A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee

Weekend-Coffee-Share-Nerd-in-the-Brain-4If we were having coffee and ask you how your week’s been treating you?

I’d tell you I looked in the mirror this week, and it’s actually dawned on me that I’m actually 36.  My kid is nearly 3.  Next month, Neil and I are married four years.  Seems longer.  And not long enough.

Did I mention that I spilled coffee on Frank the laptop and I’m back on Truman the Giant Desk Top?  It’s actually meant more writing has happened recently.   And to that I say, whatever works.

I Skyped my Mom this week.  We all fit on the same screen.

I might have asked Toast Coffee House if they deliver.  To Skye.  Because y’know, that’s where I am.  If you can, go visit them and have a Peanut Butter Mocha for me.

Did I mention that I’m thinking of joining a knitting group?  Or that I don’t actually knit? Maybe I’ll try, but we have to see if my wheelchair fits in the knitting group building first.  Because it might not.  And that’s a thing.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if anyone else has to do pre-mission missions with a freaking tape measure?  Because that’s a thing, too.

I wonder if I’m turning into a pissed off wheelchair-user with a chip on her shoulder the size of a Peppa Pig puzzle piece.

How long have we been having coffee?  Seriously?  And how long have I been talking about the same things?

If I asked you what you’d like to talk about, what would you say?  Because I actually want to know.  Let’s talk about you.  I’m here.

And in October, Neil and I are going to London for The Twin Peaks UK Festival.  Because that’s a thing, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altoids & Oreos

I figured you wouldn’t want to hear about how I can’t sleep. And then I do. And then I snap awake at 4 AM, and read by Kindle-light. How Isla goes to ‘school’ two mornings a week now, and I miss her after the first hour. How there’s a path around the house now, and that’s a good thing. But how, sometimes we, (OK, mostly I) want to lift this house and the path around it and plant it somewhere where there’s neighbours.

I figured you wouldn’t want to hear that on bad, cliche days my only happiness is my husband and my child, my books and the songs of Lee Brice.

However, you might be interested to know that my Mom came over to visit. And she brought me Wintergreen Altoids. How she stayed for two weeks and we only had two and a half fights. (I knocked half off because she brought me Altoids.)

We drove around looking for salmon and wool and world peace. We listened to The Beatles and she knitted me a sweater. Yes, really.

And after two weeks and two and half fights, I asked her to stay. Yes, really. She didn’t. The sweater’s a little big, but the visit was just the right size.

I’m not depressed. Or at least I know I shouldn’t be. Hell, I live in the most desirable place in Britain.

Scenery has got to count for something, right?

So. Not depressed. I just really like Oreos these days.

This is not a new feeling for me. When I first moved to Edinburgh, I missed my friends in Glasgow. When I was in Glasgow, I missed my student days. When I was a student, I should have stayed there.

Point is, I’m always missing something.

I didn’t grow up in the same place I was a child, and I’ve moved every five years ever since.

My sense of place and belonging has always been jumbled and fucked up. Home is more about people than a postbox. I know that. It makes life interesting, but also well, interesting.

When Mom was here we took her to Edinburgh. We rented a flat for four days. In our old building. The same building Neil and I moved into together, where we came home from work, and our honeymoon and the hospital with Isla.

Edinburgh gave me a bunch of my favourite things. And chip-shop pakora.

I’ve decided that as a place, Edinburgh is as close as I’ve come to home, as an adult.

Today, I’m thankful for Edinburgh, and all my friends there. All my friends and family, and friends who are family, everywhere. I’m thankful for everyone on this island. And my people on Long Island.

For my husband and my kid and for everyone that loves us, weird bunch that we are.

For the people who drink coffee and beer with me.

For the people who ate cookies with me in 1985, and the people who ate cookies with me last week.

Come visit.

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Scenic, right?

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?

George’s Guide To Belgian Beer

I know I’m jumping ahead a bit here, but we had a guest on our honeymoon.  George Bailey-Penguin comes with us wherever we go.  And our honeymoon, I learned, was no different.

By the end of our week in Bruges, George  was being recognised by waiters and bar staff, who asked us, ‘Does he go everywhere with you?’

Apparently so.

Here’s George sampling some Belgian beer, so we didn’t have have to.  But we did anyway.

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Smiske Extra.

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Westmalle and Mystic Kriek.  George looks happy.  I’m not so sure.

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GBP’s favourite Belgian beer is Kwak.  Which is, coincidentally, the easiest beer for a penguin to pronounce.

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Steenbrugge Wit and Kriek Boon

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Neil’s favourite beer, Préaris Quadrupel and me, his favourite wife with my new favourite beer, Pecheresse.

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George and Hercule.  I approve.  My kriek beer, on the other hand, smelled like feet.

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St Bernadus Abt 12 and Vedett Extra White, the only white beer I’ve had that doesn’t taste like piss.

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La Chouffe, highly recommended by gnomes … and penguins.

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Karmeliet Tripel, George says pay no attention to the woman blinking behind the beer.

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We think this was Duvel … it was a long week.

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With mussels to soak up the booze.  The fries were good, but not as good as advertised … they haven’t lied to us.

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Straffe Hendrik Quadruple and Brugse Zot at De Halve Maan brewery.  The brewery was completely inaccessible, but the beer garden was not.

1279_10151559236924412_1130390053_nMe taking a picture of Neil taking a picture of George.  Meta, or something.

George Bailey-Penguin reminds you to drink, and blog, responsibly.

What’s your favourite beer?

 

Guest Post: Honeymoon In Edinburgh

Guest post by Elsa at Feminist Sonar.

It has been a year since I was in Edinburgh and I miss it. It’s a beautiful city, and possibly the favorite one my husband and I visited on our honeymoon? And why? Because of the people.

In one evening at a pub, we made friends with locals.

The next day we got to meet Lorna and Neil, and for the first time ever we got to spend time with another couple where one half of the partnership was disabled.

It was magical. We didn’t have to explain the things that we do to keep me safe, we got to hang out and drink scotch and there wasn’t a shred of awkwardness.

Would I change anything about my trip? More time, less stairs up to my bedroom, and not having walking pneumonia are among my favorites.

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!