Sorry to be late with this Blog, but I have been recovering from a quick, 4-day trip to London. As all RA sufferers will know, advance planning is the key to hassle-free travel. So I booked the wheelchairs, pre-ordered a taxi to get us into the city – what could possibly go wrong ??
Firstly, although Cork airport does have air bridges from the terminal to the plane, they don’t normally use them for reasons best known to themselves. This being so, I would have to avoid the stairs down to the plane by taking a wheelchair in the lift and out to where it is parked, then haul myself slowly up the plane steps. But this time, hooray – the air bridge was out and I could walk down the shute into the plane !
Aer Lingus only has one cabin class so they have put several rows of extra seats where Business/First Class should be. I find it really difficult to get to the seat near the window, and just slightly less of a squeeze to get in the middle seat. Sit in the aisle seat I hear you say ….. but then, as I have a wheelchair booked for Heathrow, I’m commanded by the cabin crew to stay in my seat till everyone else has left the plane. No problem except for the two people in the seat beside me who want to get out ! My RA has reached the stage where sitting and rising are quite painful and difficult for me so trying to do it in the face of everyone pushing for the exit requires me to grit my teeth and try not to swear too much !
The new Terminal 2 at Heathrow is brilliant and they have also got the new solid wheelchairs which make life so much easier and I found my taxi with no trouble. But although I was itching to get around London, see the shops, etc. etc. in reality I couldn’t walk very far and the pavements are quite uneven, forcing me to look where I am putting my feet and not in the shop windows ! After 4 days of meeting good friends and travelling by cab from one side of London to the other, I was absolutely exhausted. What I thought I could achieve and what my body actually let me do was not exactly the same thing and I will think twice before going on a ‘quick’ trip next time. I actually need a full day at each end to recover from the travelling and if faced with a late night (any time after 8pm !) I need an afternoon rest. In actual fact its worth saving up for a Business Class ticket to Australia because at least you have a bed and can sleep most of the way there and back !!
So now I’m home again, trying to catch up on everything and wondering how just a four day trip can generate so much dirty laundry ! But at least the dogs were pleased to see me after their trip to the kennels and husband Pat is here re-organising the house! It’s so lovely to be home !!

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The Kenmare Bay near where I live- a long way from London !

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