I Don’t Get Work/Life Balance

And so, I have a new day-job.  I mostly work from home.  More on that later.

This is my official spiel:

Lorna is a wheelchair-user, who travels extensively at home and abroad. She is an American who has lived in Scotland for 20 years, so she isn’t really sure where home is, though.

She is fueled by coffee and creativity and is a recent convert to bubble tea.

Proof of Barcelona.  And bubble tea.
Proof of Barcelona. And bubble tea.

Her favourite travel experiences have included a solo Amtrak journey from New York to Seattle and back, Hogmanay on Raasay, gin and lemonade in Florence, and her honeymoon in Bruges and Barcelona.

Her professional interest in accessible travel began on the night she found herself sleeping on a bathroom floor at an airport outside of Paris. She thinks Paris and Shakespeare are overrated but she loves Shakespeare and Company bookshop. She’d like to visit all the bookshops in the world, and maybe even open one.

Lorna’s more realistic goals include writing books in an open-plan but cosy cottage on Skye and/or counting penguins in Antarctica.

She used to be the Equality and Diversity Assistant at VisitScotland. As the Customer Support Manager here *at new place*, (site still in development) she will be available to answer all your questions on how to get the most out of our site, as well as any general travel enquiries you may have. Just please don’t ask her where she’s from!

*Photo courtesy of my husband, who is actually in it.  Tea from wow!boba 

What do you do?  What do you want to do?

Do You Need A Vacation?

Remember when this blog was about (in)accessibility, travel and life on wheels?

It’s kinda morphed into a wedding-planning stress-fest, which still includes all of the above. Stick with me here.

In the midst of writing emails, being poked with dress-pins and sometimes sobbing over song choices, I have been doing some work.

I’m part of a website start-up which will focus on listing accessible travel accommodation for disabled people, with an opportunity to read/share reviews on such places, book from the site and contact property-owners and other people users of the site.

We’re trying to get an idea of the kinds of information to include on the site, and there has been a survey developed to let people to share their opinions.

And I thought of all you wonderful people.

If you are disabled, or if you travel with someone who is (say for instance, on a honeymoon. Or something.), please click on the link to let us know what you think:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Website_Accessible_Holiday_Properties

The survey is quick and powered by SurveyMonkey.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Dancing On The Tables

The first and only time I danced on a table it buckled underneath me.   My friends lifted me, in the chair, onto the table because it was the only free space on which to dance.  I was 18 and liked to dance.  I was also drunk.  All other space that night was taken up by girls dancing around their handbags and boys dancing around girls.

On a crowded dance floor, I am usually considered a fire hazard.  A fire hazard with a perfect view of other people’s asses.  I can’t look at my own without a mirror, but I spend a lot of time looking at other people’s.

Some security guards, who take their job really seriously, have suggested that ‘she might want to stay off the dance floor.’  Not because I’m a bad dancer, I’m actually quite good, but because if there was a fire, those same girls dancing around their handbags would trample me on the way to the exits.  This line of thought has never made sense to me.  I can bust out of a room faster than anyone running on high-heels and swinging a fugly Louis Vuitton handbag.

Before I settled down, which involves staying in more than going out, I’d been going clubbing since I was 18.  Most nights ended with me feeling happy, if slightly claustrophobic.  And even happier to leave The Sea of Asses.

These days, Friday nights consist of Indian food and a revolving collection of somewhat-nostalgic boxsets.  Sarge and I did go out last Friday, though.  To a pub to watch a band play.   Because the band is going to play at our wedding.  So really, you could say, we went out on Friday night to celebrate never having to go out on a Friday night ever again.  Or something.

We got a table up front.   No handbag dancers or asses in sight.  As people got more into the music, they began to dance around me.  Behind me, next to me, in front of me.  And so, I asked Sarge if he wanted to dance.  No.  There wasn’t enough room for me to twirl around myself, so I counted the number of times a stranger leaned on/got caught on the back of my chair.  I call such people Personal Space Invaders.  Sometimes, I need to ask them twice to back off.  I ask them nicely.  The third time, if needed, is not so nice.

