Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Friday 10-10-08 Early morning.
Dawn and I went up to Carmarthen, to catch the 7.30 am train to London Paddington. Guess what, “it was DELAYED” 40 minutes.

Once on the train, everything was fine. We got put in the “FIRST CLASS” section.
At Neath, we met our friends Anita and Charlotte, the train gaurd had put them in a different section, so I managed to wobbly walk down the train (some EPIC adventure on its own!!). we spent the journey chatting away, so the time flew past.

At Paddington, we went to look for the 205 bus, to take us to Liverpool Street rail station, but just our luck, a bus strike was on, so the 205 was NOT running.
We found a taxi, (we managed to all of us (4) get into one taxi, the driver was brilliant, help us with our cases and explained our route.

Once at Liverpool Street, we got on the Stansted Express, to Stansted (where else ??) the train staff are excellent.

The Hotel SAS Radison http://www.radissonsas.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=RadissonSAS/integration/hotelInfo&hotelCode=STNZQ is EXCELLENT, very expensive – but you pay for quality (our stay was funded with a Grant from Ataxia UK http://www.ataxia.org.uk/ )

It was FANTASTIC to meet friends and fellow “CHATTERS”.
We got together for a meal in the “New York Grill Bar” http://www.radissonsas.com/cs/Satellite?c=Page&cid=1088746027157&language=en&pagename=RadissonSAS%2FPage%2FrsasHotelArticle&hotelCode=stnzq

The Conference was held in the Essex room, and was very interesting and informative.
During the coffee break and lunch we had time to mingle and exchange stories.

The Evening dinner was served in the Essex room, in here was the after dinner dance.
While this was on some of the CHATTERS got together for a photoshoot and a good old “CHAT”. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanroygbiv/

Sunday, we had breakfast (the food is wonderful, plenty of choice) then packed our luggage, said some EMOTIONAL good bye`s (made plans to meet up soon or at the conference in Manchester, next year).

4 of us, from ASW, Anita, Charlotte, Dawn and Alan, went to Liverpool Street Station and then on to the bus to visit the London Eye http://www.londoneye.com/
(I must say, London is busy busy busy and some, even for a Sunday it was busy, so what is it like in the week or on a Saturday).
Travelling London by bus is not to bad, as long as you keep your wits about you. All buses are “LOW FLOOR” with ramps for wheelchairs (only one wheelchair permitted to travel at a time).

At the London Eye, we paid £12 for a ticket (wheelchair user plus carer), escorted to the, very front, of an ENORMOUSLY LONG queue.
WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanroygbiv/
Each “capsule” has about 10 people, so it is very roomy in there.
The views are outstanding. The engineering, of the wheel is awe-inspiring.
It does seem to rotate fairly quickly, while your in there, but it doesn’t, of course !!.
Back on Firm ground, we made our way back to Liverpool Street (by bus) to fetch our luggage, from the luggage store, before finding another bus, to Paddington, to catch the train home, well for Dawn and Alan it was Cardiff, for Anita and Charlotte it was Port Talbot.
The train, from Paddington, was busy, so Dawn and Anita had to sit on the floor, and a miserable old woman insisted she wouldn’t give up her seat for anybody !!!

So this week, so far has been CHAOTIC, sorting out photos, from the weekend, uploading them to http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanroygbiv/
“Chatting” to friends (new and old) made at the conference. Emailing new friends. Plus trying to rest, after such an EXCITTING and ENJOYABLE weekend.
THANKS to “CHATTERS” and Ataxia UK http://www.ataxia.org.uk/

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