We drove away from Newcastle Upon Tyne after finishing my first lecture of the final week. Lecture 14 to be precise. I managed to work with Ted our GPS to get Joe to the motorway and then, for the next 50 miles, I slept. The day after day grind of travel and lecture is beginning to really take its toll. We are both feeling the pull of Saturday and the flight home.
Yesterday Joe and I had an intense discussion about what food we'd be ordering in on Saturday. Would it be the Garlic Pepper or would it be B.B.Ques? We discussed this with a passion once reserved for great literature and future plans. We came down from the discussion dizzy with anticipation for Crunchy Tofu in Orange Peel sauce.
Our trip has been well planned in that our last week gets us ever closer to Heathrow, we've been all over England and Scotland and now we are wending our way slowly home. We love the time here, we love the sense of being away, we appreciate the opportuntity to spend a whole month meeting people and offering training. It's become a huge part of how we spend our lives.
But we can do without the hastle of hotels and dealing with the petty annoyances of travel. We are tired of restaurant food and the ready meals we pick up from the supermarket. We are both missing my power wheelchair and the independance it gives both of us. Joe caught his fingers in my wheelchair today and had to spend time washing his bloody hand clean.
But it is made worth it by small moments. Wendy and Daniel, two people with disabilities who attended my workshop today, emphasized the points I made about relationships by talking about reciprocity - not with a big word - but by glowing when she talked about his poetry, and he talked about how she lit up when he came into a room. They clearly expect much from life, they expect their rights as adults, they hope for a wonderful life together. Their words and thoughts entered easily and almost seemlessly into the points I had been making. I couldn't have planned their presence or presentation better.
So we look forward to home and what that means, we will work through this week, city after city, with an eye on being done. We know that in a month or two we will forget the unclean hotel room, the inaccessible doors, the steps where there should have been a ramp ... and we will remember Wendy and Daniel, Duncan, and Robert who wore a yellow shirt today and who listened carefully to everything I said and when doing an evaluation said, 'He was pretty good'.