Another hectic week, although my mind is going blank on what I did last Tuesday. This is probably another sign I’m doing too much I guess. I managed a couple of days out though, one wandering Gloucester bike routes and another at Black Park near London.
The week began with another meeting at Overton House in Cheltenham, Barnwood Trust’s new headquarters. The meeting was a one to one meeting with one of their new managers. It seems a good idea, giving the charity more interaction with, and understanding of, the people who work with them. I also got another proper tour of their new building.
It has taken a lot of time, money and effort for Barnwood Trust to get Overton House, a listed building, converted to a place where they can work, have meetings and be accessible to guests and workers. The building still has building workers around, but is open and inviting. It has lots of natural light, which should reduce both energy consumption and help mental wellbeing. All corridors and doorways are nice and wide for easy wheelchair navigation. There’s also large accessible bathrooms and the main entrance has an automatic door. The lower ground floor seems mainly aimed at meetings, with several elegant but practical rooms. The ground floor seems more relaxed, with sofa’s, comfy chairs, an open kitchen and cozy feel. Each floor also has beautiful views, some over Cheltenham itself, others looking towards the Malverns and other hills.
I followed this by walking to Imperial Square and then through town to get my bearings on Overton House’s location.
The Blank Day
All I really remember is a phlebotomist turning up just after I woke and taking blood, having a swab and my Mother going to our Goddaughter’s baby scan. I now know the sex and can’t wait to be a part of the babies life. I have always been very close to my Goddaughter, she’s more like my own daughter really. Her having a child of her own has made this year worthwhile and given me something to look forward too.
The Day in Bed
Mental Health Group
On Thursday I had another meeting at Overton House, this time with my mental health group. I arrived early to have a private chat with one of Barnwood’s staff, whom we work closely with in our group. Following this I had a meeting with another founding member of the group. About the groups future and also changes we want to make to the workshops structure. We did end up talking about our first computers, programming languages and other nerdy things at the end though.
After these meetings the rest of the group arrived, as usual we started with lunch and a chat. Then the group had a building tour, which I was supposed to give. I managed the first floor but then got caught by the CEO for a chat. She was in the open kitchen having lunch with other staff, I did enjoy the chat but lost track of my group for a few minutes. Once I caught up with them we finished the tour, with lots more chatting.
The rest of the meeting went well, with lots of useful discussion and reflection.
Gloucester Royal appointment
Friday I had an OT appointment, it had been rescheduled after the mess up at last week. I popped to Pittville park beforehand, had a quick walk down the Honeybourne line, then returned to my van via town and the park.
The appointment was on time, with more apologies about last week. After discussing a few things which she will follow up on we left. Mum and myself then waited outside in the sunshine until my P.A. returned to pick us up.
Parking at Gloucester Royal Hospital is a nightmare with very few blue badge bays considering it’s size. The multistory car park is also impossible for my wheelchair accessible van as the height barrier is too low. So we decided to get my P.A. to drop us off. She then drove the van to the garage for them to finish it’s service. Which they didn’t do properly last week!
The first day of the weekend was predicted to be very hot, it didn’t disappoint reaching at least 33 °C. So I wanted to visit somewhere with shade.
I had visited Black Park last year and found it lovely. Unfortunately I had only managed to stay a few hours. This time I wanted to stay all day and experience more.
We wandered around for hours, spotting lots of squirrels, birds and even a couple of deer. The park is reasonably accessible, with most gates having Radar key locks and some flat paths. Quite a bit of it is bumpy though and even I struggled in a couple of places, although I was pushing my wheelchair’s limits a bit. So be warned if you have mobility problems, you may not get round the entire park.
Although we saw a lot of the park I will definitely need to visit again to explore more areas. The map on the website is okay but there are few signs that actually say where you are, so I did end up missing a few spots.
I felt a little flat and slightly coldy again on Sunday so didn’t want to venture far. The weather forecast predicted a pleasant day though so I didn’t want to waste it.
We headed over to Gloucester to explore the bicycle routes by the river Severn. Starting near the docks we headed passed a couple of fire and rescue vehicles near the docks, then found the first of the pathways. After walking a while we found our bearings and passed through a field of grazing cows.
Following the path onwards we eventually reached a steep pathway heading up to Over Bridge. I didn’t realise quite how steep the path was until I was halfway up, at which point there wasn’t much to except hope that I didn’t lose control of my wheelchair and that it didn’t tip!
The view from Over Bridge was beautiful. You can see down the river Severn and looking towards Gloucester see the top of the cathedral peeping through the lush trees. After this we wandered down the path trying to find a crossing. We eventually gave up and headed back in the other direction. Just passed where we had left the bicycle route we found another one leading under the road.
Once finally on the other side of the road we stopped at the Toby Carvery so my carer could get a drink. After she had finished we walked on passed Over farm and towards St Oswald’s church. We didn’t quite make it to the church. I was getting cold, so decided it was wise to head back to the van.
I really wasn’t looking forward to driving down that steep hill again, but not one to shy away from a challenge I decided to risk it. It was a lot easier than I expected, probably because the pressure was on my front tyres, which actually have tread left on them, and also most of the weight being distributed towards the back of my wheelchair.
It was a lot quicker returning to the van having figured out the multiple bicycle paths. Another Day I’ll get to the church and maybe explore further beyond too.
You can find my photographs on –