It really wasn't Tony's day, bless him. He must have wished he'd never had to pick us up this morning - though of course he did not know what was ahead of him when he turned upon our doorstep, extra large wheelchair and
his usual beaming smile at the ready.
All started well, the wheelchair with Mr B on board was loaded onto the Dial-a-Ride van and I scrambled in at the side door, with the walking frame and large Tesco's
carrier bag containing all we needed for our morning at Guild Care. I'd even remembered to pack the bag yesterday which proves something but I know not what.
The traffic was busy so Tony took the scenic
route via the sea-front. "It's just like the Mediterranean!" I exclaimed, gazing out at the blue sky, even bluer sea and the palm trees waving - or whatever it is palm trees do - in the breeze. Neither Mr B nor Tony commented on this; I rather think they both
felt I was being a trifle fanciful. Mr B, of course, having lived with me for so long, is used to my flights of fancy while Tony Is growing accustomed to me after just three weeks' acquaintance.
turned into the narrow road leading to the Guild Care Centre, only to find our way completely blocked by a lorry and skip being loaded with what looked like tons upon tons of rubbish generated by a complete house renovation. The filling of the skip was clearly
going to take some time. Poor Tony was looking harassed, Mr B was getting cross. Me, I said I'd just skip (for want if a better word) up the road and tell sweet Claire, who was expecting us, that we would be a little late but would be with her, Skip
Willing, as soon as possible.
I wonder who who decided to call a skip, a skip? It's such a jolly name, don't you think, and nit in the least appropriate. Do you remember me telling you about
how I introduced a new seagull / Downs logo to the Council where I worked. The previous logo, chosen apparently as a result of a competition among staff, was a five sided figure which was always described as "The Skip" bearing, as it did, an uncanny resemblance
to the object blocking our way this morning.
Eventually we made it, by dint of decanting Mr B and wheelchair from the van and trundling the last hundred yards or so to the centre. Mr B was remarkably
cheery when he met Claire but then he does like to put on the charm when called for. Or even when not called for.
You might well be thinking that was enough for one day - but when we emerged from the
centre ready for our homeward trip, poor Tony couldn't get the ramp to work. "Must be the battery," I suggested, sagely, having had plenty of experience of flat batteries of late, as regular readers well know. Gary, the manager of Dial-a-Ride, came out to
see what was going on just in time to hear my Not So Very Expert Diagnosis. It couldn't be the battery, he insisted, because the van had only just that morning been returned from being tested. Maybe it was sulking, I thought, but I didn't voice the thought
for fear of being fanciful. Again.
After a brief conflab it was decided that we should be conveyed home by a different vehicle, driven by a different driver as poor Tony was already running late for
his next pick-up. The new driver told me cheerily that he was new to the area so didn't know exactly where he was going but was sure I would be able to direct him. Mr B harrumphed from the back of the van as if to say "You'll be lucky, mate!"
You will be pleased to hear that our journey home was completely uneventful. What a shame Tony wasn't with us, it might have made him feel so much better. After all, don't we all have mornings when nothing goes right?
The kind of mornings you just wish you could, well, skip over...