Monday, July 30, 2007


OMG time warp (on ebay??)

I have been, so busy, I haven’t had time to update, for a while, so much has happened !!!.
OK here goes:
Monday, out on my trike, early. Go to swimming lesson, (tutor, lesson, this week, tuor every other week, week in between-just a normal (practice ) swim).
Tuesday, 5.5 miles on tricycle, early am. Trip to gym, spend an hour going around the machines. A fairly tough hour, legs, feeling stiff (something that will last all week!!).
Wednesday, I attended a meeting in County Hall, Carmarthen. I met a few very useful contacts, within the council. I found out, some interesting information, from my visit. I also found out, which meetins, I can attend, as an observer, to which I was told “any that are advertised on the web” and as they know me, I can just “turn-up” don’t need to ring “ahead” to a”ALERT” them.
Thursday, Had an appointment, with the speech therapist, West Wales Hospital, Carmarthen. My journey, was (accompanied by Jason (nephew))
Drive to StClears, catch bus to
I was, glad to see the bus arrive, it was pouring down (very heavy, haven’t seen rain like it in a while !!.
It was AFTER, this journey, that, the driver, said that “wheelchairs, aren’t allowed on this bus ! THIS WAS AFTER MY JOURNEY and the bus had a wheelchair “SPACE”, Plus, as I explained, I had used this service, just last week!!
The “word, of the day” JOBSWORTH
Have some lunch, go around some shops.
Catch another bus, to the Hospital
See the Speech Therapist (got another follow up appointment, in 2 weeks)
Went to catch bus, back to bus station,
Just missed the “Wheelie” bus, had to wait 50 minutes, for the next one.
Got in to bus station, transferred on to a different bus, to travel back to StClears
Drive, home.

While, in Carmarthen, we went in to Waterstones, Bookshop, I asked about a book by Karen Darke-IF YOU FALL . ( I have been looking, for it for a while), they had one (apparently it is hard to get hold of !) I bought it. Karen Darke is the one I bought my wheelchair (Loamie) from, she lives in Scotland, and after a mountaineering accident, she is paralym msed although she has undertaken quite a few expeditions, including one across Greenland, with (and highlighted) by Andy Kirkpatrick-Phsycovertical, remember I went to his show, in Theatr Mwldan (last year).

Friday, Coleshill.
Brand New, computers, for the lesson !!! Very smart, Windows XP, all up to date, office 2003, 1024 mb ram,

Saturday, tricycle early (see, I HAVE changed, my routine!!!) 7.6 miles.
Went up to Cardigan, see a few shops, then went to have lunch at Theatr Mwldan, and go and see, the new Harry Potter, movie (with Jason, of course).

Sunday, out on tricycle early (7.00 am) 9.6 miles.
Came home and got ready, to go to Towy Boat Club, open day.
I was hoping to “have a go” at sailing in a small cater maran, but it was not in use. But we went in a small power/speed boat and a wooden sailing boat, so now it has made me MORE enthusiastic.
ALL the people, there, where very friendly, always asked if I needed any help (on any slopes, moving chairs, out of the way). I was offered to be taken out in a Kayak, but time wasn’t on my side, but the company, which “offered” me this, is local, so I will try a “follow up “ email (you never know). I had plenty of photos, including one, of me, club secretary and an (connstitunancy) AM.
It was very well attended, a VERY good afternoon.

Today, Monday, tricycle (early) only 4.5 miles. Weekly swim. When I went in the pool, for the first 20 minutes, there was only me in the pool !!.

As I have told you, I am part of the website team.
There, will be (soon) a section “Alans Adventures” so I can share other people, in(and out) of the community.

If you have been, following Geoff Holt you will know he is on the East coast of Scotland, one port, before his journey, back down the coast to Southampton. Which I WILL be attending (and putting my trip on

Saturday, July 21, 2007


FLOODS ---of ---NEWS ---

I am, now part of the Llanboidy website team.
A meeting (of said team) was attended on Thursday evening.

Next day (Friday) I was at Coleshill, watched another student (from another class) go through their Microsoft “Access” (Database) exam, so I could see, what it entails.

No Motability Roadshow , for me today !!!!
Closed roads and Train Stations
The Roadshow is in Swindon – FLOODS

My friend is up there, and he said its very WET !!!!!

Looked on the web, trains East (Carmarthen to Swindon) are virtually non existent!!!!

Important news

I have withdrawn my involvement, in submitting travel reviews to a disability website. As of Saturday afternoon.

I have other uses for my (enthusiastic) travel adventures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


BUSY 2, BUSY 2 or ACTIVE 2, ACTIVE 2 ????

