With the help of readers of Chewing the Fat, I knew where to go to get a power cord and adapter for my computer. Rose had told me that the one I’d left in Niagara Falls had been found and would be returned to the office ready to be mailed out should my shopping trip fail. We headed first thing to the Trafford Center in Manchester as we knew there was a Currys there, and besides, it’s a great place to spend a few hours. The guy who helped us at the store spoke to us in plain language rather than geek speek so we were able to quickly and easily pick out what we needed. Rah!
Then we shopped. Found a Christmas dress for Ruby and with the help of a young mom picked out leggings to match. People seemed to be getting into the spirit of the holidays and whole families were out together. My new wheelchair is a wonder to roll. My old one, before it died, had become difficult to push, it had little roll left in it. This one a slight push and it rooooooooolls. Awesome. Joe found that he was constantly losing me as I headed off. He suggested, only half jokingly, getting one of those florescent orange flags that some wheelchair users put on the back of their chairs.
Joe was in the final line up for the day and I told him I’d just roll on ahead. When my arms got tired, I parked right up against the wall, out of the way of most passersby. I hadn’t seen her coming. There was nothing I could have done if I had, mind. She looked right off Coronation Street and was only missing a butt hanging out the corner of her mouth. She had a bag full of bright, some might say gaudy, Christmas wrapping paper.
She was barrel-assing her way towards me. She had to break stride and step around me. She looked at me with annoyance. ‘I don’t mind that they let you people out,’ she said, ‘but they shouldn’t leave you alone and in the way like this.’ I was shocked.
It took me a second to think of what to say, “Ma’am,’ I called out and she turned a little shocked at my accent, and I pointed down at the wrapping paper, ‘In the Nativity, do they let you play the old cow?”
She was stunned. Then she started to laugh, ‘You’re a right sparkly one aren’t you?”
“Very sparkly,” I said, to her retreating back.