I am sat writing this blog in my old skool wheelchair that has dead batteries and not offering me the best of comfort! I have taken a days annual leave, knowing the weekend was going to be tiring in a debauched kind of way. More to come. So in knowing I would sleep most of the morning, I took the opportunity to get my normal wheelchair booked in round the corner from mums at the repair shop. The reason is that when I reach half of full speed the front wheels wobble like mad, plus the footplate is all bent up from wheelchair drink driving incidents of years gone by (I don’t do that anymore of course! Lol).
Since we caught up last I cruised through another cold, booked a holiday to Tenerife (I am solar powered and need a hotter climate 24/7), and had a great week again at Scope. Tuesday I drove 3 hours to Worcester for a productive 2 hour meeting and then a 4 hour return journey. Worked at home Wednesday and really got stuck into a new project Thursday and Friday. Friday night I had a coke at a ‘leaving do’ of a long time Scope friend, before heading Saturday morning to mums with the hoist. My PA and I executed a military exercise, dropping irrelevant road trip items at mums and jumped in Matt’s car (tweet handle: @smegfirk, whom I went to school with) before his PA drove us northwards.
Now we hit the good stuff – Manchester. So why? Well my mate Graham who was ‘Dicky’s’ (AKA Rich’s) carer at uni (heres some infamous Dicky footage: http://martynsibley.com/dicky-and-marv) was 30 years old and threw a bash. Matt had never been away with his PA’s, partly as he only ventured into the world of PAs last year. So I had sorted the hotel out and general ‘wheelies on tour’ logistics and we planned dinner with Dicky, drinks at Grahams party, some sleep and a Sunday snack before heading back down south.
We made good time, but on arrival bumped into one of Dicky’s friends who coincidentally was taking refuge in our hotel. She had lead the March of NUS and unions protestors against student and general government cuts. There had been a few incidents in the city so she was waiting for things to calm. Eventually we hooked up with Dicky, grabbed some food and hit the party.
We overcame the big step in the bar with the bouncers help and with no accessible loo I used my special bag contraption for the night. A few drinks in Matt, myself and our PAs had an interesting chat. It was around the etiquette, rules and laws of standard for PAs. This was interesting for me as 2 weeks earlier I had the incident of my PA being refused entry to the bar. I have observed that unless there is a care agency with their own rules, Direct Payments do not have (or at least effectively communicate)rules for many differing factors for the disabled person ‘managing’ the arrangement, the PAs exact role and how society acts towards PAs.
My approach is understanding the laws, having a base agreement on pay, responsibilities and expectations and that I always want communication. ‘I do not have problems, but challenges’ as someone advised me. Therefore I noted with interest that Matt was going through the steps I did when I began Direct Payments. He is doing great, but my point is there should be a known, communicated and enforced procedure from the day a social worker signs off your budget and leaves you to basically run your own mini business – budget, rotas, employment etc etc.
Anyway beyond my more serious thoughts, the night was great and it was good to have a drink with good mates after my winter health issues. Some other stuff did occur later, but it really is a case of what happened in Manchester stays in Manchester I am afraid ;-)sorry!
I am off to sit more comfortably as typing this has nearly killed me. I am also nursing the wounds of Tottenhams defeat yesterday. Good news is mums doing a roast before I drive back tonight in my good chair. Working tomorrow and potentially a crazy night Thursday with my step brothers band after they have a big music meeting – http://www.myspace.com/silenthouseparty. single out now! Laters…