if we were having coffee

If We Were Having Coffee – Life Musing #15

If we were having coffee I’d start by saying thanks for sticking around. These past two years haven’t been anything like we could have predicted, and they certainly aren’t what you signed up for.

When I first started writing and you first started reading, things were much more action packed. We’d chat about my adventures and the ridiculous access barriers I would face. I’d rant and ramble and have a good moan. Well I guess that hasn’t changed, even if the subject matter has.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that’s all about to change. I’m slowly getting back out there, and although I’m being rather choosy about the escapades I’ll be venturing on, there will at least be some!

I’ve even painted my nails.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I got my fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. And that’s partly why the adventures will be recommencing. That and the fact that I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m one of very few left caring, nothing is going to change in terms of protections/restrictions, and a person can only feel left behind for so long.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that getting my fourth vaccine was not as easy as it sounds. These eligibility lists have always needed a little deciphering, leaving much to interpretation. Although I’ve always been classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, these lists were constantly being shortlisted. Neurological conditions were on the list, but not Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Even though Motor Neurone Disease is, and SMA is a type of that. But there we go, nothing in life is straightforward. Long story shortish, phone calls, a consultants letter, a GP message and 101 questions at the vaccine centre later, I got jabbed.

If we were having coffee we’d be sure to talk about the weather. It’s been getting rather sunny here, you’d think summer was on its way. Thank goodness.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the weather affects me, lately. It’s almost like there are two different versions of me. A winter me and a summer me. Not only is life just better when the sun shines, things feel on the up, motivation strikes. But I’m also remarkably more mobile. Not in the running about kind of way. The sun doesn’t have quite those powers. Things are just easier, my hands have more movement and strength. I’m not all seized up. When you’re me, things are measured in minuscule. A centimetre difference in how full my cup is, can make or break my ability to lift it. Well when the sun shines, I feel I gain millimetres.

If we were having coffee you might remember Terrance. The living Christmas tree. These warmer days have meant I’m back spending a little more time in the garden, during which I noticed Terrance seems to be flourishing.

A small living Christmas tree. The branches are puffing out with lots of greenery.

Maybe Christmas just isn’t his thing.

If we were having coffee I’d ask if you know how difficult it is to get eye test these days?! Probably harder than you think, when you’re a wheelchair user with very limited mobility.

I booked an appointment at the local Specsavers. Online as you do, because the world is an accessible place these days. Ha. There were some tick boxes and sections to fill out if you have any special requirements. Access shouldn’t be special, but I alerted them of my wheels, and ticked the wheelchair access box.

I arrive to their surprise, having been booked into an inaccessible room. But that was the least of my concerns, because once that was quickly sorted I realised that the only way to test your eyes at Specsavers these days is to put your head up against a giant machine that barely moves.

Long story shortish, I couldn’t. After a hunt for the antique testing glasses thingys that they didn’t have, I was told my only option was a home visit a month later. Because they have the antique thingys that are far too simple to use in store.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I shouldn’t have to have a home visit for something so simple and routine. I did though, my eyes were all ok. Although he did say I’ll likely need reading glasses by 40. Which isn’t all that far away. I wonder how accessible that appointment will be.

If we were having coffee you might think I look a year older. That’s because I am. I turned 37. The last birthday I had without a lockdown was 34. So I decided to venture out for this one.

If we were having coffee you’d know that I’m partial to the occasional (regular) afternoon tea. Well The Assembly House in Norwich have recently mixed that up a bit, and have created the Beforenoon Tea. Now if there’s something I like almost as much as afternoon tea, it’s brunch. This being a combination of the two, I had to check it out.

Three tired cake stand with the sweet desserts at the top, scones on the bottom, and croissant and pasties in the middle.

It was delicious, as expected.

After devouring the first course of a mini full English, a cake stand is served. Cheese scones with bacon jam (oh my), croissants filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon, mini cheese toasties, sausage rolls, cinnamon cruffins, blueberry muffins, granola yoghurt, mango cheesecake. Needless to say, I took a box of leftovers home!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I did a little shopping on the way home. Well I tried to, but didn’t actually buy anything. I know I’ve been in limbo for quite some time, but browsing the rails in Primark was like stepping back into a 90’s time warp. Camo crop tops and patchwork denim jeans. I’ve lived through that before, I don’t need to again.

Where do 37 year olds shop for clothing? Genuine question.

If we were having coffee I’d ask if you knew that you could react to a message on WhatsApp? (You know, like add a sticky little thumbs up or heart). Because I didn’t. Until a friend told me the other week. It seems like there are so many ways now of showing what we think or feel, without saying a thing.

It’s funny, though. Because I remember a time when my texts used to be like ‘R U ok?’ Because I’d run out of characters, and longer texts cost more money. No lie. Now my messages are so long that I paragraph them. If only I could have written my dissertation years ago on WhatsApp. I’d have been done in an afternoon.

While on the subject of gadgets and technology, if we were having coffee I’d tell you Netflix needs a watched folder. Or a process that highlights or darkens the titles you’ve seen. I know there’s watch again. But.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I can watch a film one year only to go and watch it the following one and wonder why it feels a bit déjà vu. I’ve seen it before.

