Really enjoyed it. I think I tend to enjoy it more when I don't go looking for specific things as it makes it much less pressured. I got loads of information and some freebies too. Need to go through everything I got though. Mum and I both ended up with too much stuff and Mum was seriously considering having to leave some of hers there.
Ouch! (BBC website for disabled people) had a disabled comedian doing a half hour slot on one of the stages (Gareth someone). We missed it because we couldn't get there that early but then DWP cancelled their slot so Ouch did that one too. He was pretty good although I must say I think comedy works a lot better when you've had a drink or in a comedy specific set up. Mum wasn't overly keen on him to start with as she thought he was insulting but he did improve. Anyway this guy is on IV nutrition which he talked about a bit - and he pulled up his shirt to show the catheter implanted in his chest which he receives it through. I thought that took a lot of guts to be able to pull up his shirt and show off his line like it was no big deal. But of course that might be a bit like the whole "I don't know how you do it" thing that I get with my chair sometimes when the fact of the matter is - you just do.
When we were wandering along and we found the ouch stand I said something like "oh! Ouch!" because it was one of the stands I really wanted to go to. My Mum hadn't spotted it and had never heard of it, it seems and was all "what have you done, have you hurt yourself?"
There's going to be a Naidex south event in London in September. I soooo want to go! In fact, one of my friends suggested we go together - that would rock. It's not about seeing all the products and everything although that's great. It's about getting to be in the majority for once.
Oh and this is such a "only a crip could be excited by this thing" BUT a lot of toilet facilities at the NEC have more than once disabled loo which is great AND some of them have clos o mats. I don't use need to use those but I was excited to see that - talk about taking accessibility to a higher level!
Actually, my first comment on the matter is more of a link between the two.
When waiting outside the disabled loo at Naidex another girl commented to me that Naidex is the only place you'll ever queue for a disabled loo. Having been at a Challenger Class Association regatta last week, I can confirm that it is in fact Naidex and a sailability regatta (of any description) which are the only places you get to experience queueing for a disabled loo.
Burghfield is out near Reading and so we could come home every night which made it much cheaper to do and also easier because even though I wouldn't have got any more sleep in a hotel I always think you rest better at home. In fact, my Dad clocked it and said it's basically one mile further than going up to Farmoor in Oxford to sail just in the opposite direction and a bit of a more difficult (cross country) route. He said that means if anything ever happened and I couldn't sail at Oxford any more. Which is cool. And also led to a brief five minutes wishful thinking about the possibility of sailing twice a week as they have sailability on a different night to we do. But I didn't mention that to Dad - that would require too many lifts so I wouldn't feel comfortable asking that. Plus, after a long break the Creative Writing course is restarting and I'm doing that - which would clash.
I think it's nicer at Burghfield than Oxford. We have a really old clubhouse and they have new facilities. Nowt wrong with ours but they show their age. I'm tempted to say it's prettier there too. Or it would be if not for the fact it's right by the M4 and you can see the cars and hear them all the time. It's an old gravel pit and so it's very different to our reservoir anyway. An interesting place.
I struggle with the regattas a bit because I find being in the boat long enough to do everything basically impossible. That's because they do back to back racing so for me there aren't enough breaks. Being in the Challenger gives me a really long stretch which my legs need and is good for me. But it gets to be too long and then I can't tolerate it any longer because it's too painful. I find it very frustrating at times that this is disabled sailing and it clashes with my CP so much. Plus I sail in bronze class which means that although I now sail alone when out normally I have to take a buddy on the boat when racing (which is what I want, actually). And Challengers aren't really designed to take two people. It works but they don't go well like that.
So I go knowing this. And I go to take part, to sail and enjoy myself but not to be cut-throat and out to win. That was a bit tough this time because I had a new buddy who basically didn't know me as he's new to Oxford sailability and we'd only met very briefly before. I could have done with the chance to chat things through with him before but there was no time. He was worrying a bit about where we coming and that we weren't doing well. Absolutely lovely chap and I think between us me and my Dad (and the fact we both said it more than once, separately too) got the message across to him. But I did miss my girls a bit who know me and know Emma's philosophy of racing.
I'm really pleased how well I did. The fleet went out every time they were scheduled to (4 times in 2 days). And I was with them every time too. That's the first time I've ever managed that. The last sail was tough because there was a very short break between them and I really needed more rest but my Dad talked me into going and seeing. I sailed for more than an hour each time too - some of my sails were only just more than an hour but still. Prior to that I'd only sailed once this year and that had been for 20 minutes!
So I did come dead last but I also did the best I've ever done. And I'm really proud of that.
General Catch Up
I had a few transferring mishaps (but somehow no falls despite being convinced at one point that I would go and nearly coming out of my chair a few times too) and ended up with some interesting bruises from sailing. Including one right on my heal and one on my bum both of which are on pressure areas and were extremely painful. Those were from Friday and were still bad on Sunday. Which led to me having a bit of a freak out and having to get my mum to check those ones to make sure they weren't pressure sores but she reassured me I was bruised but had no broken skin. I have several other bruises but those were the ones which worried me.
Anxiety has been a bit of a big problem for me in the last few weeks which isn't fun. But I haven't missed any meds in three whole months!
I've not been at CAB this week and I've been doing loads of fun things. I've also been trying to be out of my chair as much as possible (or swap between my chairs) and I've actually ended up having several accidental naps as a result. I am very tired still from how busy I've been.
As well as Naidex and the regatta I've
Been to the dentist and the hygenist
Been to an evening of pizza and design for a project I'm taking part in
Had lunch and a spot of shopping with a friend somewhere different to usual
Had coffee and chat with the Nano crew on Sunday which was fun
And last night had drinks with the creative writers
Read or tried to read a lot of different books - mostly classic type ones.