My Ruby Slippers Are Defective

Today 

  • I didn’t want to move when I woke up in Dante’s 7th circle of joint pain hell.
  • I didn’t want to keep down breakfast
  • I didn’t want to sit in the car for 3 1/2 hours to Calais
  • I didn’t want to wake up regularly gasping as we braked & my back flew into spasm
  • I objected to paying extortionate prices for toll roads that had appalling service stops 
  • I didn’t want to lay curved into a contorted angle on the train whilst it rocked me side to side & scattered my ribs
  • I didn’t want to remain in the car for a further 2 hours to drive home (see waking up above)

I didn’t want to travel on a flare day. But I did. And now I’m home in our bed set up just for us having had a bath in my lovely accessible bathroom and a cuddle with the cats. 

There’s no place like home.
Addition: 

What made me flare so badly today? It was a combination of being in the car the previous day for nigh on 6 hours, then staying in the worst hotel we’d ever booked. The Sejours & Affaires clairemarias in Reims.

Here is the brochure photo of the 1 bedroom apartment from Booking.com – this is clearly listed under “facilities for disabled guests”.

And another of the kitchenette

So, we were expecting basic, but clean and functional as a stopover. This was billed as a wheelchair accessible apartment which we double checked by email & relieved confirmation of – this roughly translates to “is on the ground floor & has no stairs”.

This is my photo:

Aside from smelling distinctly of the goat farm (?!), the wall paint was peeling, the cabinets were grubby & the kitchenette and general location reminded me of when Mr Geek & I shared a student flat. In its favour, the WiFi was excellent (so, yes, very much like our flat). We slept on the metal sofa bed which had a mattress approximately the depth of a Kardashian which promptly instigated my shoulder coming out as I turned, my pelvis twisting, & a nasty clunk in my neck that made my hand go tingly. I eventually fell asleep laying flat on my back with my legs in a full lotus to lock my hips in place.
My magic touch with hotels was missing on this one. By the next morning, I wanted my Ruby Slippers. 

My Ruby Slippers Are Defective

Today 

  • I didn’t want to move when I woke up in Dante’s 7th circle of joint pain hell.
  • I didn’t want to keep down breakfast
  • I didn’t want to sit in the car for 3 1/2 hours to Calais
  • I didn’t want to wake up regularly gasping as we braked & my back flew into spasm
  • I objected to paying extortionate prices for toll roads that had appalling service stops 
  • I didn’t want to lay curved into a contorted angle on the train whilst it rocked me side to side & scattered my ribs
  • I didn’t want to remain in the car for a further 2 hours to drive home (see waking up above)

I didn’t want to travel on a flare day. But I did. And now I’m home in our bed set up just for us having had a bath in my lovely accessible bathroom and a cuddle with the cats. 

There’s no place like home.
Addition: 

What made me flare so badly today? It was a combination of being in the car the previous day for nigh on 6 hours, then staying in the worst hotel we’d ever booked.

Here is the brochure photo of the 1 bedroom apartment:

And another of the kitchenette

So, we were expecting basic, but clean and functional as a stopover. This was billed as a wheelchair accessible apartment which we double checked by email & relieved confirmation of – this roughly translates to “is on the ground floor & has no stairs”.

This is my photo:

Aside from smelling distinctly of the goat farm (?!), the wall paint was peeling, the cabinets were grubby & the kitchenette and general location reminded me of when Mr Geek & I shared a student flat. In its favour, the WiFi was excellent (so, yes, very much like our flat). We slept on the metal sofa bed which had a mattress approximately the depth of a Kardashian which promptly instigated my shoulder coming out as I turned, my pelvis twisting, & a nasty clunk in my neck that made my hand go tingly. I eventually fell asleep laying flat on my back with my legs in a full lotus to lock my hips in place.
My magic touch with hotels was missing on this one. By the next morning, I wanted my Ruby Slippers. 

