Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Ferrari Like Pitstops near Bluebell Woods

Yesterday was a sunny day spent with friends from Germany visiting nearby Italianate gardens during their bluebell fortnight. This marked my first car journey as a one hip wonder so was noteworthy on a number of fronts.

During my friends' stay I made a number trips out of the house and around our own garden. We had a carefully rehearsed process of someone fetching the mobility scooter from the garage below and driving it to the front door while under supervision I used the zimmer frame to negotiate my way outside. We of course had the reverse process also well rehearsed for when it was necessary to return inside.

We gave Bank Holiday Monday a miss because, tempting though it may be to explore the nearby Peak District, the Bank Holiday traffic takes away any enjoyment.

Yesterday was different and with my wife driving we drove to Renishaw Hall (home of the Sitwell family where for 2 weeks each year around this time the gardens are open to the public to explore and enjoy the wooded park resplendent with its English bluebell carpeting).

Getting me into the car went easily - along the lines previously described. However getting the mobility scooter dismantled with 3 willing helpers took a little longer. There is a sequence that needs to be followed to unhook, fasten down, manipulate, lift and pull apart different components. In skilled ( i.e. my)hands this takes about 90 seconds. With 3 willing but novice assistants it took a little longer. Eventually the various bits were loaded into the boot of the car along with the trusty zimmer frame and for the first time in about 5 weeks I drove out of the front gates and back into the "wider world".

On arrival at Renishaw Hall I was very impressed with the speed with which my "pit crew" (having learnt very quickly) managed to have the red scooter assembled and ready to roll.
It was almost like watching the Ferrari pit crew in action during a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Shortly after that we were all wandering through the formal gardens and enjoying the sight of the bluebells on the ground under mature trees with the sun dappling through. It was just calling out to be photographed..... so here is one that captures both the moood and the achievement.

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