Thursday, 31 December 2009

I'm sooo looking forward to tomorrow, when I'm going for a cycle ride, with my youngest. We are having brunch in the park, and he's so excited, because he'll get to show me his BMX tricks. All of this made me strong enough not to jeopardise any of this by getting hopelessly drunk tonight. And planning a quiet night in.........until 1Mum came round and another phoned, between them they have talked me into going to the kiddy friendly club.


Happy New Year, to everyone 2010 is going to be fantastic!!


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Spike :)

I shared my bed last night, with two weeping children, because 'Spike' the Gerbil looked decidedly very poorly. I booked Spike in at the vets, wondering how on earth I was going to pay? and secretly wishing the angels had taken him in the night. My kids screamed with delight that the angels hadn't been in the night. And I booked him in at the vets, because I had a plan.

First I had to get the weekly shop on my once an hour Tesco bus, and bless him, the bus driver had parked at the end of my road waiting for me. And then waited for me again, because 35 mins, isn't long really. But I was on a deadline. I explained to the driver that I'd got to take the gerbil to be put down :( and because my lil boy can be very endearing. I arranged to get taken by the bus driver , and dropped off, on his way bk to Tesco. Awwww, I was genuinely happy that it appears to be an ear infection. And he will live. And I was lucky that the tesco bus was coming past on my way home also :)

So what could have been very expensive and upsetting for my children, has instead been an experience that has lifted my spirits and made me feel glad to be me, surrounded by caring folk.

:( I still can't take Jez out, it's getting a bit ridiculous because the roads are nearly clear, but my drive is just sheer ice!!! And they seem to have sold out of salt everywhere.

Fantastic news, it looks like I can now afford the GT5, which I'm giddy about, but it is a lot of money and I'd rather wait for Steve from the CTC, to agree it is a great idea. But West Country Recumbents are being soooo patient with me, so thank you for that.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

I'm gonna brave it tomorrow now, I've just read the comment from Rob. Unless I'm totally snowed in tomorrow. My kids will be about to dig me out tomorrow :)

I'm missing my Cycle For Health sessions, and unfortunately I will miss the first one which clashes with an Introduction to Developing Community Health course, I will be attending. I do intend to continue CFH, when my ICDH, moves to a Monday the following week. My life's looking busy again though, when I begin some work for the Social Services, around Individual Budgeting, which will mean I have to leave Cycle For Health 30mins early, and hey? do you think someone will cycle home with me? I'm a scardy, at first anyroad. I can't wait till 2010 :)

Saturday, 26 December 2009

I feel like the Xmas pudding that had no money in it :) but this is the best Xmas I've had in years. Except for the fact that I can't ride my bike anywhere, because of the snow and ice :( And I feel like I'm putting on vast amounts of weight, which I know isn't just in my head because I actually am.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

My children are coming home & it's Xmas Eve

I'm sooo happy my children will be home in a couple of hours. They have just landed :) I'm so warm and content, I don't wanna drag them out as planned. (I can't ride Jez anyway)

I spoke to my direct payments person, about the forth coming training. I will be helping out with, and all looks set and ready for the 4th :) And I begin the ICDH course on the 5th :)

Spoke to the CTC and Pedal Ready, and it appears, I've been as influential on making 09 a fantastic year for them as they have on making mine, the best year I have ever had :)

I'm so happy, as I sighed a content sigh, an advert came on the radio, asking for £19 for the homeless. Buying an individual hat/gloves/blanket and a meal, I sighed again and was happy to help, as I donated the money.

Merry Xmas everyone, thank you for reading, and playing a part in making this year so good.

