Thursday 17 April 2014

whining about walking AGAIN

My recent post about parking got some interesting feedback on Twitter from the MS Trust and MS Society. Also the guy above who - and I may be being a tad oversensitive - seemed to be accusing me of some kind of sense of entitlement.

Yes, it might be my choice but I sometimes don't have a choice about how I travel to work - sometimes if I want to get to work on time and do a good job when I'm there, driving is the only option (and one which I really don't want to use).


The following week I managed the walk on Monday and Tuesday - I have no idea when the last time was that I managed to walk two days on the trot.

But by Wednesday I was really feeling it. The week previously a colleague had mentioned that I could probably park in an alley-way at work, so I decided to try that.

With one thing and another, my colleague had neglected to tell me that this wasn't going to be an option every day. So I found myself having to find a different space a couple of hours into my working day.

I went 'round the corner and noticed a sign like this - something about the wording struck me as a bit odd, so I returned to work and got on the City Council's website. Where I found the following -
In Derby, Blue Badge holders have
Free and unlimited parking in: 

  • areas covered by on-street charging and limited waiting 
  • areas covered by residents-only parking schemes
So basically - as long as I see one of those signs, I can park all day for free, without having to move my car every three hours. I called the Council and they explained to me that this was the case.

Yay... I guess...

Except since last week, I haven't walked in once.

Today was the first day I managed to do all my many necessary (?) checks and stops:
  • have I had a wee?
  • have I taken my Solifenacin Succinate, to prevent needing another wee?
  • have I got my Orthotic Stocking and walking stick?
  • one last wee?
  • have I had a poo? 
  • now wash your hands!
  • is your bag ready? (many thanks for the sandwiches, Mrs D)
  • what about one last try at that wee, JUST IN CASE?
Which basically meant that I got to work at around 9.15 today - not a massive problem and people do understand.

But the walk in this morning was SO ridiculously hard - I really struggled with lifting my foot and by the time I got here I was utterly banjaxed.

So today's lessons:
  1. If you have a Disabled Person's Parking Card, make sure you understand the ways in which it can be used - when I think about all the time I've spent driving home at lunchtime when I could have stayed in one place all day...
  2. Don't underestimate the benefit of a decent night's sleep - ours has been interrupted pretty much every night this last week (not the lovebirds, other stuff)
  3. If you try to get more active (the old "Use It Or Lose It" argument), for God's sake keep it up - I really feel that I've allowed myself to retreat a couple of steps, just by having an easier option. 
And if you promote a post in order to get a reaction from people, you've got to be prepared for whatever that reaction might be.

Either that or stop putting things online!

Thursday 3 April 2014

social mobility, where art thou?

So the ongoing saga of 'Steve Getting to Work' has taken a new turn recently.

I've continued to walk in occasionally but sometimes it's just not going to happen (we all have those days) so I'll take my car and park across the road for my designated 3 (and a bit...) hours.Then I'll nip out for lunch, come back and park for the afternoon.

This can be particularly useful on days when I have meetings around the city - it's bad enough going to meetings without worrying about being a stumbling, sweaty mess (or worse) when I get there.

The sign at the top of this post appeared in all Derby city council-run car parks at the start of March. I've known this was coming for a while, from about the time that I had to pay for my three-year Blue Disabled Persons Parking badge - £10 for free parking is a pretty good deal.

But no more.

I called the number which trumpeted 'discounted season tickets' - and it isn't even a season ticket.

It's a (free) card which you can flash at the ticket machine which gets you 20% off your parking.

(Annoyingly to get this, you need to take your current Blue Badge to a different car park, which has never offered free parking for disabled drivers - or you could display your Blue Badge and park in the disabled bay across the road - but then you need to take in your Blue Badge to get the discount card... )

Okay here comes the Maths:
  • A regular 12-month season ticket for my chosen car park is £830.
  • The all-day parking charge is set to rise to £7.10 - with my 20% discount, this would mean a daily cost of £5.68
  • Daily charge times five-days a week for 48 weeks(ish) makes a rough annual cost of £1,363.20
So obviously a regular season ticket is a good deal.

But why advertise discounted season tickets when they don't exist?

I've always had a problem with people who view Accessible Car Parking schemes as some kind of perk which we are lucky to enjoy (some visitors may remember this from a closed-group on LinkedIn a while back).

As I wrote on the blog earlier this year;
I think of [Accessible Parking] more as a LEVELLING OF THE PLAYING FIELD.

For example, if somebody without a health condition like MS wants to go shopping, and they live close to the city centre (as I do), they have a couple of transport options – they can drive or walk in. If I tried to walk to the shops, I’d be exhausted before I’d even begun to start complaining about having to go shopping.
My Blue Badge is still a total life-saver and I can still park on the street at various places around Derby - but walking in to work is going to have to be the favoured option while we're still living in the city.

Has anyone reading this had a similar situation where they are?