My “induction” course, at the leisure Centre, went very well.
After, all the, health questions and general checks, I was found – very healthy – a good “starting block. (These tests, will, repeated, after 3 months, to check on my progress).
I tried out some, of the machines, I would be using (all with full tuition).
The “rowing” machine, will be left, for a few months, as I don’t think I my balance, is good enough to stay in an upright position, on the seat. I want to strengthen my “core” muscles, first.
I was impressed, at the attention to detail, of the control panel, of each machine, they are all identical and very easy to use.
My next, visit/session, is booked for next Tuesday, when a written programme, for me to follow ( or aim for) will be available, to me.

After, we went to Cardigan, to the travel agents, to check on some holiday, prices and destinations, so we can compare them to holidays, we can arrange, on-line.
We, also, called at Heritage Canoes,; where I bought a new paddle, one that is a lot lighter (and sportier), than the one I have now.
Their “new” shop, is OPEN (down by the river, by the “Heritage Centre”). The (main) opening ceremony will be on 4th August, during the Food and River Festival.

Wednesday, early (7.30 am), went out, on my tricycle, managed to, do 7 miles. As I couldn’t sleep and the sun was out !!!, I am thinking I WILL have to change my routine, to suit, the weather !!!. (As it CANT be relied on, to anable me to go out in the afternoon.
Today, it has been very warm (little breeze) managed to mow the lawn and go out, on my trike, for another 5 miles, this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


From BUSY, to Mind spinningly Busy !!!

Another, busy weekend !!.
After, Coleshill Social Centre, I had to research, and plan (a route plan) for a “adventure” !!!!
Drive, to StClears;
Catch bus, to Carmarthen (train station);
Catch train, to Cardiff;
Go to VUE cinema;

Train, to Carmarthen
Catch bus, (to StClears)
Drive home.
(All these, have to have, precision, timings, so as to follow, each other, without, long “connection/waiting” times)

Rang (Great Western Trains, assistance, helpline) booked train, for the morning (not the train, just assistance, on to the train!!).

Went to pick up Jason, that evening.

Saturday, morning. Made our way, to StClears, via, taking Dawn to work.
Waited, for the bus, it was “spot” on TIME.
Got to, Carmarthen, train station. While queing to get a ticket, a train came in. the operator, at the desk, told us (Jason and I) Carmarthen to Cardiff “is leaving, go and get on, I will get the ramp”
Got on, and away we go !! (train was very, very busy)
Every, station, MORE, passengers seemed to get on.

Cardiff Central, very busy (people every where)
Over, to, the “VUE” cinema; check the times, of the films, so we could plan the times of trains and buses (returning home).
The STAFF, in the cinema, where “exceptional” very helpful. We had some time, to wait, so we went out to explore, the nearby streets, and to have some lunch.
As it was Saturday, it was very, very busy, people, traffic, buses (as it was, the Bus Station, area).
Got some pasties, and drinks, sat in the sun (it was very warm!!). Then returned (to the cinema) to see FANTASTIC 4: Rise of the Silver surfer;
As, we opted, for wheelchair seats, with “a good” view (at the “top, Back” of the “room”) we were, taken via the “staff” lift, through the “service” tunnels and into see the film.
When it finished, we “rang” the disabled service “bell”, to alert them, to escort us to the main foyer.

After this we made our way to the train station, asked which platform (platform 3) the operator, radioed through, for a ramp to the train. We only had to wait “seconds” for, the train to arrive, again “PACKED”.
The conductor, was a friend, I haven’t seen for a while, so a conversation, was made, Plus I met a “colleague”, who was in the BBC Digital Story making class, at the same time as me,(she dressed as a “PRINCESS”, in the class!!) see her D/S at;

Got back , to StClears, straight, on the bus, returned, to the car, drove back, home. It was here, that when I parked, the car, in the drive, I reversed “closer” to the garage, than normal, on doing so, when I opened, the tail gate, I stepped back, away, from the “strongly sprung” lifting, tail gate, to be, up against, the garage door, result = hard metal, meeting chin, ending in swollen gum, lip and cheek, bitten tongue, bitten (inside) cheek, blood!!!
Jason, stayed with us, He was Sick, during the night, probably, due to all, the “rubbishy” food and fizzy drinks plus the excitement, of the day!!.

