Sunday, 31 January 2010

I've been a right lazy git today, sorry. It was just too cold, brrrrrr!!! So I sought out an ex cyclist called..........Rob. Shall we call him Rob 3, for arguements sake :) Anyway Rob 3, used to love cycling, and I want to enable and encourage him to participate again.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

mmmm nice....:)

My son, an older friend and I went for a bike ride this am. The friend has done his 'bikability' but my little boy hasn't, he is too young for it to be covered in school. But because I'm a health champion and he comes on bike rides with me, and because I'm worried, about his safety 'Sheffield Health Champs' are funding him having 121 road work, with Pedal Ready. And he already knows half the guys, so is quite excited.

I do have to nip myself every so often, to make sure it isn't all a dream. I lead such a happy fulfilling life and it's all because of 3 wheels!!

Ever expanding circle of friends :)

Began the day at the solicitors, sorting out the final ramifications of my divorce, calling for a coffee at Millhouses Park, with my good mate on my friend on my return. Eeeeeeek I visited the nurse for a dressing change, and suggested to her that we chase up the lymphoedema nurse, because I cant see how, my scars gonna knit together, when it's been pulled apart constantly by the swelling in my left ankle. (I'm not selling myself very well, am I?) I have to tackle a busy junction, and cross over a dual carriageway on Jezza, to get to the Drs, I feel so confident doing that now, because of the fantastic extended wing mirror, that West Country Recumbents supplied. Zoomed upto school after for my children.

That evening, I arranged to meet at the local, a guy from CTC, who I had chatted to on the Inclusive Cycling Forum. Along with my usual mates and children at the pub for some food. It was freezing out, litrally. And I must ask my local if they can provide somewhere for me to park up. Dave left me, I gave him directions to the train station in Dronfield, and off he drudged up a massively steep hill. But atleast he'll soon be warm!!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Am I mad?

I received information, about a job vacancy and possibly I could have done it. And I am quite sure if I'd have applied I stood a reasonable chance of actually getting it. And that terrified me!! I don't often admit to being so affected by my brain damage, or is it just the stigma of suffering from brain damage? that effects me so, just sometimes though my life is too busy for 'work'. My life's so good at the moment, to think that I'd have to give up Cycle For Health, perhaps collecting my children from school, my BIRRP meetings, the ICDH course, my health championship work. I'd give up so many things which make my life feel good, and for what? More money? thank's I'd rather be poor, and keep happy. But having tossed and turned all night, to finally come up with that answer, I don't feel fab with myself :( There I'm stripped to the bones, and revealed my inner fears.

Cycled the school run, my wee boy had football, so raced home. My daughter on the other hand rushed home to play on 'facebook' !!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Fantastic News!!

Sorry to be so focused, but I have been in denial, as to how much my leg was worrying me. :) Anyway nursey today, said she didn't want to see me till Friday and that I really shouldn't be fretting. Before today, when I've asked is it getting better? The nurse, has always resembled a builder giving a quote. Pursing their lips, and shaking their head.

My day started with hassle, as my booked taxi driver had rang and said he was at NGH and it was 9.00!!! 'Oh I thought I'd av time' he said.

I entered my IDCH class a little late, but everyone was really welcoming, and was nice about it. It upsets me being dependant at times, on folk that I can't rely on. But I do seem to spend my life in taxis, and on the whole I enjoy a good banter with the drivers. Which has made me consider applying for the job, training taxi drivers about clients with disabilities. I think I could do it, but it all depends on whether I could have a taxi too and from my house :D

Nathan, the only black guy in the class, immediately stood up and offered to make me a drink, I've always got on well with him since the first week. When he correctly identified, that we had both been victims of discrimination. And again, he seemed to understand, my feeling of helplessness, how beautiful was that?

We all had to draw a tree, the roots been our foundations, (past) the trunk our strong structure (is that just me :D) It wasn't just me though, because some of the folk in the class had been to hell and back!!! (and I'm sure I could never have survived some of the things I heard. And 'yes' I do think that folk with a cocktail of experiences, do become better equipped at dealing with life's negative blows. But contrary to this, I do not neccersarily believe a person needs to have been through something. In order to counsel another going through that pain. Because what works for one, may not work for another. And we are all made up of such a rich tapestry of colours and experiences. As the 'tree exercise' showed.