Centreparcs – Les Trois Forêts (France) : An Accessible Review

A version of this post can also be seen on TripAdvisor.
We visited Les Trois Forêts as a group of 7, with two children under 12 and five adults. Four of our party had varying physical impairments (using a variety of mobility aids from sticks to an actuve user wheelchair), and two who are Autistic. As such, we pre-booked well in advance choosing a VIP cabin highlighted as accessible for those with mobility needs to sleep 8 mid distance from the main centre (cabin 709).

Communication

With Les Trois Forêts being less than an hour away from the borders of Germany & Luxembourg, it is not a surprise to find that all signs are primarily in French with German translation. Most staff speak either. We made a concerted effort to speak in French & when we failed, the staff were happy to translate more complex requirements to English (at one point making great use of the translation app on my phone!). Like most places, a valiant attempt that ends in them just telling you to speak English is much better received than not trying.

Useful lines:

  • Je suis désolé – I’m sorry
  • Je parlé petite Français – I speak a little French
  • Je ne comprend pas – I don’t understand
  • Vous parlés Anglais? – Do you speak English?
  • Pourrais-je double vérification s’il vous plaît que la salle est accessible pour mon fauteuil roulant? – can I please double check that the room is accessible for my wheelchair?

Whilst I thoroughly recommend the Michel Thomas method for learning some basics, Google Translate is also your friend!

Contact with the outside world is limited as the phone signal in many areas is absent & WiFi is at a premium. There is public WiFi in the main centre & in the play barn, but it us rather slow. We sent a few texts home just to confirm we were ok, but the disconnection from technology was rather welcome after the initial withdrawal! (Even these blogs were written in the late evenings & stored away until connection to the world was restored).

Noise, Comfort, & Bugs

The main centre was only 1 bus stop away (busses run every hourish around the main circuit with 8 stops on the circuit), and yet there was very little noise near our cabin aside from birds and local church bells. Peace is not at a premium here, and despite housing over 1000 chalets, it didn’t feel crowded until you got to the centre. 

The cabin has an enormous living space with an open plan kitchen, plenty of soft seating and two large dining tables (one inside & one outside) – these were used extensively in the evening for playing cards. The soft seated area has a large TV with news channels in a number of languages and several local French & German channels. This also has a DVD player. There are also TVs in both double rooms.

Although we stayed at the end of July /August, the heat was not oppressive & many of the days were overcast. When the sun came out & temperatures were around 27° there is plenty of respite from this in the forest walk. There is no air conditioning in the cabins, so we arrived with some desk fans – these serve several purposes: they kept us all cool at night & deter mosquitos as the breeze moves the carbon dioxide breathed out around and makes it harder for them to find you.

Having read many of the reviews on TripAdvisor, we packed a plug-in insect trap for each bedroom, expecting a deluge of flying beasties. In fact, with the same sticky strip plugged in for the whole 7 nights, only a small number were caught and we were bitten once, if that (and can’t be sure if that was at night).

Our cabin was however, not one that looks directly onto the lake, so that may have an impact on the volume of insects.

We were visited by a fair few insects, a surprising number of baby frogs, several cats, and a multitude of moths ranging for tiny pale ones to literal behemoths! 

Food, Drink, & Entertainment 

We ate out a number of times during our stay. We were rather confused by the reviews bemoaning how expensive the food was – the prices are quite typical of the area and the quality was really quite good considering the volume of people served. The pizza resturant was a pleasant surprise with freshly made pasta & even allowed me to order a children’s portion. The all you can eat buffet had a good selection and was restocked continually until end of service (the kids & adults were very taken with the ice cream & chocolate fountain!). 

The on-site Carrefour was mildly.more expensive than the one 15 minutes down the road, but on a par for things like fresh baguettes, milk, & butter.

One thing we discovered was the delivery service where for €25 they will deliver a whole rotisserie chicken with garlic & rosemary roasted potatoes to your cabin (or you can take them away). They cited that this feeds 4-6 people. We ordered 2 to be sure and eaten with baguettes and some salad, this lasted 2 meals for 7 of us!

There are tonnes of activities on site and whilst many of them are extra, which is expected in Centreparcs & no different to any other site, there are a number of included activities: the train around the park, swimming & waterslides, the petting farm, play areas, & woodland walks. These kept us entertained for most of our time and we topped this up with a few extra activities and a day out. The parc heavily advertises the local animal park & rightly so as it’s very nice. (If you book your entrance through reception, there is an offer of reduced prices).