Caroline xxxxx

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


I feel really good, I was a 'trail blazer' for 'Direct Payments' when it started back in June 08. It has allowed me such freedom. It enabled me to pay for taxis which I initially needed to attend Cycle For Health, which has transformed me. It was a big gamble by me CTC/Pedal Ready and my friend Anj, who gave me a lift home, every week and I would treat her to a bun and a coffee. It's because of pro active thinking like that. They think I would be good, and now things are different, because 'Altogether Better' and Nigel West, do in fact fund any transport costs I need. Instigated by myself, and supported by the CTC and Pedal Ready again, because they could see the effort I'd put in. Although I had written into my care package, that I did indeed, require money for gym membership. Instead I used that money for taxis, and cycling everyday, has done loads more good than an hour once a week in the gym. (not counting the writing, and promotional work)

Anyway I'm rambling again, I have been asked to help with extra training, for social workers. Hey it feels sooo good to be head hunted, because I think I used my Individual Budget, to make a difference to my life.

Most of my work will be on a Tuesday, which means I will need to leave Cycle For Health half an hour early, but I reckon, it will be worth continuing, because it wakes me up and refreshes me so.

Monday, 21 December 2009


First thing I did today, was to phone recycle and thank them for fixing Jez, at such short notice. The guy who answered, absolutely raved about her, I beamed with pride even though, she isn't mine. I've been studying the 3 options available to me, and I would love to go for the middle option available (which I know won't make sense to most folk.) but basically I need to be able to raise about £800 to do that. :(

Apparently the more expensive one has a schlumpf gear mechanism. Anything which makes the gears easier and stops the chain coming off, is a plus.

I was snowed in today, but aren't folk nice? 4 individual folk called to make sure I was ok?

Altogether Better, have said they will fund me and Jezza, to travel to other cycling events around the city. Which is sooo cool.

My children are still in New York, I must try and go to Argos tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Today was horrible, I know I exagerate things, for effect. But I swear, I really don't need to. Because it was the horrible crunch noise that personally made things so awful. To cut a long story short, my brothers car skidded on ice, straight into the side of another car. Thankfully no one was hurt, although I think the other car was a right off?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

:) xxxxx I'm in love

I'm in love with a bike!!! I love her she is such a bridge for me to communicate. So many folk, helped me today, (not that I needed it!!)but of course I accepted graciously. I remembered 36 hours later!!! that I hadn't settled my tab at the bar....oops! I had to speed down, with £43.00, sorry and thank you for a good night on Thursday, to everyone in the Spit.

Friday, 18 December 2009



My children are coming home for Xmas.

I was very dull today, at the Brain Injury Research Rehabilitation Partnership. (I don't supposed my hang over helped)

Uh Ohh!!!!

I had a fantastic day yesterday, beginning with everybody been lovely jubbley to eachother. Because we all knew that after tea, my children were flying to America!! with British Airways!!!! I can cope with them being away, but the prospect of them not coming back for Xmas, filled me with dread.

I met my lovely friends at Cycle For Health, including a lady who'd been particulally interested in trying Jez for her son. After talking to her and going on a bike ride with the group. She was sold, on the idea of a recumbent bike. It was lovely to see some folk, I hadn't seen since my 'journey' began. As I zoomed off, leaving everyone standing, Dave (Santa) remarked on how he remembered my first day at CFH, and how I'd teetered. With Steve and Simone, ready to break my fall if I'd tumbled off.

I rode through the park, where we spotted a beautiful Kingfisher, swooping for some breakfast. Life felt good until, I entered the woods. Grind, grind, went my gears, uuh oh.

My lovely friend/writer/cyclist who has a few contacts, booked her in for repairs. I phoned a taxi and I took Jez, with some difficulty. I started the Mum network, because I had to get my children,after school plus I had arranged to meet a lot of folk in the pub for tea. And I was gonna ride my bike :( It was sooo sad, handing her in at the workshop, it was like a much loved pet over for a serious operation at the vets :'( When???? I gasped in desperation. 'Oh we should get her done before Xmas!!I need her PLEASE try, she is my legs!! Yes I know, it was dramatic, but it worked and it's true :)

I'd been in touch with my lovely Fred, the gorgeous young friend cyclist. Who agreed to go and fetch her, and meet me at the pub.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


It only took me 5 minutes today, to go and get my hair all beaufont - cut actually. Which was cool, it then took me 10 mins to park Jeza, next to a post, because a car (booo hissss)was parked over the pavement and dropped curb. I'm off on the Xmas ride tomorrow, with Cycle For Health, and I'm really looking forward to it.

