Sunday had us heading to Worthing on the southern coast of England. Our reason for going there has little to do with the story I wish to tell. We found ourselves driving along the beach and looked for a parking space so that we could get out and explore a bit of the promenade. The parking garage had wonderful accessible parking but they'd blocked the elevator by chaining four shopping carts together, in an obvious attempt to keep people from bringing shopping carts into the car park. It was sheer determination that had me getting up and squeezing by the barricade, holding on to the walls for balance, as Joe folded up the chair and barely managed to get it onto the elevator. Welcome to Worthing, now buzz off!
We crossed the street and pushed up a ramp and found ourselves promenading. There was a souvenir shop that I wanted to stop at, the Lido, for postcards. The Lido has a walkway all round it, it seemed to offer a great view so we made the turn. I immediately spotted a brand spanking new scooter parked outside the men's toilet. Beside it stood a young woman who noticed me notice the scooter. She leapt into conversation, asking me if I'd ever used one. I told her of my power wheelchair pack home and of how much I miss it on days like this.
Soon she was joined by her father who climbed on to the snazzy red machine. Instantly we were talking about wheelchairs, wheelchair repairs, travelling with wheelchairs and the attitudes of those who resent wheelchairs in public spaces. Joe and the fellow's daughter weren't left out of the conversation, you don't have to use a wheelchair to be informed about what the issues are - you just have to be alert. It was a wonderfully warm few minutes on an otherwise brisk day.
We left them and continued on our way. Joe and I met on Vancouver Island and we both love the smell of the ocean. Joe said that the tang of the beach at Worthing reminded him of Qualicum Beach down island from Campbell River, up island from Victoria. And from there we were off, remembering Victoria and our university days, remembering the treks back and forth from University to home, remembering those heady days.
We made our way back to the car, back to the hotel and back to the work week. It was the perfect day to end the weekend. Promenading on the promenade, finding community out in the community, and enjoying the present and the past.
So, onwards to Liverpool.