Saturday, October 8
The last time I stayed overnight with a friend was I think 4 years ago. They live in a nice house in Bath on a hill so from the moment we arrived it was hard work. I needed help up the path and then 2 men had to lift me up the front step as it was too high to bounce up. The door was so narrow I just about scraped in, and they had to remove a whole bookcase and shoe rack from their hallway so I could get in. At least the loo was downstairs, and I slept on the sofa. Of course their hospitality was wonderful because they are true friends, but honestly I so miss visiting people. I'm painfully aware how difficult it is, because most houses are not reality accessible. Id love to hop on a plane or train and just call someone and say can I come and stay for the weekend, but I don't. I don't want to impose myself or feel awkward and embarrassed. I know I would need some help at some time during the weekend and would need to be looked after in a strange country. I was once a person who travelled across Europe by train on my own when I was a student, but I don't have the independence or even quite the confidence I used to have what seems so many years ago. My wheelchair has taken that from me and I would be a fool to say otherwise. While there are people who travel the world and you hear these stories of them scaling the peaks of Nepal with a wheelchair, these are not solo travellers. Nearly all of them need a whole team of helpers.These days just taking a train to London is a huge challenge that I am frightened at overcoming and so my previous travels could be a lifetime away, they are 'another country'. I often feel very sad at the loss of the wider world and all those adventures waiting to be had but what I really miss is the opportunity to have opportunities and most of all I miss my friends that I now hold at a distance.