My life is soo good at the moment, but yet I know, I'm a bit in denial, about my children going tomorrow. And the danger of them not getting back for Xmas.

I'm proud to say my joy isn't because of a man or owt, it's down to me being me, and my family and friends being them.

It's forcast snow tomorrow, eeeek!!! What will happen ? As well as CFH, there's quite a lot of us going to the pub after school.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dull :(

Hey, I know I moan (not too often) about my children. But the prospect of spending Xmas without them, fills me with dread. I mean, I wouldn't dream of not letting them fly to America (BA) with their Dad. But it's whether they will get back in time for Xmas :(

I can get to school now in ten minutes!!! It really is very easy, (and back again in 3!!!) And Carol from West Country Recumbent, has posted me a mirror on an extended arm :) Which I could definitely do with, to go further a field, than the suburbs where I live. Because whether it;s psychological or not, but ever since I was incapacitated, with knackered in ribs and a poorly shoulder. I feel like I've put loads of weight on.

It's buzzing at the school gates with talk of the pub, on Thursday night, (or is that just the choson few :D )

Monday, 14 December 2009

Soooooo good & easy

I've got quite a busy week this week, I'm really looking forward to Thursday, when I'm going on the Pedal Ready Xmas ride, in the morning. Followed by a big farewell to my kids (they're only away till xmas eve!!!) With lot's of adults and kids coming to my local pub. It don't sound right some how, :)

I owe my cycling success, to 2 main guy's really, Steve Marsden (CTC) and the lovely Dave Bocking (Pedal Ready), I think I extended my gratitude too much yesterday (oops) and told the higher arkey of the CTC. Embarrasing Steve a lil I think, he might just be saying that though. :)

The school run really is very easy. I did contact West Country Recumbents today and ask about borrowing a mirror wiith an arm. So I can venture onto the dual carriageway. Oooooooooh. And without hestation they are sending me one in the post. How very supportive is that? :)

I can't wait till 2010, (it's an annual thing) I love setting personal goals, I know I shouldn't incase I'm setting myself up for failure, but I feel like I can conquer the world as long as have 3 wheels.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


I feel a right wuss!!! I've not been out on Jezza for 2days now. Instead I excepted a lift, to see my mum in hospital, so I feel like I haven't entirely wasted the day. And what a buzz I got from making my Mum really happy, I'm so glad I went :)

I know it's crap because I don't mention cycling. Hey maybe I'll get some thermals?

Friday, 11 December 2009

blog ‘thinking about cycling’

I read this blog tonight, that was reccomended by the CTC. And it's exactly how I feel about cycling!! For me to it has been such an epic journey, if I think too deep, it makes me cry. All these fantastic folk I've come accross, from the CTC, Pedal Ready and infactthe health consortium, Altogether Better. That fund me doing what I love. I remember the first time I rode to 'Forge Dam' it was such an achievement. That night, I woke crying tears of joy....i think. Because that was the night, I decided to get rid of my electric mobility scooter. Which was the best decision I've made in so many years.

:D I can't believe what I did today, I cycled to school to meet my children. I returned, with D* perched on the back of Jez, we got half way home :D And I'd forgotten F*!!!!! Outrageous, it meant I had to do a U turn and go at top speed back up to school though.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Take me to The Limit

What a fantastic book, I've just read. For those of you from Sheffield, and over the age of 35, it's all about The Limit nightclub. Enough......of my ramblings.

Jez glides, she rides perfectly. I rode her to the bus stop, passing my daughters class out walking. Ahhh, it broke my heart :( but hiding in the hedge, was my girl, embarrassed about me....:( I can't really understand why, because she loves a ride home from school.

I've reserved my place on the ICDH course, which begins in January.