The Bike Shack offers a range of transport hire from toddler balance bikes, to adult mountain bikes. There are some more unusual machines such as the adult + child tandems. One useful hire for those with reduced mobility is the electric bike which allows you to experience cycling without failing on the hills (of which there are quite a number). In addition to just cycles, there are electric golf carts for either 4 or 6 people. Unfortunately, by the time we had arrived, both the option of electric bike and golf buggy had gone as they had all been hired. We were told that these are bookable in advance online, although are still unable to find how on earth you book them online! Prices are also rather steep for the carts with a 6 seater being €280 for the week with an additional €500 deposit returnable required.

Thankfully, 3 of us brought our own bikes and I had my electric wheelchair trike attachment & off road tyres, so we were able to run errands whilst the others in our party used the little train. Overall, the expense of a bike rack & effort of transporting the bikes was definitely preferable.
Accessibility 

Getting to the cabin was a little tricky as whilst there is step free access, the slope to the cabin is quite steep with a hairpin bend. Navigating up by wheelchair was made easier by using my electric trike attachment, although the walking stick users were unable to get assistance aside from taking it slowly.

Once in, the cottage is very similar to the standard VIP cottage layout. The “accessible end” is the end with a twin & double room attached via a bathroom with Turkish bath (steam room / shower). In here, the bathroom is larger with a toilet rail – this is a single bar on the right, which appears to be standard across all disabled toilets. There is also a shower seat in the Turkish bath. For those with heat intolerance who sigh at the inclusion of a steam room & sauna in the luxury cottages, these both come with adjustable temperature settings, so we were able to enjoy the experience at much lower temperatures!

The layout of the cottage is open plan which makes navigating between areas easy and there is step free access out onto the decking. There is even a ramp down onto the grass. The kitchen is also open plan with the option of storing food in lower cupboards. The surfaces are at standard height, which suited us with only 1 wheelchair user, but meant that I couldn’t use the microwave  (which was above head height) or hob. These were small niggles negated by help from family and the easy to use dishwasher & large handle taps throughout. The addition of a Dulce Gusto machine was actually very useful as I could make my own hot drinks without the need to lift a kettle; buying the coffee & hot chocolate pods for this is highly recommended!

The double rooms aren’t particularly accessible in terms of wheelchair access, although we coped with this by shoving the bed over towards the wall a bit & me not using the dressing table (with 5 bathrooms, there was plenty of alternatives!). The twin room was much more suited to wheelchair access, however this isn’t suited to married couple use! 

Both ends of the cottage have whirlpool baths. With this in mind we packed my inflatable bath lift. Unfortunately, the bathrooms were not big enough to accommodate my wheelchair and close the door so I was unable to get in or out of the tub with any privacy. Neither baths had additional handrails which made this difficult for all people with mobility issues to use them. This was a shame & rather an oversight for a cottage specifically cited as accessible.
The real winner was the accessibility within the swimming pools. There are two disabled changing rooms with full changing beds & accessible showers to compliment the accessible showers alongside the main showers. To access these, you need to take your chalet key card to reception as a deposit & you are handed the key to open the changing room (“avet vous une clé pour le handicapés vestiaire si vous plait?“). In the pool area, not only was a hoist available, but as the main pool was stepless, a set of two water wheelchairs were provided for use by anybody who needed them. The lifeguards were happy to show us where the chairs were & had a supply of adult floatation jackets if needed (I have my own floatation belt & they radioed to other lifeguards that I was in the water in case I was uneasy about being in the water when the wave machine started). I was able to leave my own chair by the lifeguards station & be wheeled directly into the water, or use my own chair to go around the main areas to watch the children hurl themselves down slides, or the rapids, or along the water climbing wall!

Overall 

This visit has made me a centreparcs convert. The insular nature of the place perhaps stopped us from exploring & experiencing the area in the way that we usually do, and I was utterly content to remain within the parc grounds. However, we never once felt penned in, nor compelled to do anything other than relax and enjoy our time.

