Richmond mini holiday success

We’ve just returned from a long weekend in Richmond, visiting Kew Gardens on Saturday and taking a river trip to Hampton Court on Sunday. It was a lovely, successful visit as the weather was kind to us and people we met throughout  the trip so caring and supportive.

We travelled from Durham by train and thought the biggest challenge would be transit through Kings Cross and the Underground. However, we’d booked assistance and all rail porters, including on the Underground, were exceptional ensuring we arrived safely in Richmond. In fact, other passengers were considerate, too, helping to store luggage, moving out of John’s way etc.  On arrival, we both zonked out on the bed for an hour before exploring (slowly) and finding a place to eat. What a beautiful place!

On Saturday, we travelled by bus to Kew Gardens and then borrowed a wheelchair so that ‘Mrs Muscle’ could push John around. I was exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel. ☹️? John was exhausted too, he said, because I’d picked out every bump, lol! ? It was my own fault for not booking a motorised vehicle so lesson learned. We zonked out asleep again but, fortunately, our friends who live locally, took us out for dinner. 

Sunday was meant to be relaxing so we slowly made our way down to the river. It was glorious just watching the world go by. A little plant-based cafe had conveniently located itself under the bridge so we were well-fed and watered until it was time to clamber down into the boat for our river trip to Hampton Court. Once there, as we had no wheelchair, we slowly made our way to the cafe, walking past the rose garden and peeping into the Wilderness. After people-watching, we made our way back to the boat for the return journey. It is certainly a place to go back to. 

Travelling back into London on Monday was a lot easier because we knew the ropes. We spent time in St Pancras having lunch then I persuaded John to stretch his legs again as I wanted to visit the British Library - my first visit and it will NOT be the last - John sat in the courtyard drinking coffee and guarding our luggage whilst I feasted my eyes on some of the exhibitions. We were so glad we’d paced ourselves but last night and today? Yes, you’ve guessed, we’re both recovering! 

Having a Stroke impacts not just on the Stroke Survivor but also on those closest to them. In a partnership it is both lives that are affected. John and I do the best we can, so our holidays together give us a little bit of normality back. Catching him having the Stroke so early, and the brilliant response of the NHS when it happened, has helped us deal with the negative aspects that John obviously has to deal with. We hope our little escapades gives hope to others on this journey of recovery. Take care, Veronica and John 

PS we were telling our son and his family about pushing the wheelchair in Kew Gardens and were told we should have got him a motorised one and that he’d probably have enjoyed using it. Flustered, I replied that I’d tried to get an electric chair and they roared with laughter! John’s immediate response was that he doesn’t like needles. Me? Slooow! It took me too long to register what I’d said. Doh! Even my grandchildren were laughing! ????

 

Well done both of you. A few months after my stroke a close friend in London died suddenly. I had promised her a year before that I would go to her funeral... the funeral was only six months after I left hospital. Like you, we went by train. We decided to let the train companies know about my health in advance and use only taxis to get to and from rail stations and the funeral. We also booked a disabled friendly room.

It all worked out well, but, like you, we found it tiring. We find mini breaks the best option and manage them quite well. I am limited in my walking, but rest and take the world in when resting and Chris, my partner, goes off to explore further. He is never gone for long, but it means he can explore further and I can relax without any sense of guilt. Like you, we find most people kind and helpful and appreciative of my needs.

You are so right, John. I hesitate to post because it sounds frivolous compared to other’s journeys but I like to show what can be achieved eventually. My John always listens to posts I read out and is aware of most stories. Thank you for your input. V&J ??