I used to fly everywhere, zipp in and out of traffic in the car, pop out to the shops, think nothing of spending a whole day out, I could walk for hours regardless of terrain.
Now, like a new Mom, I ensure I have planned everything to loo stop detail to give my outing a chance of success. A day out on Saturday at the Malvern show required a Mobility scooter, rented from Event Mobility, a fabulous charity which provides scooters at events and shows.
I booked one a couple of years after my tumour surgery, smiling to myself in the knowledge that I would only be using it once; we enjoyed the show peering at stalls, a special day surrounded by flowers and a group of friends. But the following year I needed one again, the feeling of failure lingered behind my smiles; perhaps I hadn't worked hard enough at the gym or at walking. I didn't go last year.
This year I decided it was unfair to deprive Mr H of the day, and time with friends would be good. I am beginning to accept that scooters play an essential part in days out; I plan to employ my helmet smile and smirk strategy.
I booked my scooter in advance. Dressed in four layers, hat and gloves I sit on 'Celebrity' and win the fight against the cold as it waits impatiently to seep into my bones.
Mr H and I arrive early so that I get a chance of seeing things before the ant like crowds appear, the floral marquee is a joy, the smell of lily's fill my senses as I pass on snail mode. I am the first to spend money as I treat myself to three Auriculars, their exquisite petals will give me pleasure on my table outside the back door.
We meet up with friends when they arrive but separate after a coffee and chat. I encourage Mr H to dip in and out of the plant stalls while I linger on 'Celebrity', most of the stalls are too small to ride into, I park up and get off when my itch to mooch overwhelms me.
The crowds build and Mr H walks in front waving his arms like a bird trying to take flight, creating space for me to manoeuvre along the paths. I try not to drive over toes as I stare at bums, some get a longer stare than others, small and pert versus, large and wobbly, I wonder what mine looks like when I am off the scooter.
The myriad of bums and backs soon prevent glimpses of stalls but I persuade Mr H to explore and find the plants we desire.
Sunday Mr F(atigue) teases, he suggests I have energy when I wake, but as soon as I try to hoe at the allotment I feel awful and Mr H says
sit down you look ashen.
The three hours in the car, constant movement and concentration at the show have drained my battery...again.
My wings may be clipped but as I step outside the back door today I spot my lettuce leaves breaking through the soil and my new Malvern Show plants grin at me, pleading to be planted.