I couldn’t, sleep, so I went out on my trike!!!. Jason, had made a “miraculous” recovery, as he had, come out, on his bike, to meet me. (Kids, Hey??)
After breakfast, we loaded, the car, with paper and cardboard, to go to the re-cycling station, in Whitland.
We went, from there, up to Carmarthen, where we had a cup of tea and did some shopping, in Tesco. Jason went home with his mother, as we went to attend, an ATAXIA South Wales; meeting, in Coleshill, Llanelli.
On the way, we stopped at, Burry Port, to see the harbour. Very impressive. The tide was out and they where, digging sand away from, the entry channel, in to the harbour. At the meeting we discussed, fund raising and social events, plus we talked about going White Water Rafting, at Bala, North Wales:

Have a GOOD Time, to Tina, who is going, to Toronto, Canada (this week).

Today, (Monday) went to my swimming lesson. While there;,676 I had a look, at the fitness suite, I am booked in, to an induction course tomorrow (Tuesday). I hope it will help with my co-ordination (plus help me get the “looseness” back in my clothes) which is from NOT being able to go out on my tricycle, as much, due to the inclement weather. I also, tried to book, train assistance, for my journey, on Saturday, to the Motability Roadshow; , in Kemble. The operator told me to ring back, on Wednesday, when their, computer system, can “deal” with the booking, better ??????

My, driving, is getting, alot better, been driving a fair bit, but not in busy areas. All my, bus journeys are FREE, plus I have a Disabled persons rail card, for discount, on the train.

For, two days, I haven’t, looked at the internet, until, the evening/night, so I have been “pleasantly” surprised, to see Geoff Holt make, some more, progress, on his expedition. So far, he has been able to sail, to Isle of Man and on to his next port, (in Scotland)

I have had numerous, reminders, to attend, a meeting, for Llanboidy, website; , (on Thursday). It has Not, had the input, from the community, in recent times, A THING I AM GOING TO CHANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am STILL, WAITING, FOR A 36 (or even 48) hours, to be “the normal” day !!!!

A long post !! (Thank You save / copy / paste.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I have made, my FIRST BUS JOURNEY (for at least 30 years).

I rang the bus company, (First Group—so apt !!) this morning, to ask what type of bus access, was on the route I was going to use. I was told, it was a LOW FLOOR—not ULTRA LOW FLOOR.

The LOW FLOOR, bus, can lower it self, close to the kerb, BUT not as low as the ULTRA LOW bus. I explained, that I could “walk” or “stand” a little, and I was assured that my journey, was possible. So off I went to catch the 11.30 am from StClears (I had to drive there, and park the car in the car park, opposite the bus stop.

When the bus came, the driver had been told, that I would be travelling. The “ramp” on the bus was NOT working (I was informed, of that, when I rang, so I was prepared). The bus “lowered” the remaining “gap” was only a few inches, I got out, and pulled the chair, on to the bus, plenty of passengers offered to help ( but I was OK).
Travel is FREE, for concessionary card holders, in Wales.

Once in Carmarthen, Bus station, the bus “lowered” to help me exit, again, I pulled “Loamie” over the ,small, gap.
Spent a few hours, in town, before my, return trip.
Used the lift, up to “Friars Park” went to Argos-The works, then trek over to the Market- Next ( the menswear is upstairs, NO lift ???) back via Waterstones, over to BHS, for a cup of tea, then down to W H Smiths (they have a 3 for 2 offer, on books) back to The works and down the lift, to catch the bus, home (or to StClears).
The (222) bus came in, my turn came to enter, again, pull “Loamie” in !!. The driver said, the ramp, on this bus does work, some don’t work, at some of the “new” “high Kerb” bus stops???.
Back in StClears, the driver “lowered” the bus, he was so close to the kerb, I could (stay in the chair) and slowly “wheel” over the, very small gap/step.
Back to the car, and drive home.

I Thanked, the Drivers, who were very pleasant, plus any passengers, who were on the bus, at the same time, as me.
I now, know what to expect, and can plan some more journeys, combining bus and train travel in to journeys.
Like it says DON’T STOP ME NOW
Practice Makes Perfect.
When I got home, I was able to go out on my tricycle, as the sun has come out, FOR A CHANGE!!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Very busy (and exhausting), weekend.
Got off, the (Coleshill) bus, in StClears, fetched my repeat prescription, from the chemist, then went to visit Dawns sister, and pick-up Jason.

Couldn’t sleep, so went out on my Tri cycle at 6.45 am (Saturday). Came back, got ready (and swapped over the wheelchair, so I could take the RGK for a trail) and we went to Theatr Mwldan to see Shrek the Third. A pretty good film for all ages !!.
Had lunch (small picnic) at the NEWLY opened PRINCE CHARLES QUAY, in Cardigan (bottom of Grosvner Hill)
Returned home, to get the Kayak, and the wet-suits, off we went to Amroth. The tide was NOT that far out !! The sea was warm, even though it was “breezy”, it wasn’t “that rough” just a few waves.