I can definitely see us visiting again.

Don’t Touch My Wheelchair

There’s been a lot going on recently and within those busy moments there are flashes of white hot fight or flight temper. As a rule, the flash remains in my head & I either bury it, or explain calmly after, but all flashes have a common theme: don’t touch my chair.

For ease of reading:
I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; a genetic condition which affects connective tissues throughout my body making them stretchier than they should be (this includes tendons, ligaments, skin, muscle, internal organs). I dislocate or sublux (partially dislocate) daily and it hurts. EDS comes with the extra fun of IBS (irritable bowel), POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia), and for me, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Because of the pain, hip & pelvis subluxations, and fainting I use a wheelchair pretty much full time aside from trips to the loo upstairs where I use crutches to drag myself the full exciting 5m.

So, my chair is my mobility, it’s my pain relief, it’s my route to remaining conscious! So why the anger? May I give this in a few formal requests? (I’m going to anyway, that was more to allow for a personified narrative – I could almost pass my SATS with that paragraph…)

Don’t push my chair without asking
Sam, my ever understanding lady summed this up in words even the 7 year old demanding to push me around like an oversized doll understood.
“You don’t push someone’s wheelchair unless they ask you to. You wouldn’t let someone puck you up without asking would you? It’s just rude.”
I make a habit of having my handles on the chair tucked away because I hate it.

Firstly, it makes me feel very vulnerable when someone physically moves me either unexpectedly or against my will.
Secondly, I generally have my hands on the rims & if you move me forwards without warning, I may still be gripping and you’ll have a dislocated shoulder, elbow, or wrist on your conscience.

Mr Geek forgot himself today and did just this. He whizzed me up a ramp onto the train without warning & faced a very stern don’t touch my bloody chair conversation. Mainly because I was tired, in pain, and having been in ultra-alert mummy in London mode all day couldn’t tell who was pushing and panicked.

Don’t  pin my pain on the aid that relieves it
My pain management team appear to be at a professional crossroads. If they were married you would probably suggest seeing a counsellor. Instead, they played a game of professional ping pong with my appointment which as a professional, I found deeply unsettling.
One of the ladies is a pain specialist. She is quiet, encourages my progress (albeit slow), advocates pacing and patience.  The other is a lead physio who is very much the opposite. She is an advocate of movement, and pushing through limits, and overcoming mental barriers. Personally, I find her overbearing and generally cannot get a word in edgeways.

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When I saw them this week I happened to be circling the higher eschalons of the pain scale. I find it difficult to articulate my needs when I’m breathing through it. I’d managed to explain jy fears about loss of sensation (boiling water on the foot) which was taken seriously, and lack of sexual function which was dealt with in true British fashion.

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Whilst demonstrating a move to help me open up my pelvis & lower back, she noticed that I was uncomfortable in the chair. And here it came:
We must get you out of that chair. Being sat in that is what is making your back hurt!” Now, to an extent I do agree. Being sat still watching a loud person wave their legs in the air for 45 mins makes your joints seize up. Anatomically, the seated position does put pressure on your lower spine. So I asked her how we would work on that.
What’s about standing up at work?”
We’re going with a no there; I’ve already fainted in my classroom twice this term despite being sat in my wheelchair  and that’s scary for both me and the kids. In fact, it’s what prompted me to get the reclining back for the powerchair.
Can’t you just walk around at home?”
I’d love to! It’s my ultimate goal to abandon the chair in the house, but standing feels like there’s glass in my hips & walking with crutches not only causes pain (and tears), but runs the very real risk of a fall as I can’t feel my feet & have to really focus on where I’m putting my legs.
OK then, but we need you to open up that area, so lying down flat as much as possible with lots of stretching”
Again, unlikely at work (Just picture that classroom scene!), but doable at home… but stretch as far as possible?!
Earlier, she’d been quite offended when I told them that my Stanmore referral was rejected due to waiting lists & I felt left in limbo. She scribbled  furiously whilst telling me sharply that she dealt with plenty of Hypermobility & didn’t need London telling us what to do (🚨🔔AWOOOGA! Alarm Bells!🔔🚨).

