Thursday, 16 September 2010

Frustrated driver!

Spontaneous travelling doesn't really happen to me. I now have the Gogo, I can travel 5 miles (or 2.5 each way!), a wonderful 5 miles more than ever before! But I'm also learning to drive.

I love my driving lessons; I have a brilliant instructor Diane, who deals very well with my panics and lack of road knowledge which are becoming less often and more fulfilled with each week. After 10 months of lessons (many had to be cancelled because of health or money) I'm getting to the point of frustration now.

This was never more evident than Saturday. Mike and I set off to travel to Hastings, to see his family, help with some D.I.Y and a surprise hair cut for yours truly! We got from Southend to Westcliff (a matter of seconds difference between the two) to hear a marquee had cut out the power to Fenchurch Street.

M was f*ing and blinding, but we walked back into town and got the Southend Victoria line. After some train hopping we finally made it into Hastings 5 hours later; a journey that should take 3hours on a train or an hour and a half in a car!

I don’t tend to travel outside of Southend unless Mike’s home. Several times I’ve booked ramps with train services so that I can get on and off them easily and have got to my destination only to find that there’s no ramp and I’ve had to hobble off the train with the help of several kind strangers, it’s just lucky that I am able to take a few steps when needed or to put it better; I have no choice.

January 1st 2020 I will be 36, this is the date that all trains/stations according to the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 have to be accessible... only another 10 years. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad it’s happening with a goal in mind but two things... how do disabled people live and work in cities like London? And secondly it doesn’t help me today.

Today I was meant to be travelling to my Great Uncles Funeral in Devon. We were meant to be driving but my Dads car has becoming very unreliable, so it was decided that trains were the way forward (and back again)... and guess what the lines we need to take aren’t accessible and as I’m mid relapse a few steps aren’t advised. So I’m not going... I really need to drive!

L x

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