While on the subject of TV, I watched the last episode of This Is Us. I really don’t want it to be the last episode. I feel I’ve grown old with those Pearson’s.

There was this quote near the end “If something makes you sad when it ends, it must have been pretty wonderful when it was happening“

And it has never rung so true.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the world lost two sparks last week. I was reading a book at the time and this quote came up and really made me think.

“Some people burn too bright to last long.”

An image to pin. Glass mug filled with dark liquid is standing on a grey marble surface.

7 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee – Life Musing #15”

  1. We’ve had our fourth jab, too, and feel painfully stuck with what to do. Cleaning things is getting to me more than anything else because it’s simply not possible to keep everything clean when you go out. You can’t not touch things either, and then it’ll spread… I’m exhausted with the constant worrying and cleaning when I don’t know if there’s much point. Like you say, there’s not really anything left for the vulnerable now, no real restrictions or protections in place to keep them safe. We go out, wear a mask, and are then surrounded by everyone else unmasked, chatting and shouting and coughing like it’s business as usual and Covid never existed. I’m still massively stressing it all in my head because as soon as I think “screw it, let’s go back to normal”, I realise I can’t. I couldn’t encourage it either way as it’s my parents decision (they’re totally clueless too) but if anything happened to them…I hate this. I hate it so much.

    Rant over. Glad you got your jab eventually but yes, the criteria for it was clear as mud. Even the guys at 119 didn’t know when I called them to get answers for the blog post I wrote. Weeks later and it’s still no clearer or more thorough in terms of who is actually eligible. Boosters be like a box of chocolates, you never know which brand you’re gonna get or if you’ll even get any chocolate at all.

    I find the sunshine to have pretty magical qualities in terms of how I feel, too. Hopefully it’ll grace us with its presence again soon. At least it’s warmer today, but more of a heavy warm with grey skies that are harbouring another thunderstorm. What about global warming bringing us hotter, sunnier summers?

    Your Terrance isn’t just for Christmas. This dude is clearly a summer baby.

    I’m sorry Specsavers went to abominably. It’s “eye-opening” to realise the forms they make you fill out clearly aren’t being read. What a wasted visit and a horrible position for you to have been put in while you were there. Pfft.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your Beforenoon Tea – pretty hard not to, by the sound of it. Ooo I bloody love a good croissant. Is it weird I eat them dry, no butter or jam?

    I do what you do with deja vu films with books, too. After hefting them home from the library, I inevitably find between 1 and 5 of them are books I’ve already read. It often takes a few chapters before something scratches at my brain, this little sense of familiarity. But when you know you’ve seen/read it, even though you can’t really remember it, I can’t bring myself to go through it again. The other problem is with TV series; you really get into them, get to a particular season and then take a break, but when you go back to it you can’t remember where you left off. I go through the episodes to find where I was, but I still can’t tell if I’ve seen them or not! Better Call Saul is the latest victim of my shitty memory. I’ve got a an iNote page for writing what I’ve watched and where I’ve left off now because it got so bad. Problem is I then forget to write down what I’ve been watching. D’oh! xx


  2. Hello happy with the catch up. I agree it seems the majority of people feel COVID is over even if people are dying each week. I’m still weighing pros and cons of where I want to go. Crowds inside – packed places I’m passing on. Hope summer brings the numbers down and more outside activities so that is easier. So take care and glad to see you back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, we are venturing out a bit, albeit very carefully. I’m curious about your eye “exam.” The big machine might have been an auto-refractor, essentially a device that measures the refractive power of each eye separately. Very cumbersome, indeed.
    There are a few places that have tracks that let them move the chair back, so the wheelchair can fit in. Not common. What do you mean by the antique machine? Just curious.
    Your teas sounds good. We had a proper tea shop at Celebration, Florida, near Disney, that we went to once. It was fun, but the shop didn’t last long. The tourists were looking for something quicker and perhaps more exciting.
    Stay safe, but it’s good to be out from home occasionally! 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was just a regular eye sight examination, but here they use these massive machines now that you need to be able to lean towards and rest your head on to see the tests and check lenses etc. The antique gadget I’m referring to is the old method of putting the glasses style testing equipment on you and then reading while changing the lenses. They don’t seem to use that technique in stores here now. Surely the development of technology is to be inclusive?!
      There’s not much more exciting to me that a good afternoon tea!
      I’m glad you’re feeling able to go out more again. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to read that you had issues to overcome to be boosted…here in Los Angeles, they are begging people to come in – the general feeling here is that, once vaccinated at all, the virus is unlikely to cause serious health problems, so why keep getting shots? My wife and I got our second boost because it makes us feel better being out there where 15% or so in our state haven’t done a thing. No need to tempt fate. As for “This Is Us”, my wife had all of the cast on her show (The Kelly Clarkson Talk Show) at one point this year to discuss the last season – and to a person they all said it was the greatest working experience ever…they were ALL so terrific. Glad you are getting back out and enjoying life again safely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the feeling is quite similar here with many, but as long as they keep the jabs coming, I’ll keep turning up.
      Oh I’m so jealous of her hosting the cast of This Is Us. It really is an incredible show, one of my all time favourites.

      Liked by 1 person

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