All aboard

As a child I loved trains, who doesn’t, well keep it to yourself if you don’t. So what a delight that the respite hotel we regularly go to is the Railwayman’s Convalescence Hotel. Yes, it’s from before women’s lib. Should be railway person really. It’s a wonderful place to convalesce or holiday. RCH Bridge house Dawlish. The best bit is you don’t need a link with the railway. Although I think if you have one you get special discounts; don’t quote me on that.

They have two downstairs rooms that are wheelchair accessible with wet rooms. They also have wonderful staff and great food. On this stay we organised some care from a local care company and the two Carers I have met so far are brilliant, experienced, friendly and a good laugh. I enjoy a laugh, I would think you can tell that. Hopefully I will get to meet them again on our next stay.

We were chatting to one of the RCH staff the other night and she said, “I suppose I’ll end up being in one of your books now.” I assured her she wouldn’t and I am true to my word. So I have decided to just blog about her. That’s not the same thing is it? She comes from another European country and when she was first here at Christmas, she said to the other staff, “when are we putting up the boobles?” Not a surprise that they were a little taken aback and unsure when or even if, such inappropriate things would make an appearance. That is until someone realised that it was a pronunciation problem and she meant “baubles. Christmas baubles to be precise.” Ah the misunderstandings of pronunciation. I remember when we first lived in Hartlepool wondering where and what the mooer was. Until someone explained it was the moor. It also took me a while to grasp that toe-ast is toast. Sorry to all my Hartlepool friends, one in particular, she knows who she is. I’ve digressed, how unlike me. I was talking about trains at one point wasn’t I?

I love trains, there we go, back on track, literally. Actually I prefer cars, but don’t tell anyone. Today we are off on a mini bus trip to Dartmouth a place we have never been to. Oops off track again. I have my sun hat, swimming trunks, sunglasses. Maybe a bit optimistic as it’s 7 degrees out there. I wrote this as we were just about to set off. Now I am back, sitting in bed and looking back on that day.

What a day it was. I wear a cheap version of a Fitbit watch. Yes I need to keep track of all my running, walking and exercise. Actually it was lying around the house and I needed a watch. The minibus we travel in takes about ten people and a wheelchair. There is a lift for the wheelchair and I am at the back. Unusually I have a good view all around. It’s a fair way from Dawlish to Dartmouth being bumped around in the back of a van. Fitness tracker watches measure distance walked by arm movement. Every bump counts as a step, about half way there my wrist buzzed and I looked at the watch. It was going crazy, lots of animated displays saying congratulations you have achieved 2000 steps. Well if only it had known I would have got an even bigger fanfare, 2000 steps without ever leaving my wheelchair! I have just upset everyone with one of these watches you thought you achieved 10000 steps a day, didn’t you?

Dartmouth is a lovely place and quite accessible. You need to avoid falling off the unprotected edges into the water, but otherwise it’s great. I really enjoyed the push and pull lower ferry. We had coffee at the URC church coffee shop, very accessible and nice coffee.

We went to Torcross beach next. Glad I brought my costume. OK so we were  just there to see the WWII tank and for a wheel along the front. Interesting story to the place about the practice for D day landings.

Before our return the minibus driver joked that we needed to pay or we’d be walking back. I said if you guarantee I can walk back I’d be happy to go for that option. Seems it wasn’t a real option after all. The return trip was as bumpy as the way there and I finished the day having done 3600 steps all without standing. Sorry Fitbit wearers.

I think I should at least mention trains. There I did. I don’t really want to recommend the RCH because then you all might go there and I will not find room. But it is an amazing place and we always enjoy our stay.

If you have enjoyed my blog please like and share.

Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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