Personally speaking, surprisingly it isn't my accident, that nearly destroyed me. Although I did in fact spend time receiving 'Gestalt' therapy because of it. It was when my ex husband left me, for my bezzy mate and her 2 children. But you know now? I am so glad he did because I am such a strong woman, and that was never realised before, I was just his side kick! But it struck me today, I think everyone in the class is going, through a positive stage in their life, which is reflected, in their behaviour and the fact that we are all happy and supportive of one another.

Talking of past fads, and whether they're healthy? My daughter had to have her lunch (like it would have been in the war) I've just packed her bread and dripping (yuk) and Soreen Malt loaf. I imagine the Malt loaf, is healthy, but I doubt the dripping is.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

blow the cobwebs away

I could have been ill today, but instead I took my trike to the shops and beyond. Smiling and talking to folk as I peddled, People ranging from a gang of teenage boys/men, to a 90 year old man. Who agreed to be interviewed by my daughter, for a school project. Honestly people are so nice, if you give them a bit of time I find. I think it's Jezz, she attracts humility, from myself and others.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

De`ja' vu

Today My children and I went for a short ride of a mile or so, uphill in rough terrain, upto Holmesfield and then back calling at the pub. To meet Julie Andrews, for a drink and some lunch. The track we were on, got steep in one bit, and I cacked myself, as I just had visions of New Yearts Day. Luckily I was able to do a 6 point turn, and head back. (Ey I must av learnt something that fateful day!!) We passed Ralph the Pony, and I promised him I'd be back.

I loved leaving the pub sober for a change!!! and I was able to ride Jezz home. It's 10pm and Julie 's gone home, worst for wear. It was good fun though.

Friday, 22 January 2010


Today was spent putting myself about a bit, firstly a taxi to 'Zest' , where I do my Health Champions thing. Where we discussed many subjects, including pantomimes, Cycle For Health, an article I was writing for the CTC, it was great feeling so supported.

I then went next door, to another meeting with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Partnership, where I was to be chair this week, with a little help from Alistair. I spoke of my cycling injury. I feel repected and empowered, in every aspect of my life, but that doesn't stop me being mushy, when my children say 'Mummy, can we sleep in your bed tonight!!'

Forgot to mention, I zoomed upto school, I must admit I was a tad disappointed, at how difficult it was to get Jezz unleashed, and even harder to secure her. It was great, to be at school though. The kids and I have planned a bike ride in the morning, calling at the pub, on our return. How exciting!!!!


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Safe and secure :)

I'm ready and waiting, urm....for my new trike. Today I had a concrete floor laid in my shed with a split chain that I can padlock, over my bike to secure it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I am tired, but in a nice kinda comfy and full way, and sooo content. I grabbed my wing mirror on the way out to the cab, that was taking Jezz and I to Cycle For Health.

'Fantastic' I said when I arrived, as I handed Ken my wing mirror, and reminded him, that he had said he would fix it for me :) And then John (my very own Mr Potts) presented me with 2 blocks of wood on string loops, hand brakes in case your wondering. I felt very supported but not looked after, in a patronising way.

I worked with Ken and Barry doing some road work. Which to be fair, I kinda know, but it was good to be reassured. Barry later came to the Drs with me, because the nurses, had been arsey about me receiving home visits anymore (oops) Anyway, my leg looks awful, she had to use a larger dressing - eeeeeek!!!! I bet I don't feel as sore as Rob, who came off his bike on.....Mon? Poor guy, read his blog, to find out the gruesome details.

Barry hung on for me, we did the shops, my house and school. And whether I am in denial, but it really didn't phase me. The only time I feel nervy, is when I'm backing onto it with the cog (boom?) in between my knees, I reckon, it took me a little longer though. It was really great to see folk again.