This all sounds like a cop out, but I know my body & that pain in my hips & back isn’t from the chair (unless it can time travel back to 2004 when my 1st disc went). I also know that pain is not gain with EDS, and when I “push through”, I end up damaging something.  I do push myself physically by hauling my arse to wheelchair racing & swimming each week. I use the manual chair when I’m not at work, self propelling to the point of exhaustion & audibly clicking shoulders.

I’m doing my best, but sitting allows me to function. The chair damn well stays. I will not be confined to bed & stop working so I can point my toes again.

If at all possible, I’d like to enter the building the same way as everyone else, not via an extra 1/4 mile walk and via the bins.

Part of our lovely day out in London was dinner (we had hoped it would be celebratory, but we won’t hear about vague thing we cant talk about yet until tomorrow or Monday). As a special treat, we’d booked a table at Marco Pierre White’s Italian restaurant on the South Bank. I was beside myself with excitement as I love some of the TV stuff he does.
The entrance was beautiful with just 8 minor issues – all of them steps. The solution was to walk to the back of the hotel where there is a ramp.

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And bins. And no clue on how to get in.

Once in, it was just bliss! The staff were helpful & made every effort to accommodate us. And the food. Heaven! I utterly second MP’S recommendation of the bolognaise pizza!

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If I need help, look where you’re going!
I started writing this blog post about 12.30 am & it’s now 3.15am. Why aren’t I asleep?! Well, earlier Mr Geek helped me down a curb by easing me down backwards, misjudged the height, didn’t see the hold in the road & the chair dropped down the height of the curb plus hole.

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As my wheel touched down, my left hip popped out (unusual, it’s usually my right side) & I yelped. And swore. Then used the chair to wiggle it back in & had a little cry. Painkillers were duly administered & I assured poor Mr Geek that it really wasn’t his fault. Yes, he’s a bit clumsy & cakhanded, but London appears to have not mastered the art of the drop curb yet…

… and where they have included a drop curb, Southwark  Council has a funny idea of the best place to situate recycling bins.

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12 hours and 3 doses of dihydrocodeine  & oramorph later and I still have knives in my hip and sleep arrives in 10 minute naps until the muscles relax & go back into spasm & wake me up again.

Other quick & easy ones.
Please don’t move my chair out of reach if I’m on the sofa. Ffs.

No you can’t ‘have a go in it’

Please don’t suggest adaptations, then get huffy when I say no. I know you’re trying to help, but I’ve got it set up my way and tyres “just” 1/4 inch thicker will rub against my skin.

Also, don’t touch my chair.

Spoon Theory In Action – Ireland Part 1

Today was an utter write off. This is not a bad thing my lovely readers, I just needed some time to wait for my next set of spoons.

Some days are better than others and require fewer spoons for basic things than other days, but I’ll be as accurate as possible…

The past 4 days have gone as follows:

Wednesday:

Spoons = 20

Got up & dressed : -2 spoons

Tried to book gp appointment online & failed because their website sucks. Phoned surgery to begin for an emergency prescription as I’d calculated wrong and only had 3 days of painkillers left! : -3 spoons

Supervised kids whilst packing own clothes: -3 spoons

Helped Mr Geek return the hired wheelchair & picked up back brace and lunch : -3 spoons

Ate lunch & helped kids sort out their washing : -2 spoons

Picked up emergency prescription & drove to airport whilst running late as Mr Geek got stuck on a work call : -5 spoons

Airport & flying fiasco : -6 spoons

Late night chatting with my bestest of best friends : -2 spoons

End of day 1 spoon count: -6

Thursday

Spoons = 14

Taking painkillers late meant staying awake until 2am with painsomnia which instantly deducted spoons because I woke up tired. -3 spoons

Woke up giggling as Bambi “tiptoes” down the stairs hollering for everyone to be very quiet. I’ve missed that voice!

