Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
is what I had today! I am in the process of applying for a Hearing Dog for the Deaf and as part of that I was invited to an “information day” at the centre in Buckinghamshire.
This was an opportunity for applicants to see what the charity is all about and to see how the dogs behave, where they are trained. And more importantly, I think, to hear what the staff have to say and what a current Hearing Dog owner thinks of having a dog.
The website for the charity doesn’t actually give travel directions – probably to ensure the safety of the dogs - so I had to rely on a map and a rough idea of where it was. So, the closer I got the more worried I was that I had missed it altogether when I suddenly saw a road sign that said “Hearing Dogs” – aha!!
We were given a demonstration of how the dog works for us – including how to tell us that the alarm clock has gone off….
One of the best bits (and there were many) was probably the talk given by Hearing Dog owner David (dog was called Mitchell) that really opened our eyes to the responsibilities and the joys of owning a Hearing Dog. The funniest thing that he said was that when he first had the dog he was approached by someone who asked what a Hearing Dog did and he was ever so tempted to say that first thing in the morning the dog goes and listens to the radio and then comes and tells me what the news is!!!
Anyway – we certainly had a lot of information to take in and I still had a dozen questions at the end of the whole process!! But at the end of the day I came away feeling that I definitely, positively, absolutely would like to have a Hearing Dog.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Naturally this has meant a great deal of preparation - making sure that my bike was fit for purpose, doing a few bike rides to get myself prepared and buying some panniers. (after a great deal of research and reading other people's reviews I eventually settled on Arkel - a Canadian firm that sell very robust panniers).
We've also done most of the travel preparation, i.e. booked the Bed and Breakfasts and roughly planned our route; although I still need to do a few more bike rides, but the weather has been putting me off lately!
Anyway, the main purpose of this particular post is to say that we were getting a bit worried that Mum wouldn't even have a bike to ride on! Clearly, the one requirement of a cycling holiday is that you have a bicycle!! Mum had applied to get some money through the bike to work scheme; only it was taking rather longer than expected to arrive.
The voucher finally arrived yesterday and so Mum went and got her bike and after a few hiccups with the saddle and the gears, took it out on a short ride today. Mum's first ride on her lovely new land rover bike (which is purple!) and what does she do? She falls off!! Would you believe that she was stationary too!!! (sorry Mum, this was too good to keep quiet!).
Mum tells me that she overbalanced a little and when she went to put her foot down the ground sloped away a little and so she just missed altogether and fell over! Ending up with a muddy brake lever and a bruised knee - sending kisses your way, but you really shouldn't fall off your bike!