I sensed an opportunity, for myself/Steve/CTC to speak about how cycling had empowered me, when I received an invite to a conference, in York. Again I took the 'Bull by the horns', phoned and asked them if they'd like me to bring my trike (or Jezz) to the event in May. Anyway, I think she liked the idea, because she offered a 15 minute slot, if it was me giving an individual talk. Or 3 /4 of an hour if it was Steve and I. I think this would be an excellent way of focusing, how inclusive cycling can be, and how incredibly empowering.

Tomorrow, I've got a nice young man coming to give me a price for concreting a metal bar in my shed, to padlock my bike to.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010



We woke bright and early, and the weather didn't really reflect my mood, because it was dank, and a little chilly. But not as cold as it's been, or is forecast. I didn't really care, because rain or shine I was gonna ride Jez today. I arrived at Cycle For Health, in a taxi paid for by the Health Champions. Barry, Louise and Ken, were the 3 cyclists I recognised, and we all had a good laugh at my bmx accident, that wasn't that funny really. :(

It felt weird backing onto Jezz, (having the spikes in between my knees, the very ones that 3 weeks ago had caused such damage) Anyway I had said that one of the things I had wanted to practice was getting on and off Jezz. And today, i was mostly working with .....John. (I feel like there should be a drum role) What a star, and how much ingenuity, does he have. He considered the problem, went and fetched a chunk of wood, and an axe, chopped at the wood, and hey presto, he'd got 2 chunks of wood?? He showed me where to place them so that I could lodge the brake on. And it doesn't move. Wow!!!
We rode round, meeting up with Ken, in the playground, it was there that I met my puncture also. Ken, kept testing me, and I've got to say anything I learnt from Fred, had gone. It's a brain thingy I suppose, but I do feel very stupid when I can't retain owt.

Apparently Barry is coming with me tomorrow, to do the school run and to fix my mirror on. Which leaves me no excuse not to go further afield.

I was picked up by my taxi, courtessy of Health Champions, rushed home. Had 30mins till my next taxi picked me up to take me to a fantastic afternoon, where I was a case study for 3 folk to take down details and come up with a care package for me. It was great, they laughed at all my jokes, :D and said that the afternoon had flown, and didn't seem like work. They were great, so welcoming, it would have been very difficult for a shy person not to feel valued, and confident.

Now......My wee boys gone to Beavers, My big girls a Sheffield sports champ :)

My leg looks dreadful, the gps phoned and told me, I needed to double up on my anti biotics. Which Julie Andrews fetched for me, because she's nice.

West Country Recumbents, have been in touch to say they are on the case.

And thank you everyone for taking such an interest:) It makes me happy.

Monday, 18 January 2010


Today, I woke, and my very friend had slept the night, downstairs. I was sad going down, because he's like a Central heating radiator, that needs bleeding. Instead of radiating positivity, he drains and leaks negativity. Anyway, the children had stayed at their Dads, so that was cool. I just had to worry about myself, when he'd left at 8.30.

I entered the ICDH class, and immediately my mood lifted, because everyone either had enough awareness, to know that feeling positive about yourself was good for your soul. Or perhaps they recognised that it was something they needed, to learn to do. And they were doing something very positive by attending the 2nd week, of the course.

The lesson passed quickly, and it was good to know a little bit more about my fellow classmates. And infact reveal, a bit more of me!!

We were asked to describe our own view on health and well being.

I know, I dont eat well, but having 2 young children, I know the importance to their energy levels, the impact food can have. And always buy decafinated coke etc. And I do try to limit ther amount of sweets, (quite difficult) Unfortunately for myself, I do recognise there is room for improvement. Especially since my cycling accident. And I aint been burning any calories on the school run.

I do think though, one of the most important factors is to be aware. So that 'you' recognise, the need for improvement.

Personally my own health has always been fair, despite having controlled epilepsy, and no spleen. Which effects my auto immune system.

I have a happy disposition now, but I haven't always been that way. When my ex husband left me, 3 years ago, I wallowed in pity, crying everyday for 16months. But I'm so glad I did, because I now believe I grieved over the death of that relationship. And could begin another one without any hang ups. But I also believe an essential part of me being ready for a new relationship. Is not needing one, if that makes sense? I now have my own identity, and I like Caroline.

