Travelling in Style!

Travelling in style!!

I thought yesterday was thwart with difficulties. Today, I really did it in style! I’d just travelled down to town in Alfie, my new electric powerchair when I started to feel out of kilter. Uh, oh, I’d had this feeling before. I immediately looked over Alfie, only to discover two completely flat rear tyres! Not again … the last time this happened, I was on the end of the longest pier in the world at Southend-on-Sea! It’s 2.16 kilometres! You can read this here – Sunnier Climes – Part 2 – The Pier.

I was sitting outside M&S (Marks & Spencer) – a big chain store, especially in the UK. I needed assistance, so I limped slowly into the entrance to attract a store assistant. I could feel the rims scraping the ground with every limping inch. Ouch. I just managed to get inside the door out of the hot, bright sun. Fortunately, I have a rescue service as part of my lease contract for such occasions; I phoned them to be told they would be with me as soon as they could.

An hour later, still waiting, I was getting cold as I’d only managed to drive as far as the freezer cabinets by the door. I hadn’t thought to bring a jacket on such a beautiful day. A lovely assistant approached me and asked if I’d like a hot drink. She came back with a coffee. She also picked up a vegan sandwich for me. I was hungry by then. As the hours were ticking away, I was getting very cold, so they gave me one of the Stock Controller’s freezer jackets to put around my shoulders till my transport came. The shop staff were wonderful – they couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly. I’ll definitely be making a call to Customer Services tomorrow to give my compliments and to ask for the staff to be personally thanked.

I sat and waited … and waited … and waited. One of the assistants kept popping his head out of the door to see if there were any signs of rescue. Nothing. I phoned the rescue people again, only to be told they were having difficulties finding a vehicle to collect me. More waiting.

After three-and-a-half hours, a man in grey and orange overalls and muddy boots came toward me. This was my knight in shining armour! I was very pleased to see him. He’d come to take my wheelchair home and helped me into a waiting taxi as he wasn’t allowed to carry passengers. Just as I got home, I saw a truck outside with Alfie on the back. It was a 7.5-ton pick-up truck!! Apparently, that’s all they had available. Some neighbours had come out to watch as my knight guided Alfie, looking very sorry for himself, down the ramp. Finally, we were home. What a day. Lucky I’ve got a very good sense of humour. I won’t live this one down for a long time!

I’ll never live it down πŸ˜‚

Author: Ellie Thompson

Writing my memoirs, musings, a little fiction and a lot of poetry as a way of exploring and making the most of my life ... ... Having had a break from writing my blog for more than three years, I decided to return to write my memoirs, some day-to-day observations, views and feelings. My passion is non-fiction poetry. I have a disability and use an electric powerchair called Alfie and let nothing get in the way of living life to the full. I believe that you can never do a kindness too soon and should give credit where credit is due. A smile or a kind word could make the difference between a good or bad day for a person - we never know what's going on for another soul. Those little things, perhaps, practised daily like a mantra, could mean so much to someone else. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading a little more about me. Please, make yourself at home here. You are very welcome. Ellie x 😊

33 thoughts on “Travelling in Style!”

    1. Thanks, Devang. I’m okay now. Just waiting for the repair depot to come and collect Alfie. I’ve asked if I can have solid tyres this time as the pneumatic ones are prone to puncture, as I’ve proved over and over again.

    1. Thanks, Granny. I’ll never live it down! I was very relieved to finally be home after all that waiting. Yep – M&S was absolute stars and I’ll be eternally grateful to them. They made a very unpleasant experience into a more bearable one. 10/10 for them xxx πŸ₯‡

  1. Oof. What a hassle. Do they have some sort of time limit? 3+ hours seems unreasonable. Better luck in the future. You’re getting more flats than my mountain bike.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. No, there’s no time limit. You just have to have the patience of a saint. I’ve certainly broken my best record this time; a puncture in both tyres is unheard of. Even the recovery truck driver was surprised. Not as surprised as I was when I saw Alfie arriving home in style! I’m asking for solid tyres this time. The pneumatic ones are so prone to puncturing, as I’ve proven over and over again.

  2. Sometimes there is no alternative than having patience. Feel good to know the storr personel were so caring towards you. These good people give us conviction that the world is still the better place to live in!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Mousumi. It’s appreciated. Yes, they say patience is a virtue. I certainly needed a lot of it yesterday. I’m going to contact customer services this morning to ask for my thanks to be given to the five staff who were so helpful to me. Wonderful people. I was fortunate. I hope you are well. I’m sorry if I’ve missed any of your posts recently. Things have just been completely overwhelming here. Xx 😘

      1. Same is here with me, Ellie. I am totally overwhelmed with with my school and home duties. So no time to post anything. πŸ™‚
        Shall try to do so, this weekend.
        Sending you a lot of good wishes and regards ❀

        1. I’m sorry you’re feeling a snowed under too, Mousumi. It’s hard when there’s so much to do, isn’t it? I’ll look out for your next post, but try not to stress about it. I should try and take my own advice, shouldn’t I 😁? Wishing you peace and calm Xx πŸ₯°

  3. So happy you have your humor intact. It’s that that helped the situation best of all. An annoyance on the wait but the staff was lovely.
    Now you know. πŸ’—

    Um 😐 but is your Alfie used to all the pomp and ˈcircumstance? What a parade! πŸ₯³ πŸ‘

    All’s well that ends well. Stay sweet.