I've bought hundreds of xmas pressies, I get so giddy, sometimes.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Fantastic news, Steve Marsden (ctc) along with Nigel West(Altogether Better) colluded with each other and came up with a course that I'd be good at, if I was as enthusiastic about it, as I am most things. It's called the Introduction to Community Development and Health. It starts in January, and it sounds great, I hope I'm not too late. It's so lovely that folk who don't need to give a damn about what I do, seem to really care.

I didn't dare go out on Jezza, I quite easily could have gone to school this am, but I didn't dare in case my chain came off, or the gears jammed? But I needn't have worried, I had the best ride on her that I've had, the chain stayed on. I picked my children up at 3.20 and was home for 3.23, it was great :)

Really looking forward to Cycle For Health meet next week, so I can take Jezza somewhere new, and see folk again.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I love Fred.. and Richard (my handyman/cleaner) :) but they'll wait.

I battled to get my bike out of the house for the last time today, I am soooo happy about that fact (my children are ecstatic also) I glided to school in 10 mins. And sat as proud as punch, watching my children in the nativities x2 because I watched infants + Juniours. I'm tempted (but I jest) to always find things difficult wi my bike because it's such a conversation starter, when folk have to help you put the chain on or stick a foot behind the wheel. I love the fact that people recognise my humility, and speak to me, regardless of age, or status.

I had 10 minutes to get home and get the tesco bus, wow she was like lightening. And have I mentioned that the council had filled the Crators in after I had reported them.

When I got back, Richard was fixing new locks to my shed, and he'd sorted the kids shed as well. What a relief!!

I must mention Lindsay, who used to work, and laugh at me....i mean with me, she's great. And it's nice knowing that I've left an imprint on her heart.

When I went to collect them it was great, not having to battle first. I gathered a few more folk to come on the 17th for a drink, as I waited at the bottom of the drive. So it should be nice.

Zoomed back, to see Fred from Pedal Ready who is more of a friend than owt else now. He did a few bit's but got stuck, so has gone away to research it a bit. But I did spot a chunky rubber band arouynd his wrist, which I nabbed to hold my hand brake on. (a tip from Westcountry Recumbents)

Hey Dave dearest, you better come to my house, because Fred likes scones too!!!!

My daughters gone out again to do the nativity.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Urrrrgh!!! I've just written a long entry for my blog, and blah! lost it. So I'll keep this shortish, I'm really happy because there is now an Xmas Cycle For Health bike ride, when I can catch up with a few of my newer friends. Because 09, has been such a momentous year for me.

Who would have thought a year ago, that I would be building a reputation for being (not that!) a happy, funny, cyclist. Nah it doesn't sound right that? I can't even walk 8 metres, let alone cycle 8 miles!! Who would have thought that? But I can, and have done it a few times.

And after Cycle For Health, some single parents, and loads of children, are going to my local for tea, because my children are going away till Xmas Eve :( So a kinda farewell gathering.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Thank you for the helpful suggestions, it's great that folk who've never met me, offer support. The one I'm following up, came from Tony.

Thanks Tony. x

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Hey I'll let you know, how I get on being a night rider :) I'm going out for dinner later, it's fairly local, so I'm riding Jezza. And so I'm not farting about later tonight, I got up this morning, and don't laugh :D sellotaped and tied on a torch, to the front of Jezza.

Right....I wear a white coat, have a red light on the back, a bright torch on the front. To cut a long story short, I p* a driver off, this woman leaned out of the car and said 'She couldn't see me on that contraption!!, what a stupid idea it was to ride it on the road' I calmly said I have a disability, would you prefer it if I crawled under a stone, or something!

Chain fell off a few times. Urgh...
Nearly killed the kids and I getting her back in the house, but hey ho, I'm smiling.
Had a fun night, I love my mates.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Why is my life so difficult? I know I get more support than the 'normal' non disabled person, but I do find the practicalities of being single, so very hard. I mean getting Jezza into the house, is so very hard because I don't think she's safe at the moment I'm afraid there has been a few burglaries in the area. So I'm getting alarmed etc, next week.

