Tuesday, October 14, 2008
EXCITING EMOTIONAL "HIGH" Confenece
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/
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
JOBSWORTH !!!!!!!!!!!!! (or me on my SOAPBOX??)
Last week, I checked the tickets, the return journey was wrong !!!.
I went to the station, who insisted, that because they were advance tickets, they were non refundable and could NOT be changed, plus the (later) train I wanted to go on, was fully booked.
But if I wanted to go on this (later) train it would cost me an extra £60 (even though it was FULLY booked ??
I came home and rang the assistance help line, I explained,, and the reply was “why wasn’t an OPEN ticket issued?” and told me to go back to the station and insist that they change it. As they were aware of the travel requirements.
Today I went to the ticket office, in the station, the same counter operator, who booked the tickets, was NOT going to make any adjustments, to the tickets, unless I bought NEW tickets (and pay the second time) !!!
After a while, they walked off and I could hear them talking on the phone (inaudibly). They came back (without a word) and started “BANGING” the keyboard.
After a long silence, was told “there you are Make sure you are on the proper train and next time book the correct one in the first place”
What happened to an apology ???
Didn’t I give the proper information, to start with ???
Monday, October 06, 2008
Meetings---CHAT--Wheely Wobbly Walk--
Been attending, a lot of (important) meetings at Coleshill http://www.coleshillsocialcentre.org.uk/ (as well as updating, the website)
As well as other meetings at County Hall, Carmarthen. http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/eng/
Managed to get a sail at the Boat club http://towybclub.blogspot.com/
Many a friend has been made, via our Ataxia (Virtual Branch) CHAT meetings http://www.ataxia.org.uk/page.builder/virtual_branch.html plus many of us CHAT to each other via MSN, a lot of us “CHATTERs” are going to the Ataxia UK conference, in Stanstead http://www.ataxia.org.uk/page.builder/events.html (this weekend) WOO HOO WOO HOO.
Friday 26-9-08, went to receive a cheque, from the Llanboidy Darts team, who raised funds, that was, equally, divided between Arthritis Care http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/InyourArea/Wales and Ataxia UK South Wales Branch.
Saturday 4-10-08 picked up Jason, on the way to Carmarthen train station, to query my journey tickets, for the trip to the conference
While we waited, in the queue, which was very “still” we decided to get on a train, too Cardiff !!!!
There was a large football match, taking place, in Swansea, which meant the train was full, and even more passengers got on, along the way, my our “cramped” space, on the train, was by the EXIT door, with people holding on to everyone else, for balance (I HAD A SEAT !!!).
Once in Cardiff, we decided to go to the cinema, to see if there was anything we could watch. We settled on Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging http://www.angusthongsmovie.com/intl/uk/ a funny film, TEENAGERS can relate to all the items, in the film.
Plus Angus (the cat) must be in THERAPY, now!!!
Sunday 5-10-08 South Wales Ataxia, “WHEELY WOBBLY WALK” Mumbles, Swansea. http://www.ataxia.org.uk/
Keep an eye out for a photo in the Carmarthen Journal. A photographer, from the PRESS, was there to “see us at the start”
A GREAT, afternoon. Weather was good, dry, with a COLD wind, but it was very enjoyable, we collected a fair amount of money (collection tin, money, to be counted and confirmed) plus all the sponsor moneys, will get collected.
At the end, of the walk, we had a lovely meal, at the Woodmans pub/restaurant.
All members must THANK, the chairwoman, for the arrangements.
WOO HOO WOO HOO conny conny conny this weekend.
Photos on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanroygbiv/?saved=1