We’re in Omagh and Mr Geek was heading out with Mrs Gypsytree to get some breakfast for everyone. I shuffled out to the kitchen to be presented with coffee by Mr Gypsytree and generally be surrounded by the 7 kids that we have collectively produced : -2 spoons

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Mr Gypsytree is about as close as having a brother gets for me. He is dry and pokes fun at me and attempts to come across as the big hairy man in my life, but has discreetly been my absolute saviour on a number of occasions. When he left for Ireland, I cried more than his wife did!

Breakfast returned with a shining example of why Mr Geek & Mrs Gypsytree shouldn’t be left unsupervised:

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Yes. That is a Batman Onesie. Ffs.

I nibbled my way through a croissant that made me feel nauseous whilst we decided what to do that day: -2 spoons

We decided to let the kids play until after lunch then we’d go out to the memorial gardens and the park. The kids were totally happy to race around the house just being them whilst we chatted in the kitchen. My eyelids were stinging from overdoing it the day before and I had to fight hard to maintain focus whilst we chatted (There were a few occasions where the eyelid fairies were hanging off my eyelids and I needed to prop them open). We haven’t seen them in 3 months goddamit. I will enjoy this!
-4 spoons

After lunch we wrapped me up in my jumper and blanket, got the wheelchair out and headed out into Omagh. Our first stop was the memorial garden which was far more moving than I expected. Reading the names of all those people with a mirror created for each of them (including the unborn twins) just made my heart hurt.

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By this point, I was cold. But the kids were still lively, so we carried on over to the park.
-4 spoons

The walk down to the park left me shivering (Northern Ireland is bloody freezing!), and yet the kids were happily parading around with our coats whilst I huddled under my shawl. The park was lovely and reminded me of the park that Mrs Gypsytree and I spent many damp summer holiday afternoons having car picnics at back home.

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I’ll hand it to Ireland – they really know how to do Autumn, and who wouldn’t want to be happy for these two:

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Eventually, the kids started showing signs that dinner would be appreciated and so we gathered the masses and started the wander (push) back home.
-3 spoons

Back at the house, pizzas for the kids were put in the oven and the menfolk were sent out to hunt for dinner (in Asda). Mrs Gypsytree provided sustenance to each child who promptly plonked their exhausted bottoms in front of a film whilst the adults pottered. This included me warming my various extremities on the radiator. (I was expecting to meet a polar bear at any point).
– 2 spoons

Kids weren’t so much put to bed as asked to go as it was kiddie Sleepover time, and they wanted to sleep!

The rest of our evening was spent eating baked camembert, bread & brisket (totally FODMAP friendly) and playing either Exploding Kittens or Adventure Time Munchkin.

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Some parts of our friendship never change. Time flies and before we knew it, bedtime had hurtled past us.
-4 spoons

End of day 2 spoon count: -10

…. to be continued 😉

Vom Air – the reason I will always fly with @easyjet

I will blog about our trip to Ireland, because it was just lovely. But for now, get some sweet tea and a strong stomach…

Today I flew home with my Sherlock, my bestest of best friends, Mrs Gypsytree. Mr Geek was on the other side of the aisle entertaining a very overtired Birthday Beanpole and equally knackered TinyPants  (I’d done parent duty on the way out). Despite entering the aircraft on a combo of wheels, sticks & hydrolic lifts, we were giggling like schoolgirls. We’ve basically never grown up and revert to our musketeer chasing teenage girl type when around each other. This kind of thing is good for the soul.

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Travelling is clearly not my thing. We are just destined to never have an easy journey anywhere and as I sat down with Mrs Gypsytree to start our giggly flight back to England we looked out for the person poor unfortunate soul we would be sharing the 3rd seat with. A single person, probably a business person flying back to the mainland?