I didn't cycle to school, I bottled it!! I'm still scared of knocking my leg, but I have booked my taxi to take myself and Jezz (my trikle) to Cycle For Health tomorrow. So although nervous, I know there will be plenty of folk to provide reassurance tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 January 2010


I thrive on other humans, and choice I reckon. Because I've saved mega bucks on not having a social life for 6 weeks, I treated the kids and I to a Chinese meal. We got a taxi there, to see how bad the pavements were, and wey hey! I was brave enough to use public transport back. I never thought I'd be happy about catching the bus, but it felt great! and I felt free. I think tomorrow, I may try and get Jez out. If my drive has cleared, it must be the only place on earth that's still too slippy with compressed snow.

And I was so happy , because not before time, I purchased a massive year planner. I feel happy and organised now.

But.... the nurse called today, and was not happy about my leg. In my brief stint, working as a nursing assistant, I recognise my leg as becoming ulcerated. So hopefully once I can get some blood flowing to my lower limb, it will help.

I've spoilt everyone today, I am much happier :) I've been a right miserable git.

Friday, 15 January 2010


I cried today, because of my leg, it's just not getting any better, in fact it's getting decidedly worst. And the fact that it's so slippy outside makes it impossible to walk or ride, even to the local shops. I did comment to Steve (ctc) who phoned offering support, that none of this would have happened if I hadn't got into cycling!! To which he replied, urm dont you mean, if you hadn't have done bmx ramps on your recumbent?..........yeah ok, I suppose he's right.

I miss going to school so much, and seeing the crowd of Mums who've supported me since my journey began, when I used to wheeze looking like a tomato, sweating profusely for a fat lass. As I strained the last few yards into the school drive. I arranged 'to be called for' (how old am I?) at 5, and I'd nip to the pub, for tea with my kids and a few others.

Dave (pedal ready) to tell me it was thawing outside, I am touched that so many folk seem to care.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

poorly leg/head hunted :)

Bad news, my leg is so poorly. A different nurse called today, and was visibly shocked at my cut. Mind you, I was too. So she ordered me some anti biotics, my mate Julie Andrews, went to fetch them. After collecting my children from school. :)

I received an email from a guy whose launching Self Directed Support in Sheffield. Basically he wanted to use my 'different' use of my budget to highlight the many uses, it can have in order to achieve goals. I agreed, as long as I could thank Steve(ctc) Dave (pedal ready and photographer) Nigel (health champs who sponsor me triking in parks)and West Country Recumbents.

He agreed and was very keen to meet me :)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Brain Damaged :(

I'm chilled now, after searching out emails, I am scheduled to help deliver training tomorrow.

The nurse popped in today, and was well pleased with my weeping cut!!! (not sure why) She banned me from using my trike. (which was cool, because I daren't yet, and I can blame someone else!)

On a much lighter note, I actually got a final price for my Trike, and told West Country Recumbents to Do It :) So a brand spankin new trike is on the way!! I hope I have the bottle to use her.

I couldn't find the piccy of the chain guard Rob.

Rob 2, I bet you watched Blue Peter, as a child :)

Monday, 11 January 2010

I was sooo looking forward to so many things today, so many answers? Could I ride my bike?
I so bottled it again, I even got her out and parked her at the bottom of the drive. But I couldn't do it, I feel so fat and feeble. I looked at the jagged teeth, that usually support the chain. I think the very ones which 10 days ago imbeded in my leg, and my eyes started stinging. Because I wondered if I'd ever be able to ride again. I was/am scared.

Thank's to Nigel, who looks after the health champs. I can sort out a 1 2 1, cycling lesson, with Pedal Ready. The sooner the better though really.

Would the ICDH open even more doors? The thing is I know I know I can do stuff, but it's whether I can keep motivated to do the necessary peripheral stuff, to gain any qualification. I arrived late to the class, but everyone was really welcoming and down to earth, you know the type of class that told me 'my zip was down' And I dooo like that. I told the class i had a disability, and rode a tricycle. Which seemed to go down ok :D

Rob 1, Is it possible to order gripy tyres for my trike? you know nobbley ones. And will Jezz drive on man made paths not concrete though, that are in woods. Or do you think it too risky again!!

