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A taste of freedom

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everybody, hope you are all doing okay in this strange time.

I apologise for not keeping on top of my updates, due to Covid-19 we have been stuck at home, as I explained in my previous post back in May.

As I am in the Vulnerable category it has taken a while for me to be comfortable and to feel safe venturing out of my home after shielding for so long. This week I have managed to visit a few places while still keeping myself safe and adhering to the social distancing rules set by the Government.

The first place we visited was Leeds Castle on Saturday 22nd August to attend an outdoor cinema experience showing "Grease". We initially booked this last year after seeing the Greatest Showman. Due to Covid this had been postponed from July to August. I went with my Mum and my Nan and met up with my friend and her Mum which was really nice as we hadn't seen each other in Months. The event was well organised and had precautions in place such as chairs being set up 2 meters apart from each bubble. The only downfall of this was that we had to travel along a field which was very bumpy for me in my wheelchair and on the return it was very hard to see where I was going as it wasn't very well lit. There was disabled parking allocated which didn't need booking and was easily accessible for those who needed it. For my first proper outing since lockdown I had a really good time watching a classic film "under the stars" and I highly recommend it.

On Monday 24th August I went to Hever Castle for the day with my Mum and my Nan. We had to prebook a slot online which was one of the castle's Covid precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible. While walking around the grounds face masks were not necessary but when we were inside they were mandatory. I enjoyed walking around the grounds and sightseeing but I am really not a fan of wasps or birds and there seemed to be a lot around. I do have a liking of Robins as my family believe they have a spiritual meaning, one came very close to us for quite some time which I found to be very comforting. The castle was open to look around but only a certain amount of people were able to go in and due to passed experiences we knew it wasn't very wheelchair accessible so choose not to go inside. I would recommend visiting Hever Castle to get a better understanding of our history while taking in beautiful surroundings.

The final place we visited this week was Rye Harbour on Wednesday 26th August. I went with my Mum, Nan, Grandad and our two dogs. We had a two hour drive to the destination and upon arrival the first thing we did was get fish and chips which we ate in the car before heading out on our walk. We walked along a very long path down towards the sea, on this particular day there was work being done at the beginning of the path so we had to go on a much bumpier path, thankfully this was only for a few minutes before we were able to re enter the original path. I had the job of walking my dog Buster while my Mum had the harder job of looking after the puppy Louis. Along the path were a few bird watching places including one that my Grandad took me in which was over a bridge and in a hut, there were windows for bird watchers to look out of and there was also a lower down window that meant I could also see. We then carried on walking a bit further which in total was about a mile and a half to where we eventually reached the beach. Unfortunately it is as pebble beach so it meant my chair had no chance of driving on. My Grandad offered to carry me but I don't like to loose my independence being out of my chair. My added worry was my feeding tube which has been hurting a lot after a recent change and I didn't want to risk any rubbing or knocking it. We then decided to carry on down a different route which was less busy and we found a path made from railway tracks which meant my chair was able to go on a small section of the beach. My Mum and Grandad took the dogs down to the sea to have a run around while me and my Nan stayed on the beach to find pebbles and take pictures of the beautiful scenery while getting heavily windswept. Buster loved the sea but Louis wasn't too sure as it was his first experience. We then took a walk back towards the car and took another route down to the RNLI base where we saw a few people fishing. There was also a memorial piece created from pebbles which were individually painted in memory of the people that died on the Mary Stanford Lifeboat. We then went back to the car but stopped off on the way to get an ice cream which was very refreshing on a warm day. I would also recommend going for a walk by the sea as it can be peaceful and therapeutic.

Normally throughout the night I need to be moved multiple times but after our day out to the sea I didn't need to be moved at all during the night, that could have been thanks to the sea air.

I have really enjoyed getting out this week and getting back to a bit of normality. If you have any recommendations of places you think I would enjoy that have disabled access it would be most appreciated. I have also added some videos of the days under the 'videos' tab on the main menu of this website, so be sure to check them out :).

Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Ellie X

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