No, I haven't turned into a witch, as tempting as that may sound. What I have turned into without quite realising that I had, is a frail old woman. And, as such, I am considering all the issues that being in such a state affects.
This may well be my last overseas trip.
I'm in London for three weeks. I had visions of cultivating my inner flaneur. The ugly reality is that mobility issues have loomed large.
I knew I had a leg problem. My physio and I have been working hard on it. This travel challenge has overwhelmed all that!
The right abductor muscle that could be managed in my home environment is causing big problems in an unfamiliar environment with many, many stairs to climb, hard surfaces to stand on, and much walking to get somewhere. And doing all that in the biting cold rain is not my idea of a fun time.
So this is somewhat of an ode to my collapsible walking stick, the one that I bought at a local mobility store in my home town for about $35. It folds into about 6 pieces and easily folds into a small backpack. When the pieces are re-assembled, the stick is solid as a rock. It is also adjustable to about 6 height positions. It is highly decorated in bright floral designs.
I have nothing against my stick. I just did not expect it to be quite such a support before I turned 60.
Things I now have to consider include:
- Can I get there on one tube line or will I have to change lines involving stairs everywhere and long tunnels? Would I be better going by bus?
- Can I get a seat on the train, if not on the station? People are very kind to people with walking sticks and I get a seat most times. I need it.
- Will there be seats where we are going? The National Gallery has the pick of comfortable gallery seats, but sadly not in all rooms there.
- Will there be a comfortable cafe so I can recover from the effort of getting to the venue? Sadly, cafes come with divine cakes. How far to the cafe?
- How many things can I realistically do without collapsing in exhaustion? What do I drop?
- How much work do I have to do to adjust to this, to get my head around all this? As my dearest first born says : "It is what it is, Mum".
I am not a person who would contemplate group travel. And the reality is that I could not keep up with a group.
My husband has been a tower of strength and it is hard to convince him to let me sit and for him to potter off and amuse himself. I am happy to sit and wait.
My blog motto of ageing gracefully under fire has certainly been put to the test.
Still, I am having a wonderful time, despite all!