30.12.17

Stacie on the road:- “Holland...”


After our amazing experience at "The Fat Duck" it was time to do our first "driving road trip" abroad to the most lovely Holland. Up until now we had flown, trained, Euro tunnelled [minus car] and Ferried to Europe, we had decided for Holland we were going to take the car and drive and this meant taking the car via the Euro tunnel something we had yet to experience so were unsure how easy or smooth it would be and then once in France we were to drive all the way to Holland. This has to be our favourite way of travelling so far! So simple and easy and it meant no faffing around for me or getting in and out of cars and certainly no heavy lifting or transitioning for Mark to do. You simply check in, get your letter, wait for your call, go in line and drive on the train. Simple as that. 

The drive to get to Holland was okay it was 3-4 hours long which is something we're used to as we do the drive from Norwich to Swindon so regularly. Although saying that all i have to do is sit there and I get to sleep I'm not actually doing any kind of driving LOL, poor Mark. We made though and our abode for our time in Rotterdam was the lovely SS Rotterdam. Yep that's right we were staying on a ship! It was really lovely and I didn't feel cramped like I thought I might having experienced a Ferry I thought it might be similar but it wasn't. We weren't that lucky with the weather when we arrived, it was bitterly cold and quite wet but that was not going to stop us. 

Rotterdam is probably the first place I've experienced that is very wheelchair accessible, it is drop curb galore there and the pavements and roads are simply amazing for wheelchairs. This is likely because it as a city is so new they've been able to think about that in the new building works as they've gone but it really did impress me. Me and Mark really had no plan for Rotterdam really other than to visit our lovely friend who lives there whilst we were there so it was a wonderful experience to simply wonder and take everything in. What struck me most was their amazing architecture and how unusual and modern it was. I came to learn that the city was basically flattened in the war and they've had to basically rebuild from scratch which has given the freedom to become a hub of architecture. Their building really are something amazing to view. They still have some history in there though as you walk around you capture some parts of what used to be and thought that was lovely. 

I think me and Mark were extremely lucky to be visiting our friend whilst we were there because it meant we got to experience some REAL Dutch-ness! Our friend is in a choir, a quite unique choir by the name of "The full breasted choir" and she had invited us to see her perform whilst we were there. We of course were never going to pass up the chance especially as we have no idea when we would ever get the opportunity again and it was quite simple AMAZING! We got a very Dutch experience that night something a normal tourist would probably never have the opportunity to experience and honestly can't thank our lovely Johanna enough for inviting us along because it was so much fun. We spent the rest of the evening at her home where she had cooked us a lovely dinner and Mark was beside himself as he was in a real Dutch house and for him that's like being a kid in a sweet shop lol.

The day after was our designated Amsterdam day. I was so excited for Amsterdam. We have discovered however that Amsterdam is not the most disabled friendly place on earth and is certainly a place you have to consider very carefully if you're a wheelchair user. Trust me when I say it is not a place that you see many wheelchair users rolling around and for very good reason. We did have a lovely day though we managed a boat ride which the captain of seemed to take offence at having to move a few seats to accommodate my wheelchair and was rather aggressive in his movement of them but I did not let that deter me from enjoying the ride. it was love to see the whole of Amsterdam from the boat, it was all quite picturesque. 

We did experience a couple of blips you could say on the day, firstly was our trip into the red light district. Now I was excited because well I find the idea of the red light district so intriguing! Just all these people going along their merry way just popping for a quick shag here and there or a couple of women just doing their late afternoon dildo buying or a gaggle of young men having a fag and drinking a coffee whilst appreciating the latest naked woman in a particular window. Is that not fascinating to you?! Well I was amazed and wanted to document it and in so doing may have angered a particular prostitute in a window who very clearly did not want her photo taken and therefore came running after myself and Mark and ultimately threw a bottle of water at Marks head :-/ (She missed lol.)

Our next blip was the train on the way back. When getting the train they want you to give them an hours notice and simply me and mark were not in the mood, there was a train on the platform 10 minutes from leaving and we were not going to wait an hour just for someone to pull a ramp out that we could do ourselves. So in all our 'wisdom' we decide to catch said train. Unfortunately the lift to our platform was hidden and it was like trying to find the door to Narnia so we only just managed to make it to platform in time which basically resulted in me jumping out of my chair onto a ram packed train, collapsing unable to stand again as my legs simply would not work and Mark basically throwing a wheelchair on top of people before the train was about to take off. There was a lot of shocked people looking at us in a very odd manner LOL. It all worked out in the end though :D 

The following day Mark and I were meant to head off to Brugge and I was so looking forward to it as I've heard absolutely lovely things about Brugge but when the Morning arrived my Rib/muscles seemed to have other ideas. I had a massive crack occur on my right side and when I say crack I'll try to explain to you. Imagine your knuckles feel like they need a really good crack... well something like that only afterward there is no relief or feeling of "ahhh" it is just pain with every movement I make and every breath I take in so it was decided we were to head home a day early rather than further risk hurting myself any more. It's so frustrating when things have to be cancelled especially when it seems to be for something as stupid as a rib or a muscle. But there you have it we headed home in anticipation for our already planned next adventure which we could get excited for whilst I recovered again :)  


As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon

14.11.17

Stacie on the Road:- “The Fat Duck...” 


