Today I went to the South West Disability Show at Westpoint, Exeter. I went last year as well. It's on a much smaller scale than Naidex, the big national one held each April at the NEC, Birmingham. Being smaller, it's easier to take on board, and there's little danger of missing anything.
As soon as I went in, someone said “I saw you last year!” This is because I'm so recognisable (once seen, never forgotten??) with my Rolls Royce wheelchair with its flowers! In fact, everywhere I went, I heard the word “flowers!” following me!
(This was taken a couple of years ago at our nephew's wedding.)
I saw several people I knew, and also met some new people. There was a super lady who was trying out a scooter - actually it was more like a boy racer motorbike! It had an evil looking front with a headlight, chrome, go-faster-stripes, and came in a snazzy dark red colour! It was her face that said it all. She had a smile that met round the back, and she zipped off in it at high speed, and the blokes on the stand said “we were told to get rid of all the scooters at the show - that one's disappeared for sure, but we were supposed to be selling them!!!” She and I then had a race, and she managed to scare a policeman! This lady had a beautiful daughter who looked after her - there was such a special bond between them that was lovely to see - a very caring, special young lady. Then came the question as to whether she could actually afford this scooter, and she said “I could always sell my husband!” - he was standing there - and I said yes, but the scooter wouldn't make you a nice cup of tea, would it!
I had a lovely chat with a couple over lunch - she was severely disabled with MS and she had a wonderful caring husband. It made me think - there are so many of us who depend on our loved ones for the support and care that we need - these are the unsung heroes of our society who care for disabled relatives day in, day out, with very little recognition, given the huge expense they are saving the nation.
The Global Leather glove man was there again, and he recognised me from last year too! We had a nice chat. I noticed a deterioration in his health since last year, and he finds many aspects of his disability to be very restricting, but he still manages to run his business. I bought a new pair of gloves to replace the ones that are now falling apart after much use! He said that some people complain that his gloves fall apart. He said if you walk long enough in shoes, they fall apart, too! Wheelchair gloves take a lot of punishment. I'd rather have gloves that eventually fall apart than hands full of blisters.
I met a lady with a prosthetic leg, and she had nail art on the toenails! Brilliant!
So many really lovely people to meet and chat with, disabled and able bodied alike.
It was a long, tiring day for me. I am now practically horizontal on the recliner, having had a cup of tea (courtesy of my wonderful hubby bless him!!!) and a sleep. It was well worth going, though, as it's an opportunity to see the latest equipment and keep up to date with what's going on.
Here's what I saw when I was leaving, as part of the display of a local firm who supply adapted vehicles. This is the very latest in ramped access vehicles, complete with the latest lightweight sporty wheelchair. (Note the nice authentic touch of the rust on the vehicle!)