my brave Carers.
I have a fabulous toilet raiser which sits over the seat. It has to be seen to be believed!


My cloakroom was converted into a wet room which now incorporates the approach corridor. It is narrow but long with an ingenious sliding door installed at the end of the corridor enabling my wheelchair to remain in the wet room and gives me privacy. My brilliant O/T had a marvelous suggestion of using the toilet as a seat to enable a shower to be installed. I had a super builder who insured everything was designed to my specifications. Every hand rail is specifically positioned for my use.


To transfer from my wheelchair, my Carer risks life and limb to assist me. The poor soul positions herself in front of me, between the washbasin and the left hand side drop down rail near a sometimes sizzling hot towel rail. My Carer is now trapped with no escape having to trust me not to run over her toes with my powerful wheelchair! I carefully maneuver forwards at a reduced speed. When in position between my freestanding washbasin and the grab rail on my right, I raise my wheelchair to washbasin height. With both hands on the grab rail on my right, to the horror of my Carer, I now launch myself off my raised wheelchair to the floor! I am now standing, with the Carers aid I twist towards the slightly raised toilet raiser. My feet have a habit of appearing to stick to the floor. My knees normally lock together, very useful method of preventing knickers and trousers dropping to the floor! Once safely on the toilet seat, it is lowered, my wheelchair is reversed away, allowing my Carer with a sigh of relief to thankfully escape, the sliding door is closed. Privacy reigns.


I have a doorbell to ring (it sounds like the bing bong of ‘Avon Calling’) to the uninitiated it sounds as though I am impatient ringing twice! After hand washing the stage is set for the next operation. My wheelchair is moved closer, lowered and ready for action. My Carer is back in position. I raise the toilet seat to the maximum height, this places me in a virtually standing position. I now grasp the grab rail with my left hand, my Carer assists me to stand, guides my right hand across to the grab rail, uttering ‘mind your head’! I have a habit of head butting the wall when attempting to swivel my stubborn feet. She has suggested I invest in a boxer’s protective padded head sparring helmet.


My return to my wheelchair is not graceful and not for the faint hearted. Once perched on the edge of the cushion, the footplate is lowered. When my feet are on, the sliding door which is opened by the second Carer, (I have been known to reverse into the closed door, not a pretty sight, shocking one could say) enabling me to reverse out far enough for the first Carer to push my knees, the wheelchair is reclined slightly to enable the second Carer to pull out the slide sheet, between them I am safely back in my wheelchair! They both sensibly stand clear whilst I turn my wheelchair and return to the kitchen. Mission accomplished!


Moral: always have a plan of action!


Wet Room Showers


You could not be blamed for thinking showering would be easy…….my trusty Carers can vouch this is not the case! Nothing I do goes without risk!

Wet room

Because the toilet raiser is battery powered, as a precaution it is covered by an aptly duck patterned shower curtain……


Ahh how sweet…..

In addition the control arm is also covered. What a picture this must conjure with me in the buff sitting on my throne!


One of my Carers, knowing what to expect takes her shoes and socks off, rolls up her trousers, dons her long apron and declares herself ready for action. I hold the shower head for warmth only relinquishing reluctantly for rinsing. As you will recall my grip is fiercesome. On one occasion we had a wet room fountain when accidentally the shower head dropped to the floor, sending plumes of water jetting everywhere, the hose was transformed into a writhing snake. Eventually it was retrieved with peels of laughter. It’s amazing just how far water can spray! We were both thoroughly rinsed.


Moral: Carers beware, always wear your weather proofs when showering clients!


Hair Raising


Who would think having your hair done at home could be an alarming experience? My wonderful Mobile Hairdresser would whole heartedly agree it is very alarming! She never knows what will happen during her visits.


Anyone familiar with Elsie’s Diary will know about our previous experiences. Hairdressing appointments have you might say evolved with the progression of MND. As you may know my wet room is narrow and long. Hair washing has become more civilized since my wet room was installed, using a purposely designed sink and proper shower.


