No, I’m not a fan of Game of Thrones. But thought the header picture (taken today) was quite wintry.
I’m also really not making a very good job of writing here regularly!
I’ve been a bit distracted. Summer is always a difficult time for me. I don’t find it easy when there are a lot of children around – I don’t dislike children, but find them loud and unpredictable. So it means that I am cut off from doing a lot of the things that I otherwise enjoy.
It’s frustrating. I’m getting better at knowing what I need to do. But the behaviour of other people keeps putting me in situations that are difficult for me – whether it’s noise, or pushing, or expecting me to pick up on unwritten social cues, or having one rule for them and one rule for everyone else… If more people were considerate and consistent it would make life a lot easier.
I’ve also been going through the self-inflicted hell that is applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). I might write more about that in a different blog entry, as I only had my assessment last week and so obviously I’m still waiting to hear about the outcome. From other people’s stories, I’m not expecting anything particularly positive, and the assessment itself was really not pleasant. But I need to just wait and see about that. (I don’t actually want the benefit, but it’s a gateway to a lot of help that would be useful for me, so I’ve had to put up with the process.)
And then after the summer holidays, I was preparing to go on my own holiday. It’s been a while since I went away for a week on my own, so I wanted to practice before my (long) trip to Chile in February. So I ended up going to La Palma in the Canary Islands. Which was nice, but not without its challenges.
La Palma itself worked very well for me. It’s a quiet island, with not that much tourism. Apparently it’s how the other Canary Islands were about forty years ago. And not much tourism means not much nightlife, which suits me just fine. The hotel was nice, as well, although it would have been helpful if my special assistance request had been passed on – waiting in a queue for a long time in an acoustically-dubious reception area at 10pm after a long day’s travelling is not ideal, and had the predictable result.
It was really the whole special assistance that didn’t work. I’d requested it online – I can’t normally use the telephone – and nothing got passed through to the travel company or airline. It was fine at Gatwick; they seem to be quite well set up for invisible disabilities and a simple explanation allowed me to get the help I needed (basically, I need to minimise time in crowded places – so need to get on the plane “first” and it’s helpful if there is a way of skipping some of the security queue). But at La Palma coming back, they didn’t seem to understand that I had no mobility issues – my foot was, for once, behaving itself – but still needed assistance. Eventually I got what I needed, but it would have been nice if something could have been arranged without severe sensory overload.
I’m thinking about who I can ask to call the Chilean airline on my behalf next time.
Anyway, I took quite a lot of pictures of La Palma, so thought I would post some of my favourites here.
There were a few more challenges today. Because I’d been quite stressed last week, due to the PIP assessment, I thought I’d go to Sheffield Park to try and see some autumn colours. Unfortunately, half of Sussex seemed to have the same idea. It was very busy, and noisy. I couldn’t even have a quiet cup of coffee because of a young child deciding that screaming was fun. So I didn’t stay there very long. But I did take some photographs that I quite like.