Thursday, December 17, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting out and about

Last Friday I was out and about with Miriam and took the road to Buchillon. It was a bit nippy and my gloves weren’t exactly doing their job and my fingers got cold quickly. The colder they get, the more claw like they become and eventually flexing my fingers is impossible. I’ve already figured out how to hook my thumb around the control stick so that it doesn’t matter too much if my hand gets too cold.
As we came into Buchillon we found that Christmas decorations were being erected and Miriam decided that a photo opportunity was present. Miriam had me going from one side of the street to the other and turning this way and that. Then it was off down the steep hill to the lake to where I’m within an arms length of the water but with a set of steps in the way. That’s when I felt the cold and it wasn’t long before we were on our way to get some coffee.

08 12 2009
Took to the road after lunch today and having a bit of blue sky around meant it was warmer. Took the road through the forest, quiet, peaceful, tranquil, still. Words don’t do justice to the feeling as I ride through. I came out on the main road through Buchillon and instead of turning off to go to Migros for coffee, decided to see where the road led.
A short while later I could hear a tinkling in the distance, too soft to be a church and there was no actual tune, it was more, a whole lot of different peeling without any synchronisation.
I turned the next corner and there on the hill in front of me was a herd of cows. Each one had a cowbell hanging round its neck and as they walked and ate the grass, they played their own tune. First time in my life that I’ve seen and heard cowbells. Of course as luck would have it, I’d left my camera at home. Typical, Murphy’s law strikes again.

09 12 2009
Miriam loaded me up in her car and took me to Morges and I didn’t know where we were going until she stopped in a car park next to the lake.
Travelling along the lakeside is really great as I always get to see something different. There are bicycles galore, people running, dogs being taken for walks or people just taking a stroll. I have to say, some of the dogs are really nice, they bring their owners out in miniskirts and knee length boots.
As the sun was setting, an opportunity for more photos presented itself. We were at the right place at the right time…

Friday, December 4, 2009

To infinity and beyond

So, I’m taking this chair where it’s never been before. “To infinity and beyond”, as a certain space ranger would say.
I had a visit from social service the other day. It was a check on the power chair and what extras I needed and if I was happy and they needed to justify the cost. Apparently the cost was higher than they anticipated and they wanted to present alternative options. A different chair was presented and after a good look at it, it actually seemed a far better option for me and it was a good deal cheaper. Now all I have to do is wait for the demo model. I’ve been told that it isn’t as easy to pop a wheelie on this model… Watch this space. There’s also a Fifty at stake with Miriam and I’m not about to loose.
The last few days have been dull and grey but I’ve still managed to get out, even went passed the forest and found a track that looked inviting but Miriam chickened out. She said it looked a bit wet.
We did find a car park with what looked like a path down to the lake. There were a few signs proclaiming a public park with various times of opening and closing and a path with a gateway that was open.
I was through the gate in a flash and discovered that the pathway became a rock strewn track that descended at an alarming angle. I was past the point of no return, changed to low speed, tilted the chair back, so that I felt like an astronaut going in the wrong direction, and went for it.
At the bottom was another pathway leading off towards the lake but it was covered in wet leaves and was even steeper. I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk and spring/summer would be a better option when one could see the path clearly.
Going back up had it’s moments, slow speed is useless as there’s a distinct lack of power and with rocks and loose gravel the front wheels dig in and force you to stop. So, up the power, and suddenly there’s a bucking bronco hopping it’s way to the top, line up for the gate, and I’m back in the car park.
Still haven’t reached the lake though.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The crowing cockerel

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a two lunch dates with a difference. A while back Mme Gafner, one of the residents here, asked for an audience with me. Yup, not often that you here that term but when you actually sit and talk to Mme Gafner you realise that she is old school. I have no idea what her first name is and wouldn’t dream of using it if I did and that’s likewise for her with my first name. after listening to her, I have worked out that she is about double my age as she was at school in Italy before the first world war. Her children are way older than me… and I’ll leave the age thing right there.
The audience came about because for a few weeks we were table companions in the dining room until I moved to another dining area more suitable for my wheelchair. During that time I really enjoyed listening to her stories, her late husband was a member of the International Olympic Committee and she was able to meet many members of the various royal families and there were many funny tales. Mme Gafner was interested in my stories of life in South Africa and what I’d done in life and, when I changed dining areas the stories stopped.
So, at the audience we picked up where we left off and decided that we would have lunch every so often for a change of conversation.
At our first lunch Mme Gafner got to see my power chair and she was like a little girl with all the questions and she was clapping her hands and was so happy for me that I could get out and about. I even had to show her how fast I could go and I had to weave in and out of the tables and chairs.
A little while later we were chatting about the strange noises that one hears around the home, we have two concert pianists that have pianos in their rooms and we often have opposing music. Just down the passage from my room someone has a chiming clock that we all hear at 3 in the morning. I seriously want to find it and throw a brick at it; Miriam said she wanted to see me do that as she doesn't believe I have the necessary movement to actually throw a brick. Spoil sport, and so the clock is safe.
Then Mme Gafner told me about her new alarm clock. She said that she had received it as a gift and still has no idea how it works other than she had to put batteries in it to make it work. She's used to the Big Ben style wind up clocks. Batteries in, she set it up and left it on her night stand, then went to bed. At 3am she woke to the sound of a cockerel crowing. The night nurse came in to see if she had a bird in her room and together they looked but they couldn't find one. Then at 4am it happened again and again they were trying to find a bird in her room.
It was only at 5am did she realise that it was her new clock and by this time I was doubled over and ready to fall out of my chair, I was crying with laughter.
The clock has been turned off and the old one put back into service.
Life here's not always boring.