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Cue lady with a huge flight bag who promptly falls over both of us & exudes alcohol from every pore. Said bag does not fit into overhead storage, mainly due to hand-eye-alcohol coordination, so I move and sit on Mr Geek’s lap whilst Mrs Gypsytree tries to help with luggage tetris.  Mrs Gypsytree tries ever so hard to make friendly conversation, but quickly realises that this is more difficult than maintaining high brow discussions with the three year old we’d left back in Ireland with Mr Gypsytree. (Whizzy’s opening gambit this morning was to stand on the high chair and shout “NO GROWED UPS! You must not have cake. Cake is not yours!”). I have no issue with drunken people per say. In fact, I have been known to be said drunken fool, quite often assisted into that state by Mrs Gypsytree herself. Just not on public transport. And not on a plane. There may well have been a genuine reason for her being utterly wrecked (aside from being in Ireland) and I hope that it was just a bit too much Dutch courage to combat a fear of flying. There may well have been another reason altogether, so I feel bad for being judgey. With that said, in uncomfortable situations, humour is coping mechanism no 1.

As we take off there is an odd odour and the lady appears to be curled up in a ball not looking well. We looked at each other with the realisation dawning on us that she was gently vomiting into the clear bag designed for customs right beside us.  Oh dear God, I bet that’s more than 10 ml. The seat belt sign was still on and so she had to remain, bag of vomit resting on her lap. We talk about our weekend plans firmly ignoring the alcoholic chunder cloud appearing next to us. There is a white elephant and we are doing our absolute British best to keep calm and carry on whilst discreetly providing her with all of our little on board ‘bags’ and napkins.

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Mrs Gypsytree decided to fight fire with fire and as the flight attendants came along, ordered a stiff drink. And we giggled that this was good material for my blog  (and indeed it is!). The addition of teeny tiny bottles of alcohol was clearly too much for our friend and she climbed over us again and headed for the toilets after briefly breathing over the flight attendants.

Shortly after, a wonderful member of staff called Tim asked if we were travelling with her, to which we just made pained faces and said no. “She seems a bit worse for wear?” He asked, making the understatement of the year, but being magically tactful to both her and us at the same time… we agreed and said we thought she might have had a teeny bit too much to drink & that she may need to be looked after as she was being sick. He pointed to some free seats near us and said we could move if we wanted. We decided to stick it out as we didn’t want to be rude to her.

Sandwiches and coffee were presented to her and to her credit, she did attempt to eat, but the rolling of the plane was just too much and we were treated to further discreet hurling. This proved too much for me (mainly the needing to let her pass every 10 minutes with additional bashing of my leg braces) so Mr Geek lifted me to a spare seat and Mrs Gypsytree moved with me. The young lady who had been enjoying a peaceful flight until then was ever so gracious about letting us move over with her. (If you are reading this and you are the lady in the niqab, your daughter is a credit to you).

Part of us felt terrible for leaving her in such a state, but a fair bit of me also now felt quite nauseous (I don’t need help with nausea thank you). With this said, as we moved we got the attention of the lovely Tim who to his absolute credit, continued to provide her with little bags & alerted people to her imminent arrival.

Sometimes, people need a thank you so we tweeted Easyjet thr instant wheels touched the ground. And they ‘liked’ it within seconds. A thank you is nice,  but a thank you via your bosses is something to go into your appraisal 🙂

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I hope he gets the thank you tweet, because he went above & beyond this evening.

With Mrs Gypsytree safely delivered to her mum’s house at just after midnight, we headed home. Despite being 1.30am and dreadfully past my bedtime, I’m still writing because Watson has returned to Baker Street without Sherlock. Whilst I can see how happy and settled they are in Omagh (blog pending – it’s a wonderful place), I miss Mrs Gypsytree more than I’d ever bargained for.

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I hate that most of my favourite people live so bloody far north, or a full plane journey away.  I hope that lady found her long distance friends ok.

Vom Air – the reason I will always fly with @easyjet

I will blog about out trip to Ireland, because it was just lovely. But for now, get some sweet tea and a strong stomach…

Today I flew home with my Sherlock, my bestest of best friends, Mrs Gypsytree. Mr Geek was on the other side of the aisle entertaining a very overtired Birthday Beanpole and equally knackered TinyPants  (I’d done parent duty on the way out). Despite entering the aircraft on a combo of wheels, sticks & hydrolic lifts, we were giggling like schoolgirls. We’ve basically never grown up and revert to our musketeer chasing teenage girl type when around each other. This kind of thing is good for the soul.