I'm really pleased that I've been useful for Rob 2, and introduced him to my fave men.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


Sometimes, I can do it, and other times I struggle (ooo errr Mrs) - I'm so childish at times!!

But thanks to Rob, Rob and Gavin, who too are cyclists, who've been forced to hang helmets up (i hope) in this horrid weather. I was gonna trike it to the pub, for lunch, but the cold and my fear was still there. But at least I know, I'm not alone.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

I bottled it :(

I've been mentally scarred, I just daren't go out, I didn't dare go to the shops or owt today. And theres a few mates, plus kids going sledging tomorrow, and I darent go. I don't wanna risk having another accident, and prolonging my convalescent time. I'm so fed up. :(xx

Friday, 8 January 2010

I want to play :(

I want to go and play wi Jezza :( But it's just too icy, and once the nurse had picked her jaw up, she said NO. When I asked her earlier today, I just imagined the scorned faces, if owt bad happened and I agreed it was maybe a bad idea. Because nearly over night my scar has nearly knitted together, I was so relieved today. When the nurse picked the stitches out, I squashed my mates hand so I did!!! And then we set about planning a party, for when I get my new trike. Which looks like being a couple of months :( and it will maybe cost a little bit more.

I have made friends from all over the country, through my work with the CTC, so hopefully a few of them will make it to Sheffield.

I am sooo happy, what with the nurse, my ICDH course starting on Monday, and then such a busy week, socialising and meetings. And hopefully cycling on Tuesday. I so want to take part in Cycle For Health :)

Hey try checkin out Robs End to End Bike Ride, he's a typical true cyclist encouraging me because I'm a tryer :)xxx Ta 4 that.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Awwww, a tad disappointed in the radio slot this am, on Radio Sheffield. I had wanted to say how revitalised I had felt, now I had begun cycling daily. And how my family had benefited, but all the guy had wanted to speak about was s'thing that happened 22 years ago.....move on. I have.

Aww I was eager for some reassurance from my Pedal Ready mates, but I had interrupted some gathering and everyone said Hi. Which was nice.

I had so wanted to thank Sheffield Champs, because without them, I wouldn't be able to tour the parks doing Cycle For Health.

My leg doesn't look very good I'm afraid, the gap between either side of the cut is about 1'' and it is pure flesh, in the middle with strands of cotton, from the stitches stretched across. a bit like a Mandelin Guitar. On closer examination of Jezz and my leg, it wasn't the pedal that went into my shin. It was infact the vicious looking pedal and chain thingy. Ouch, it had twisted round. (it's back in place now :))

I am helping Steve do a bit of research, into recumbent trikes, and I love feeling useful, but I think a KMX cart? maybe.

I wish the snow would go, although we are supposed to be having some more. :(

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I kind of took the bull by the horns last nite, and wrote to radio Sheffield, and asked if Steve (ctc) and I could go on, and then I wrote to Steve informing him. :D Luckily he was cool about it, I am really chuffed that he trusts me to say the right thing. Anyway we are both going out live tomorrow morning at 11.15. Talk about 'Carpe Diem' or seize the moment, I received an invite as well in my mails, asking me if I wanted to take part in an Empowerment Forum, in York. And wow, I think the CTC and myself, have such a proven case that cycling is a fantastic way of of gaining empowerment. I mean look at me 8 months ago, I was still broken and bitter about my ex, the fact that I had a disability just magnified my apparent dependance, on a partner. I am so glad cycling came along I sought it out!!! Because it's fantastic being told that I'm good at something, even if it does mean it's a good effort for me. I know, and no one can deny that I am a good communicator, which means I can reach out to others both non disabled and those with a disability, and show them the many positives of owning a cycle. There are so many people who I owe gratitude to, in those early days at Endcliffe Park at Cycle For Health.