I know guys this post is far too late really and should have been posted a week ago but you know things happen, I've been poorly and basically just a bit lazy I'll admit. 

Right so where to begin? Well we all know I've been trying to do and accomplish as many things as I can and on my list of things to do was "The Fat Duck." The Fat Duck is Heston Bulmenthals restaurant located in the lovely Berkshire and is more of a dining experience than just a meal at a restaurant. The reason it's more a bucket list type of event is firstly the price at £275 per person so it's a lot of money for what is essentially a meal but it's also a bucket list type event because for me it really is only something you do specially. Heston's restaurant only sits 42 people so very intimate and is always booked a year or more in advance so I really never thought I'd be able to actually get in and experience it. My amazing human however managed to sweet talk his way in and fortunately they were able to fit us in and gave us two date options and we decided November 3rd worked out perfectly as it was the day before we were to head off to Holland. 

In the lead up to going we had communication with the restaurant and they had questions about us and things we liked and generally just little bits about us which we later found out was essential to the meal and the journey we were about to partake within The Fat Duck.

The Fat Duck is located in a little village and it's all very quiet and cute and Mark and I actually had trouble locating the actual restaurant as it's very well blended in with it's surroundings, extremely inconspicuous and felt a little bit like heading into a secret place and it continued to feel that way when you stepped through the door, all four walls were mirrored and you couldn't see a restaurant at all just a person waiting for your arrival, it all felt a little mysterious. They slide the back wall aside and you were greeted by a small chatter of people and a cosy room, it all looked lovely. 

I think I could walk you through each and every course but that would make this blog about a billion hours long or at least the 4 hours it took to eat it all LOL so a summary is what you shall receive. I'm going to preface this with a confession, I am a fussy eater... Now there will be those reading this going "What?! Then why the hell would you want to go to Hestons?" and I will tell you why people; because I wanted the experience it's something that looked so fantastic and ultimately I thought I could potentially expand my culinary horizons and try new things and maybe even find things I enjoy. It really was all about the fun and the ultimate and overall experience for me and it was something different for us to do. Expensive... yes! But for me I thought it was going to be worth it and I really think it was!  

The courses, there was 16! Yes 16! The first being for me a mojito puff ball that was nitrated and was actually lovely and really was a wonderful palate cleanser so I thought "Oh Yay, I might actually like some of this stuff!" but then the next was a beetroot and horseradish ball of nothing that tasted icky so my initial hopes were dashed quite swiftly lol. We had dishes that literally tasted of the Sea with music to listen to. Breakfast where you didn't have to choose between a cooked breakfast or cereal and with this came boxes with games and things to assemble. We had tea that was both hot and cold and made my mouth feel weird, continuous fish just a lot of fish. By course 7 both Mark and I were craving meat! Where the hell was our meat?! We got a forestry of mushrooms which was a bit like meat and is the first time in my life that I've actually eaten mushrooms willingly and then I discovered bugs and that put me right off lol. We did finally get Duck though and that was lovely!!! The most disgusting thing I ate though was a crab ice-cream even Mark didn't like it, it really was horrendous. Throughout this though we were presented with a postcard from our recent adventure to Snowdon, a little handmade booklet which told us their favourite afternoon tea spots in the UK, I got to find a Unicorn within the forest and at the very end they presented me with my very own homemade McDonalds strawberry sundae and it was amazing! 

They really try to involve you on the journey the whole meal, you have your own story teller and all the little magical elements to it to make the meal interactive and fun and even though I liked very little of the food I knew what I was letting myself in for and what I was going for and I did myself proud and actually tried EVERYTHING! I made sure I tried absolutely everything and that is something that never happens. Finally though I had the famous snail porridge and guys it really was actually GOOD snails don't taste bad! I would have eaten it all but unfortunately one of the snails I ate had a bit of grit in it (as if you missed a bit off a potato when cleaning it) and that just reminded me what I was eating and from that point it was just in brain then. 

I personally think it's something worth going to do but I do understand that it's a lot of money for an experience and especially if you aren't into that type of food but if you can and have that type of spare cash then go for it because it really is a one time thing. It was a great day to have before we headed to Holland....