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Travelling is clearly not my thing. We are just destined to never have an easy journey anywhere and as I sat down with Mrs Gypsytree to start our giggly flight back to England we looked out for the person poor unfortunate soul we would be sharing the 3rd seat with. A single person, probably a business person flying back to the mainland?

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Cue lady with a huge flight bag who promptly falls over both of us & exudes alcohol from every pore. Said bag does not fit into overhead storage, mainly die to hand-eye-alcohol coordination, so I move and sit on Mr Geek’s lap whilst Mrs Gypsytree tries to help with luggage tetris.  Gypsytree tries ever so hard to make friendly conversation, but quickly realises that this is more difficult than maintaining high brow discussions with the three year old we’d left back in Ireland with Mr Gypsytree. (Whizzy’s opening gambit this morning was to stand on the high chair and shout “NO GROWED UPS! You must not have cake. Cake is not yours!”). I have no issue with drunken people per say. In fact, I have been known to be said drunken fool, quite often assisted into that state by Mrs Gypsytree herself. Just not on public transport. And not on a plane. There may well have been a genuine reason for her being utterly wrecked (aside from being in Ireland) and I hope that it was just a bit too much Dutch courage to combat a fear of flying. There may well have been another reason altogether, so I feel bad for being judgey. With that said, in uncomfortable situations, humour is coping mechanism no 1.

As we take off there is an odd odour and the lady appears to be curled up in a ball not looking well. We looked at each other with the realisation dawning on us that she was gently vomiting into the clear bag designed for customs right beside us.  Oh dear God, I bet that’s more than 10 ml. The seat belt sign was still on and so she had to remain, bag of vomit resting on her lap. We talk about our weekend plans firmly ignoring the alcoholic chunder cloud appearing next to us. There is a white elephant and we are doing our absolute British best to keep calm and carry on whilst discreetly providing her with all of our little on board ‘bags’ and napkins.

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Mrs Gypsytree decided to fight fire with fire and as the flight attendants came along, ordered a stiff drink. And we giggled that this was good material for my blog  (and indeed it is!). The addition of teeny tiny bottles of alcohol was clearly too much for our friend and she climbed over us again and headed for the toilets after briefly breathing over the flight attendants.

Shortly after, a wonderful member of staff called Tim asked if we were travelling with her, to which we just made pained faces and said no. “She seems a bit worse for wear?” He asked, making the understatement of the year, but being magically tactful to both her and us at the same time… we agreed and said we thought she might have had a teeny bit too much to drink & that she may need to be looked after as she was being sick. He pointed to some free seats near us and said we could move if we wanted. We decided to stick it out as we didn’t want to be rude to her.

Sandwiches and coffee were presented to her and to her credit, she did attempt to eat, but the rolling of the plane was just too much and we were treated to further discreet hurling. This proved too much for me (mainly the needing to let her pass every 10 minutes with additional bashing of my leg braces) so Mr Geek lifted me to a spare seat and Mrs Gypsytree moved with me. The young lady who had been enjoying a peaceful flight until then was ever so gracious about letting us move over with her. (If you are reading this and you are the lady in the niqab, your daughter is a credit to you).

Part of us felt terrible for leaving her in such a state, but a fair bit of me also now felt quite nauseous (I don’t need help with nausea thank you). With this said, as we moved we got the attention of the lovely Tim who to his absolute credit, continued to provide her with little bags & alerted people to her imminent arrival.

Sometimes, people need a thank you so we tweeted Easyjet thr instant wheels touched the ground. And they ‘liked’ it within seconds. A thank you is nice,  but a thank you via your bosses is something to go into your appraisal 🙂

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I hope he gets the thank you tweet, because he went above & beyond this evening.

With Mrs Gypsytree safely delivered to her mum’s house at just after midnight, we headed home. Despite being 1.30am and dreadfully past my bedtime, I’m still writing because Watson has returned to Baker Street without Sherlock. Whilst I can see how happy and settled they are in Omagh (blog pending – it’s a wonderful place), I miss Mrs Gypsytree more than I’d ever bargained for.

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I hate that most of my favourite people live so bloody far north, or a full plane journey away.  I hope that lady found her long distance friends ok.