It's been hard work the past 8 months, but the most satistfying 8 months of my life.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ooooooooa I'm unbelievably excited now!! Steve Marsden (CTC) skidded through the snow this morning, and came to see me for a cuppa and some toast. And I had hoped, but didn't like to say yesterday, He ordered me 'The dogs bollocks, of recumbent trikes'

This is thank's to Steve Bailey, and the CTC, who recognised my value because I personally have benefited soooo much from my new lifestyle. And because I am also 'gobby',they are so lovely recognising this as an individual case, and judging it on the amount of effort that myself and so many healthy happy folk have put in.

I am soooo looking forward to 2010 :)

Monday, 4 January 2010

I'm so excited Steve Marsden's (CTC)coming to see me in the morning, 1) Because of my accident. 2) To discuss any role i can play, in publicising cycling :)

Saturday, 2 January 2010


Spike didn't make it through the night, i'm afraid. And this time he had definately died. Oh well, only another 3 gerbils to go. I believe they are more trouble than a dog, because the novelty of cleaning out a cage lasts about a nan-ow second, and the nagging and bribery I have to do each month, to get my kids to do it, just isn't worth it.

Anyway my leg had been bleeding a lot in the night, completely soaking, the dressing. So I text my mate Karen, who's a nurse I used to work with at the psychiatric hospital, I was also staff, incase you wondered :) Like a star she came to my aid, changing my dressing, I was pleased with how clean my cut looked...(for now). Although I'm on anti biotics, I know it can change and become infected so easily, and I'll end up back in hospital. What a cheery thought!!!

My friend Julie popped in a couple of times, to make sure I was alive, and do errands. My bruv, returned my kids, my next door neighbour, heard about it in the pub, and called in, hey it's good being gossip fodder!! And finally Pete called just to check me out, and ask me why I hadn't used my brakes? Good question? I think I may just have topled backwards anyway, but durrrrr.

Hey!! I've just heard from Dave (Pedal Ready) that the monkey bumps, still exist in Hutcliffe Wood, he strongly advised me not to try them. But I used to go on those when I was 10!!!!

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Years Eve/The Angels coming For Spike/Angels Bringing Him Back!!/Bike Ride /Hospital/

After successfully welcoming in the new year, having loads of fun, but no booze :) And laughing sooo much because the buffet that was served at the local club, included a selection of bread & dripping!!! And apart from our motley crew, the club contained the entire Tesco bus regulars. We got to bed at about 2 am. :)

Poor Spike, in an effort to make his life a little comfier, i had moved him into another container. Unfortunately the holes in the top, were closed, leading me to believe ? When I found him this am, with his feet in the air. That the angels had been in the night :( Alas I didn't have time to do the funeral thing, so I rushed out to get my taxi this am. I will cycle instead soon, I'm not sure when.

After a nice breakfast in the park cafe, we cycled on to the BMX park, on ice as well :) Whilst pedestrians struggled to keep their footing, Jezz glided :) My son loved it zooming round the big hills, and drops whilst I sped round on the flat. I thought now what's the worst that would happen if I didn't make it to the top of the hill? And I planned my strategy, of what I might do, in such a situation. And sped towards it hoping to get enough momentum, to take me to the top, but a couple of inches from the top, sure enough I started to roll back!!! Bugger!!! and before I had time to move my left leg out the way, WHAP!!! the pedal inbedded in my shin. The trike came to rest.

Bless my lil 7 year old, with pure gusto he said 'Don't panic Mum, I'm calling an ambulance' And he did.

Right I have so many folk to thank now for help, I'm scared incase I miss someone.

Alistair....Absolute star, who came to my aid in the park, directing the ambulance, returning 2 bikes and my son safely home.

Julie......Who went to my house to wait with both my children, until relief arrived.

Stephen and Sue.... Who took over from Julie, putting my bike away and taking both my children to their house.

Lucy and Becky..... The cheerful ambulance staff :)

Carys..... Who made a fine job embroidering my leg with pure blanket stitch, some 16 stitches later.
Anyway, I'm back from hospital now, and it appears Spikes hanging on in there, because he's breathing and after some milk, that I fed him through a syringe, out of curiousity. Because he was still warm.