    1. Thanks, Selma. If I didn’t have a sense of humour, I’d have never have got through it as well. When I saw Alfie on the back of the pick-up, I just had to laugh. I’m not sure whether Alfie was as amused as I was, though πŸ˜‰. I’m not sure about the fame. I think it’s gone to his head! I was very lucky having such nice shop assistants there to help me and keep me company some of the time. I’ve written to M&S this morning with my compliments and asked they be passed onto the five staff in question. I hope they do. I hope you are well, my friend xxx πŸ’–β£πŸ’–

    1. Thanks, Butterfly. We’re fine today although Alfie has got to spend a couple of days at the wheelchair repair centre. I hate being without him, but he’ll come back as good as new after his adventures 🌞 X

        1. Aww – thank you. All my wheelchairs have had names. First, there was Charlie, then George, then Ollie and now Alfie. They’re all male names expect for my manual wheelchair who’s called Daisy. I get very attached to my four-wheeled friends. X 🌞

  4. Wow, what an experience. I am sorry you had to experience an extreme long wait time. Thankfully you finally made it safely home. My goodness!

    1. Thanks so much, Tangie. Thank you for your understanding. I was very grateful to be home, that’s for sure. It was a very long wait. I was fortunate that the shop staff were so kind. I appreciated them very much. Xx πŸ’ž

  5. Cheering for you, Alfie and your sense of humor, Ellie. That picture really does give it a lot to work with! : )

    1. Thanks very much, Stacey. I could have written endlessly about my experience that day. I can’t get over how helpful the shop assistants in the store were. I have sent a note of thanks to their manager as I feel they went over and above the ‘call of duty’. One of my mottos is, ‘credit where credit is due’. The other is, ‘kindness costs nothing’. Love to you, Stacey. Ellie xx πŸŒžπŸ’•

  6. Awww bloody hell, when it rains it pours.

    It’s good you have recovery with your contract. What would have happened otherwise? I’m not sure I know of a company that tows wheelchairs but I guess you might come across an obliging person in AA willing to help!

    I’m just glad you broke down by M&S. It’s not just any breakdown, it’s an M&S breakdown πŸ˜‰ Just imagine if the tyres had gone outside of Poundland. It would have been a very different story.

    I’m very grateful of those wonderful staff being there for you when this happened. We need more people like that in the world. What happens now with Alfie? Do you know how long it’ll be until he’s returned, tail between his legs, back to your home? xxxx

    1. Hi Caz. I do love your comments. I think we’re quite similar in some ways. I have Alfie on a Motability contract. In other words, I lease him from them for a lot of money each month. It uses up all my mobility allowance from my PIP disability benefit. It’s the only way I could afford to have an electric wheelchair. I bought my very first one outright, which was a mistake as it had no breakdown cover. Fortunately, I didn’t ever break down with him, although he was only secondhand. At least, this way, Alfie gets serviced, repaired and replaced every three years for no extra charge. The lease also covers recovery, thank goodness. What it doesn’t pay for is my ‘personal recovery’ after an event like this πŸ˜‚. I really don’t know what you do if you don’t have Motability cover.

      I don’t think the AA rescue wheelchairs somehow πŸ˜‰. I love the idea of being towed back, though, preferably at speed! It’d be like being on a funfair ride. Not that I’d like that, as that’s where I had my accident which left me with my disability.

      I was lucky to break down outside M&S – definitely. I doubt I would have got a free drink, personal attention and a sandwich from Poundland πŸ˜‚. I contacted Customer Services yesterday to thank them personally. My motto is ‘credit where credit is due.’ The other is, ‘kindness costs nothing.’ I strongly believe in both of those things.

      Alfie is going in for repair at the workshop this afternoon. We have our carnival in Chelmsford, where I live, on Sunday. I’d so love to go and watch it, but I doubt I’ll have Alfie back in time for that. I guess I’ll have to wait till next year now. Xxxx πŸŒžπŸ’•

  7. That’s a long wait! Happy that everything worked out. Also, I’m glad that people were caring around you and that your humour is intactπŸ˜„ Stay safe, EllieπŸ’–πŸ’«

    1. Thanks very much, Deeksha. I was very fortunate that people were so kind. It takes an awful lot for me to lose my sense of humour 😁. Stay safe too πŸ’– Xx

    1. It was pretty grim at the time. I was lucky to have such lovely store staff around, though – it made all the difference to the experience. Fortunately, I also have a good sense of humour, although I think if I’d been stranded where there were no people, it would have been a different matter. I was so glad to be finally home that day. Xx 🌞

  8. I feel for you, but I do appreciate knowing that knights in shining armor sometimes come in “orange overalls and muddy boots.” I’ll share that one with my wife. Something tells me she’ll still prefer the ones that come riding on a big horse and come and save the day. Ha, ha. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride, even one that comes with two flat tires. Thanks for sharing. Interesting piece.

    1. Thanks for reading and for your comment, Brian. It’s appreciated. I don’t think I mind how my knights in shining armour appear as long as they’ve come to rescue me. After all, even a fancy knight on his horse would have great difficulty towing a broken-down wheelchair home for me. I can picture it, though; the horse being tethered to my wheelchair, pulling it through the streets with the knight seated in my chair with his feet up! I could have made the local paper with that one! Thanks for your interest in my blog, too.

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