Did I say civilized? My poor hairdresser would strongly disagree. My hair colour was ready to be washed off. I proceeded to maneuver my electric wheelchair as close to the wet room sink as possible. Moving at the slowest wheelchair speed setting. Honestly I did! The control panel of my wheelchair is moved back and is now under the sink. My hairdresser turns the power off. The controls are covered in a plastic sack in addition to me and my wheelchair being ensconced under a shower curtain.


The hair washing commences……..unknown to us both my knees have pushed against the waste pipe, dislodging it completely! Water cascades to the floor! Shrieks prevail, from my hairdresser, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!!


Bear in mind I am tight against the wash basin leaving no space to secure the detached waste pipe which is continuing to spout water. I can do nothing to assist as my hands are trapped under the shower curtain. My hair is dripping being partially washed. My hairdresser reaches under the sink to turn on my wheelchair, she reverses me away from the basin, my hands are still covered by the shower curtain. It would cause me to be drenched if removed, making it impossible to use my lightwriter to make any useful suggestions about what to do next.


My resourceful hairdresser proceeds to reinsert the waste pipe, screws it on, but not quite enough so water still dribbles out. She bravely decides with my nodded agreement to finish my hair washing away from the basin. The shower is used in the middle of the wet room, water cascades off the shower curtain to the floor. She is now paddling. Fortunately the water drains away reasonably well. My hair is rubbed in a towel, the saturated shower curtain is removed. Miraculously only one side of my trousers is wet through on my thigh. Another towel strategically placed soaks up excess water on my trousers preventing rising damp.


The wet room is mopped dry, a bucket is placed under the basin to catch drips, we have normality almost restored. My hair is cut, styled, then dried and looks super. Who would know chaos rained in the wet room earlier? My son successfully secured the waste pipe, only damage remaining is my hairdresser’s nerves!


Moral: Don’t terrorize your mobile hairdresser.


Pebble Power


Wishing to support my sport loving son, what could be better than watching him taking part in an exhibition water polo match in aid of a local regatta week?


The weather was absolutely gloriously beautiful. My partner arrived early to collect me. We arrived in good time in Charlestown, found a parking space with sufficient room to reverse me out of my wheelchair adapted vehicle. I trundled down towards the harbour in my electric wheelchair with my partner walking alongside of me. All went well dodging pedestrians along the way down. Why are walkers so oblivious of where they are going? They appear to meander aimlessly, often stopping suddenly to chat, it’s a wonder I haven’t run one over or found one sitting on my lap! I have to rely upon my partner to say ‘excuse me, could you move aside please’, as you will recall I have lost my power of speech.


We approach the harbour wall, some thoughtful organization has made the access more level using tons of small pebbles. Terrific idea for pedestrians safety, but very difficult for prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs to cross. Yes you have guessed correctly I am now firmly wedged in the deep pebbles! My wheelchair cannot go forwards or backwards. My sunhat has slipped forward, thankfully I can only see peoples legs, in my mind I hope they won’t recognize me! My trusty partner recruits the assistance of some strong males, reminding them my wheelchair is too heavy to lift. Obviously he doesn’t want any helpers to incur hernias! After a few minutes of pushing and pulling my wheelchair reaches solid ground. With grateful thanks to our strong helpers we continue our bumpy jolting way along the harbour wall finally reaching the perfect spot to watch the match.


It was a very entertaining match the spectators were enthralled, 11 goals to 10, so plenty of action. My son, who is one of the coaches and players, was delighted their efforts of dragging the goals and marking the floating boundaries were well worth the effort. The pitch markers and goals are safely removed from the harbour so off to their sponsors, The Rashleigh Inn, for a well deserved pasty and a pint or soft drink for the younger players.


We continue to enjoy the following raft race before retracing our steps. So far so good across the pebbles, nearly clear, crunch I am stuck fast again! More friendly males assist our escape. My sunhat is again thankfully hiding my face, I can only see legs and feet. Grateful thanks are given and we proceed up the hill to my vehicle.


For the next few days my wheelchair dispensed pebbles like a pin ball machine.