I wizzed up to school, like lightening, leaving my supportive friends to walk. I had no choice if I lost my momentom, that would be it. I 'slobbed' at the bottom of the school drive. I find it difficult to look like anything else when sitting in the recumbent. My chain hung so low, it fell off, :( luckily I had about 5 bike little bike experts set too putting it back on. Hey I rode up this really steep hill that normally defeats me and it was a piece of p* (sorry, but it was very easy)
Stoped briefly, got back on and the chain had come off again, I wanted to cry, this man who must have been 90, offered to help me, along with another Mum, who knew me by sight (everyone knows me by sight) I watched his old spindly cold fingers feeding the chain back, with such precision, i felt like crying, bless him he couldn't even see to do his own shopping, but had made such an effort at repairing my bike for me. I bet I was the only (non carer) he'd spoken to all day.

Once home, I realised I really can't do it on my own :(
...........................but I'm willing to try.
I've arranged to have my outside sheds secured and alarmed this week. And I've arranged for Fred, to come round Tuesday after school to give me and my kids a repair lesson.
Thank you Steve for being blunt.x

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I had wanted to be able to write of my greatest adventures today, but alas, it was cold out, I hadn't got to fetch my kids, so I've been a lazy git, with a poorly shoulder. Sorry.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

11 am, I don't mean to be needy, and Steve (CTC) has indeed done so much for me. But I'm scared now, because bless him he says he can't take me to get my bike. So he's told Carol, at West Country Recumbents, what I need. And hopefully between us, we can find something. But I'm soooo scared, it's like learning to ride a bike, and your parent lets go with their steadying hand, do I waver and fall? or push the pedal down and get on with the journey? Carol's (West Country Recumbents) been in touch and it appears I was wrong in thinking, that the seat on the GT5 was more reclined than the GT3, they are both the same :) So I feel a bit more appeased with that knowledge. I feel a bit of a t* telling them they've got to come and collect their own back though.

I've been to the Drs tonight about my shoulder :( it has been hurting so, but not when you'd expect it too. He reckons I've probably cracked a rib, and at worst my collar bone as well, but either way, it's not that there is any magic cure. I started to cry, I'm fed up of being a miserable git for my kids. They are so lovely and incredibly helpful with the bike. They love knowing that Mum is dependant on them at times.
I had wanted to be able to write of my greatest adventures today, but alas, it was cold out, I hadn't got to fetch my kids, so I've been a lazy git, with a poorly shoulder. Sorry.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

If I hadn't have had to get my children off to school, this am and folk hadn't paid for me to go to Cycle For Health, I would have so snuggled back down the duvet, and gone to sleep. I haven't been sleeping well, because of my shoulder. I want to cry, it's making me feel fatter, lazier, and just fed up. A few folk have said today that it sounds like 'frozen shoulder' and that it takes months of physiotherapy. Well I wouldn't mind because I do like my physio, but it's the cost.

Mr Steve Marsden (CTC) returned my calls about Greenspeed, and he's looking into it for me :)

My taxi arrived, you know I still find it a bit hard to believe that folk subsidise my attendance, because I am 'inspirational' to others? It chokes me up a bit, but I can't deny the evidence. It was week 5 at Low Edges, and there was only 4 others which was a shame. It isn't a very exciting park, but yet it is a little unknown oasis in the middle of Low Edges Estate. Simone (Pedal Ready) was an absolute star, she shifted the 'boom' back on my bike, to effectively 'move' my seat forward. I didn't recognise Barry - Pedal Ready - because I think he looked like he'd lost weight (must be all the cycling) and Howard he looked much younger and happier. (Considering he'd got to repair 80 bikes in about 30 mins last time for Totley School, there's no wonder.)

I rushed up to Totley School, in 10 minutes as opposed to 30 mins today :) only having to pause a couple of time as opposed to 'every 10 pedals' as my son recalls. I had taken D* a helmet so she could perch on the back on the rack.

Apparently this man stopped my children, and asked them all about me today. Saying he watched me everyday and how he had started getting out more, because he loved watching me interact with everyone. And he wanted to too. Ahhhh nice