Hi, in my usual manner, in my last blog about twins eating each other in the womb and the particular significance of this to my little bro Ali, I forgot to stay, for those of you who don’t already know, Ali is left handed. If you haven’t already read my last blog you will have to read it to understand what I’m on about!
I’ve also realised that I’ve not really said much about the family holidays we used to have. I know I’ve talked about North Wales, but we also had some great holidays camping in France. It got so it was difficult in Wales for me, as much as we loved going to the cottage, it had a lot of very steep steps and stairs which I eventually found it was impossible for me to climb.
Anyhow, Mum and Dad (well the OSO really) decided that camping in France would be a good choice. They used to go camping a lot in Brittany before they had us and took their own tent so they knew all about camping, also camp sites tended to be on fairly flat ground otherwise everyone tended to roll out of their tents at night which was only fun for the first time or two then it got tedious! This was obviously going to be easier for me to get about.
Before I got my powered wheelchair I had a trike which was brill. I really couldn’t ride a two wheeler so this trike had a motor which kicked in when I struggled to go uphill (to be honest at times just to go at all was a struggle) so I could take the trike with me on holiday whilst Roger and Al took their bikes.
One time though I did cause a bit of consternation when I went round a corner too fast and tipped it over and went flying, but hey ho!
Actually the facilities on the big camp sites were very good for people with disabilities as everything did tend to be on one level, even things like the showers and toilets, they also had great facilities like great swimming pools and kid’s clubs which we could all go to in the mornings. We also used to make loads of friends because there were lots of other children there and they never bothered about my disability at all, we just all got on.
The OSO always tells the tale of how one year (I must have been quite young ‘cause I was still sort of still walking a bit) anyway a whole crowd of us were playing a bat and ball type of game, as Mum put it; all the other kids were playing bat and ball and I was just wandering around in the middle of the game with my arms up in the air. The grownups (whilst slotting down French plonk) watched this for a bit and eventually Mum asked
‘Martin, what are you doing?’
‘Well I’m the net of course’ was my reply
Adults can be SO stupid especially when they’ve had too much wine!
Actually I always found that young people were never phased by my increasing disability, it was the adults who struggled and treated me as stupid when in reality it was the OSO who was lacking in the old grey matter!
When we went camping we always went to the sites where there were huge frame tents which took the whole family and they were already put up so we didn’t have to struggle when we got there. What was even better was that they did a miniature version of these tents which we boys could sleep in, we thought they were brilliant. We all loved our camping holidays, they really were such fun, they were cheap and cheerful, but we all loved them!