Moral: there are easier ways to collect pebbles for drainage in plant pots!


Stair Lift Ups and Downs


When in good working order my Stair Lift is wonderful, but when broken down causes major problems.


I have been transferred from my wheelchair to my stair lift by my carers. Next would be my assent upstairs following my two carers. You will recall I have lost my power of speech, my Lightwriter has been taken by my carers for safe keeping and is already upstairs. Preparations in my bedroom are taking place for getting me ready for bed after my visit to the bathroom. Both are unaware my assent is not taking place. I press the control, my assent is only a few inches, then stops, I am stuck with the bleeping of warning from the stair lift extension rail, that it must be raised for charging to take place. Eventually my absence is noticed. Both ask why, with my now available Lightwriter I begin to explain.


It is decided I should transfer back into my wheelchair. Once safely back, one brave carer sits on the stair lift. At my suggestion, when the stair lift stops after a few inches, the power button on the end of the seat arm is turned off then on again, the stair lift raises a few more inches. It is established if this time consuming action is repeated assent is possible. Next test will it descend safely? It does.


Once again I am transferred. Now sitting like a Queen with my attendants either side of me, we begin the labour intensive assent inch by inch. Success after 10 minutes, I have reached the top! Disaster adverted by the patience of my carers. Thankfully I can sleep in my bed rather than my wheelchair.


Next morning gravity allows me on my stair lift to safely descend gracefully downstairs. The stair lift company is telephoned, my stair lift is repaired by bedtime the same day. Disaster adverted, I won’t need my bed transferred downstairs!


Moral: Where there is a will, there is a way!


Wheelchair Trauma


Like most people I take equipment for granted until they break down. My amazing glitzy electric wheelchair is one example. It suddenly without warning failed to recline. You will recall this facility is used for comfort easing my back, also as an essential aid for my carers with a slide sheet to position me correctly upon transfer from my stand aid. I immediately emailed the maintenance team expressing the seriousness of the situation. Fortunately they were able to send an engineer before his return to their base at the end of his working day. My carers managed carefully to negotiate transfers without risking harm to themselves or me. Health and safety when moving and handling is very important.


Luckily my son was here and was able when the engineer arrived to transfer me to my rarely used manual wheelchair. I am unable to wheel myself as my arms are not strong enough, therefore wherever positioned I remain unable to move. The engineer explains the mechanism needs a replacement which may not be in stock. He agrees to check, if necessary it would be ordered, which would necessitate a few days delay. My heart sinks. He leaves. My son moves my electric wheelchair to enable me to transfer back into it. To our horror it now is stuck in the reclined position, it is broken, it cannot be used. My son quickly telephones the engineer’s office, they confirm he will immediately return. You cannot begin to imagine my feeling of desolation. I will be trapped in my uncomfortable manual wheelchair, unable to move myself, reach my kitchen bar unit for drinks, nor remove dishes from my lap tray. I am overwhelmed with depressing thoughts and break down in hysterical sobs. The engineer loads my wheelchair into his van. He tries to console me, if the part is in stock he will work during the evening to replace the broken mechanism. If it needs to be ordered, they have an electric wheelchair I can borrow tomorrow, it will recline but not rise. I am left with negative thoughts, I still won’t be able to reach my kitchen bar unit. My son swaps my thin manual wheelchair cushion for my original electric wheelchair cushion which fortunately I had kept. He makes me a comforting drink and stays until my carers return to assist me to bed. He kindly explains the situation and leaves me in their capable care. They reassure me all will be well tomorrow. Sadly MND exaggerates emotions, fortunately I am usually able to overcome negative thoughts with a fighting spirit. On this occasion it took time to find that spirit.


To my amazement the engineer returns as promised by 9am the following morning with my wheelchair. I am thrilled expressing my sincere thanks and apologies for my shameful sobs of yesterday. I emailed my thanks to his office, they replied informing me that a team of engineers worked late to ensure my wheelchair could be returned the following morning. I am eternally grateful for their great kindness and understanding of my anxieties. My partner lives in Hayle, their workshop and office is on an industrial site only a few miles from his home, he kindly delivered a gift on my behalf from my home in St Austell, chocolates aptly named ‘Heroes’, for my HEROES who gave up their evening for ME!