As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon

24.10.17

Appreciation...


Good morning my lovely people. I am currently mid way through my morning drug routine it tends to last between 7am and 10am it's a very long drawn out process which doesn't allow me much room to do much else other than watch tv, read a book, colour or as I am currently doing type between drug regimes. Also the amount of Pain medication I have been on lately has meant I haven't been able to focus on much at all; I'm so drowsy constantly in and out of sleep and definitely in the morning I can really literally only concentrate on doing my medication and getting that right. You need only ask my nearest and dearest how out of it I am in the morning because Mark receives texts from me which make absolutely NO sense whatsoever and he gets a text from me about an hour later saying "Sorry haven't got a clue what I was actually trying to say" because in my mind it makes absolute and total sense when I'm typing it or saying it and then I can realise really quickly or hours later that actually, no, it makes no sense whatsoever or the dream I'm talking about actually wasn't real and whoever I'm talking to really doesn't remember or have a clue what I'm talking about because it in fact hasn't happened. Haha. It's really been a bit of an odd time for me but at least we're getting through it with a smile or at least most of the time anyway. This morning however as I said there really isn't much time to do too much before I have to do the next medication related thing so I've been just skimming through my most recent photos that I've taken and just generally reflecting on life in general. 

Now yesterday I was particularly lazy not because I was more poorly than usual, not because I had something to save my energy for, not because I was more upset or "depressed" than usual but simply because I was in a lazy mood. I just really had zero motivation at all yesterday and I was totally alone in my house so I thought "Hey why the hell can't I just do absolutely nothing?!" My cat was totally receptive to the plan and seemed to be in cahoots with me as he literally did not leave me alone all day we had the most fabulous day doing sweet FA. However this morning I did wake up and have felt a little guilty because yesterday I did have all these plans to do loads of little bits and bobs that I have been putting off for a little while and I've done none of them really, although I have made a fair bit of headway with my christmas shopping which I'm fairly chuffed with as I find that really hard to do nowadays as I can't surprise people like I used to because I always have someone around. Whilst I was looking through my photos on my phone however I was looking through them and I gave myself a bit of a talking to because I shouldn't feel guilty for having a lazy day and in fact I need to remember that I am ill. I'm not 'I have a cold' ill I am... heading towards the end of my days, chronically and painfully ill... I should be surprised that I don't spend each and everyday asleep 24/7. Okay I do spend a lot of time in my pjs and I think that's okay, I love my pjs I spend a lot of money on decent quality, comfy, good looking pjs and I don't mind spending a extended amount of time in them. If I'm going to venture out of the house of course I'll change into actual clothes but if I'm in the house I'll change from one set of pjs to another and I genuinely think in my situation that is completely fine especially as getting changed in itself is a massive effort for me. I need to remember not to berate myself for a lazy day or feel guilty for it because I am dying and at the end of the day I should really be able to do what the hell I like and if that is a day in bed asleep with my cat then what can it hurt? 

Looking back on my photos provided a bit of clarity for me though because I'm there going through them and looking at all this stuff I've been doing this year and it amazes me. I have been doing so, so much even in the state I'm in and I can't quite believe it. I can't speak for Mark but me, I am just having the time of my life with him, we have so much fun and are having so much fun doing all these things on my bucket list of things and although I have to go through some absolutely awful days sometimes, they are so worth it for the good days. I know most of the stuff that Mark and I do together looks amazing and it really is but I also know how stressful it is organising a lot of it and how much effort, research, planning and organising can go into it to make it as stress free, as anxiety free and just as easy as possible for me and that's a big weight for Mark to have on his shoulders. Hopefully however all of that is so worth it for all the amazing trips and days we've been experiencing. We really are making the absolute most of our time together. 

The next couple of months is going to be super exciting. Now with the new wheelchair our horizons have widened and we will be taking advantage of that as long as I stay stable *Fingers crossed.* I won't say everything we're up to over the next couple of months because I'm a superstitious person and if I get too excited about something and start shouting from the rooftops all this stuff we have planned I just know something will happen and we'll end up having to cancel it like we've had to in the past. However I can say that we're off to have a 12 course dining experience at the "Fat Duck" which if you don't know is Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, if you're not into chefs or cooking or whatever this probably means very little to you, this is something I have wanted to do for SO, SO long and I am the most excited person ever that I get to do it and then me and Mark will be popping off to Holland for a little bit so they are a few things we are doing in the very near future.

Basically I need to remember that lazy days are okay especially if I want to do these amazing days. You sometimes forget that sleep and rest is a form of medication and maybe it's not prescribed but it does just as much as a pill does maybe even more as it helps you restore physically and mentally and allows you time to just relax, chill out and reflect and that can be a great thing.     

As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon