There is nothing like carrying out a recce to avoid unfortunate and unexpected circumstances designed to thwart enjoyment.
Hence this afternoon, at the designated time of 3 p.m. exactly, I presented myself at The Neighbours’ front door, pushing Mr B’s empty wheelchair. It seemed sensible not to take Mr B along with me on this trial run, just in case we ran into
trouble which he might have found distressing or - far more likely - infuriating. If mistakes were to be made, then I preferred them not to be witnessed by the actual user of the wheelchair.
Yes, tomorrow is the day of Next Door’s Barbecue, to which we feel privileged to have been invited. All I need to do between now and then is to work out how best to transport Mr B from our house to their back garden. Regular
readers may remember that Matt Next Door and his Pa-in-Law came up with all manner of suggested methods of transportation, ranging from a zip-wire to a catapult. Sensibly (I can’t believe I have used the sensible word twice in three paragraphs, both
times referring to myself) I am opting for something rather more Tried and Tested.
I recovered Mr B’s slightly smaller wheelchair from the garage where it
has been slumbering peacefully ever since its owner left hospital. It still carries a brown label affixed to one handle, giving Mr B’s name and that of the hospital ward where he was imprisoned (to use his own words) all those weeks ago.
Mr B harbours serious reservations about this wheelchair on account of its being Arsenal colours. He, of course, supports Spurs who sport a different colour. Strange as it may seem,
this important fact completely escaped me when I purchased said wheelchair, being far more interested at the time in (i) comfort; (ii) manoeuvrability; (iii) braking action; and (iv) foldability. Sensible, did I hear someone comment?
Still, I am remembering the look of unadulterated horror on Mr B’s face this time last year when Jackie Next Door’s sister, Patsy, undertook to wheel him along the alleyway between the
two houses. Patsy, it must be said, knew exactly what she was doing and Mr B was in Safe Hands. Except that he didn’t know that.
Anyway, I am not as
strong or as determined as Patsy, so I was keen to find a way of negotiating a safe passage - as in, one Mr B would consider safe. Which was why I was standing outside Next Door with the Arsenal Wheelchair, portable ramps propped up against the fence all ready
should we need them.
Do you know, it was so much easier than I thought it would be. I don’t think we will need the ramps (though we will have them
just in case) and I was able to squeeze the Arsenal Wheelchair along the passageway without difficulty. Provided someone can take over and push Mr B over the grass for me, I reckon we will be Just Fine. Fingers crossed...
Because the recce was so much easier, and quicker, than anticipated, I was able to take a walk around Next Door’s lovely garden, investigate the plants in the greenhouse and enjoy a mug of coffee
on the patio. The sun was shining on us - let’s hope for more of the same tomorrow.
I reported back to Mr B on my successful Trial Run. He said that Time
Would Tell which must be one of the most irritating sayings of all time.
Everything will be hunky-dory, I said confidently. The route has been Tried and
Tested and not found to be wanting in any respect. All he needs to do is to sit tight and stay silent so as not to shake my resolve or disturb my concentration. There is to be no mention of Arsenal.
You know it makes sense.