Moral: Kindness and understanding surrounds me!


Mini Breaks Away


Our Christmas visit to my daughter and her husband in Sunbury-on-Thames was organized, hotel booked, profile bed hired and carers arranged. What could possibly go wrong?


My son undertakes the driving of my WAV to give my partner an opportunity to take in the views. All is well until nearing Stonehenge when we are grid locked. My son mutters “typical people gazing at Stonehenge, why don’t they block the view, then traffic would keep moving.” In barely moving traffic for over an hour, darkness surrounds us without views of the historical site, it is puzzling what is causing the hold up? Eventually we are free moving with no apparent cause for the delay. My daughter and husband meet us in the hotel car park and assist with bringing items to our room. Unfortunately traveling ‘light’ no longer applies to me as anyone familiar with disability will be aware.


The profile bed has been installed by the hire company and later checked by my daughter before our arrival. We are surprised by the electric powered inflatable mattress which was not requested from the hire company, we had expected a normal profile mattress. After an enjoyable family meal, my son leaves with my daughter and her husband. I am ready for bed, disaster strikes the inflatable mattress has deflated!


My partner resets the controls, all appears to be well. I am comfortably settled in bed. Then we hear a bleeping sound and the mattress deflates. It is faulty, each time it is reset, after inflating, 10 minutes later it deflates with bleeping again. Foreseeing a sleepless night my partner rings the emergency number of the hire company. To his dismay he can only leave an urgent message. Sadly, a sleepless night is destined for both of us. Anticipating the warning bleeps to go off regularly, my partner had the mattress control by his bed to reset after each bleeping warning. We are now aware it bleeps on both deflating and inflating procedures. In desperation he counts the bleeps 40 per minute before the mattress inflates again. Worse than counting sheep, at least they are quiet. Thankfully after what appears to be an endless night, my carers arrive (booked from a care provider based in Twickenham). I wrote my own step by step care plan which was previously approved by the care provider. With my partner’s supervision, all worked well considering it was their first morning and meeting with me. Phew at least something was successful.


After breakfast my partner returned with a very helpful and concerned duty manager who spoke to the hire company. After a 3 way conversation, both the duty manager and the hire company were fully aware of the problem mattress. Apparently the company had ceased supplying normal profile mattresses and would repair or replace the faulty machine that day.


Despite lack of sleep the day and pantomime in Richmond was brilliant. The bed was checked BUT although the mattress worked the head and leg raisers DID NOT! Another fraught telephone call to the hire company. The hotel kindly supplied an extra 6 pillows, which my partner painstakingly strategically positioned under my head and legs. Because the bed was position on a height which could no longer be lowered, he needed to heave me up onto the bed. Luckily I am lightweight, but still risky for my partner’s back. All went well until the early hours, when I became too uncomfortable. It took ages for my long suffering partner to resolve. Another restless night.


The morning proved challenging for my carers, who accidentally placed my turnsafe the wrong way around. I refused to dismount from my high level bed. Having no speech it took a several anxious minutes to establish my reason for stubbornness about not moving. When realization dawned we could chuckle, prevention being better than cure.


During the day my son-in-law jokingly stated “perhaps today’s engineer will fix the raisers but the mattress won’t work”. How true! Upon our return the paperwork confirmed the engineer’s assessment, if he repaired the raisers the mattress would not work. He endorsed a full refund! Total exhaustion ensured a good nights sleep for both of us.


My partner is an amazing man for which I am eternally grateful, without his resourcefulness and inspired ideas I would be unable to undertake these mini adventures. Amazingly he has agreed to visit my daughter, her husband and their first baby due in April. Never fear I have located a hire company used previously without problems, they have a branch in Southampton and they have agreed to deliver, assemble and check a profile bed to the same hotel in Shepperton. Watch this space as the saying goes…………………….


Moral: Never say never again!