We were out on the sea (not very far out) the wind was getting stronger, enough to keep blowing us further along the beach, so we decided to “call it a day”.
After we got changed, it was quite warm, in the shelter, of the car, Jason went home, with his mum, so it saved us doing a “de-tour”, through, StClears, as we take the “back” roads, home (only 12 miles).

Got up early, Sunday, but we were going to Ashton Park, Bristol, to see a friend, take part in the Charity “SUN WALK”.

WELL DONE BETTY—3 hours (3 minutes)

While the “walk” was, taking place, we went over to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
A masterpiece, of engineering, very high (from the river). Didn’t go across, on foot, as I didn’t like the “”look down””!! plus you can feel (and see) the movement, from cars travelling on the bridge.
On the gorge cliffs, we could see, rock climbers (apparently they are there quite often.

Back to Ashton Park, to see the competitors, return.

After, we went along to “Cribbs Causeway” (a very BIG shopping Mall). We have been there, a few times before, but its size, still impresses.
I managed to buy some sandals, for the summer (when it gets here!!). A pair of Skechers, Fisherman, grey with elastic and Velcro straps (I cant manage laces!!).
I also managed to get a copy, of, canoe and Kayak, magazine I have been looking for a copy, for a while, we sourced it at W.H.Smith in Cribbs Causeway, the newsagents, shop, is huge (and the magazine was in with the “boating” section?????.

Got home about 8.00 pm ( I drove from StClears).

Today (Monday) mowed the lawn (very untidily) just a quick going over, before it rains (we have a self-propelled motor mower, so I just have to walk behind it !! must look funny, as it goes fairly fast.
Swimming Lesson, went very well, swimming on my back, without a float (I am a bit too late to enter the 2012 Olympics, may be the next one !!!!!!!!)

By the way, Geoff Holt is still, weather bound, in Abersoch, North Wales.

Soon as I can ,I will post photos on and

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Withdrawl..postponed by TV Programme

Digital Story

“Keeping Positive”


Alan Thomas

To Be Shown on

BBC 2W @ 9.55 pm


12th July 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Another Week of WITHDRAWL !!!

The weekend, hasn’t been very interesting!!

I managed to write a few emails (and write an update for my blog). I save them on to memory stick, then copy and paste them (to the correct pages, when I get my internet connection, at home).

Saturday, It poured down BUT HEY-- SKIN IS WATER PROOF !!
We went to Carmarthen, to see the Local Food Market, which was being held (OUTSIDE) but, some had been re-located in the CivicHall, Nott Square. I couldn’t go in to the hall, as the staff couldn’t get the “lift” to work.

Next, day, we went to Tesco, Haverfordwest – shopping, then we went home, unpacked then rang Jason to see if he wanted to go and see Shrek 3. We didn’t see the film, as it was sold out !!! (we will try another day)
We went over to Poppit beach to have a cup of tea and see the “new” disabled beach platform.

While in TESCO, I asked the staff, to display (an advert, for ) and was told “ we had to take down our community Notice Board – due to Health and Safety rules” ?????.

My photo was in the Western Telegraph (newspaper) last week, I have a copy on GO SEE IT!!!!!.

Swimming, Monday, Just a “swim with out a tutor” I think I “over done it” my shoulder is very stiff today !!

Planning some travel, for the near future.
Sun Walk, Ashton Estate, Bristol (8th July) (to support a friend, who is taking part)
Train to Swindon, to the Motability Roadshow (21st July)
Bus and Train to (various) places in Wales
Carmarthen County Council (meetings) County Hall, Carmarthen.

Major plans are for a “long weekend” in Barcelona, at the end of September / start of October. We can get a (cheap) flight, there and back, just a hotel, to find. The City, is big enough, to have a short stay at one end, and then come back, for another short stay, to explore the other end, of the city.

As, my BLOG, says,
I have WITHDRAWL SYPTOMS, from my “following” Geoff Holt (he is WEATHER BOUND, in North Wales.
Plus my opportunity to go out in the Kayak, has been NON-EXSISTANT – due to tides, weather and shortness of time.

and going out on my “mission” tricycle, but I have managed to go out for short runs, in between showers !!!

Just to mention, I have seen, the film An Inconvenient Truth, a few times. I think that it should be shown to a wider area (some schools, show it during lesson time !!

The next meeting of Ataxia South Wales, will be in Llanelli on Sunday 15th July.

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