A few years ago, a woman was so close that she actually fell into my lap.  I slapped her, and blamed my reflexes.  It was the first and only time I put my hands to anyone in anger/bewilderment/to deflect a fugly Louis Vuitton handbag.

On Friday night, I found myself touching a stranger again.  I elbowed her while getting my jacket on.  It was a reflex.

Next time will be at my wedding!

Two Years Of Shots

Today is Gin & Lemonade’s second birthday.  My move from Glasgow to Edinburgh is not so recent any more and I no longer have a cat who thinks she’s a dog.  I don’t even have a boyfriend, because he’s now my fiance.

A few days after I posted my first blog birthday post, I dumped some coffee on Hemingway and he left meAnd then he came back.  Since then things have gotten weird and more weird.

While I’m still trying to make the world a more accessible place, it isn’t my day job any more.  I’m looking for another one of those. But I still think Shakespeare is overrated.

This has been an interesting year, so far.  I proposed to Sarge, and then my Dad got cancer.  Dad celebrated our engagement by wearing a beard hat and burning stuff.  Including cancer cells.  And I missed my grandparents.  Some things never change.

Sarge and I went venue shopping, and tried to make our own invitations.  The only thing we made was a mess.  We sent away for them, and Dad might be writing them out as I type.

So, that happened.  And I blogged about it.  I’d like to thank you for being there to celebrate with me, worry with me, and celebrate again.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Most posts start out in notebooks. These are full. Time for new ones.

Blogging Against Disablism Day 2012: This Is How I Roll

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day, 2012.

I am disabled.  Mostly by society.

I am on wheels.  Everyone should know this by now.  Regular readers, anyone who reads my About page, people I’ve worked with, laughed with, gotten lost with, my parents and the man who loves me.  That’s everyone.

What people may not know is this:  I am totally OK with it.  My CP means that I will never run a marathon.  I may drive one, though.  It means I don’t go to the gym.  I probably should, but I don’t have to.  I can do laps around my house, or push my myself uphill.  Or over cobbles.

I’m never going to walk down the aisle, but  I may get funky new wheels for the occasion.  I don’t care how I get there, I’m more about the the man at the end, and the people there with us.

Yes, CP sometimes sucks.  So do taxes.  Taxes are worse.

Other posts from where I sit:

Yes, I’m The Bride.  Who Are You?

I Don’t Sleep With My Colleagues

No Love In An Elevator

The Art of Patience

Yes, I’m The Bride. Who Are You?

I have a confession to make.  I have not been planning/dreaming of my wedding since I was six years old.  There are no scrapbooks, files, dog-eared wedding magazines from the ‘80’s.  The first and only time I made any kind of short-lived scrapbook, I glued my fingers together.  True story.

Two and a half years ago, I began to picture myself married.  To Sarge.   Being married, that is.  Not the wedding.

And so, when we began to discuss what the actual wedding might look like, I had only a few ideas:

I’d like to get married outside

To Sarge

He’d be in a skirt kilt

And my dress and I would sit comfortably in my chair, at the same time.

With more butterflies than flowers around

This is the list we took venue-shopping a few weeks ago.

Now.  I’d heard that people selling their services don’t like to talk to the groom and direct everything to the bride.  We went to three places.   Two people directed their questions to both of us.  Super cool.  One person spoke only to Sarge.  Not cool.  He was a bit confused when we both answered back.  Which was cool.

The thing is this.  Sarge isn’t marrying himself.  I would be totally supportive if he wanted to, but he doesn’t.  He wants to marry me.  So, yes, Mr Co-ordinator who doesn’t like his job, that makes me the bride.  Disabled people get married, too.  I read it online somewhere.

For me, this means that if we were to get married outside, I’d need a flat aisle.  No carpets over grass.  We’d even make a platform.  But we’d have to be allowed to use it.  Not being allowed to use it would be a little thing called a deal-breaker.  That means we’re going to take our money and our wedding somewhere else.

We have provisionally booked an indoor venue more beautiful than any picture I could have pasted in a scrapbook, if I had one.  Which I don’t.

I do, however, have  some Pinterest boards, which are less messy.  Maybe.

This was taken a year ago. At a wedding. Do we look like we're practicing?