Today was a good day. By the end of it Douglas’ elbow had gone back to normal. Mom rigged up a way to keep pressure off it and moved it periodically. They worked well! Our worries about pressure wounds are gone. The city is very busy. We did the hop on hop off bus with ease and saw a lot of the city. Mom was here forty years ago and was pleased she got to see more of it too. Something she always wanted to do for me was take me travelling around Europe. Originally it was supposed to be a high school graduation gift but life happens and it was never feasible. So it’s kind of serendipity or something it’s actually happening. I had given up it ever would happen for us. I feel bad for being cranky yesterday. I wish I could have seen her, young and free and so happy, in her seventies outfits seeing everything for the first time. I feel like she was and still is the cutest little thing. She so friendly. People gravitate towards her. She finds the best in everything. And it’s nice to see how Douglas is her best friend. They have a bond like no other. It’s really nice to see how much she loves him too. Her eyes twinkling again out of the everyday schedule. He drives her nuts sometimes and her him but they have a back and forth banter, he razes her, she’s razes him but she really loves him and he loves her. I’m not sure who’s the super hero side kick her or him.

The architecture is gorgeous. The history is amazing. I’m not too hung up on the Monarchy but it’s nice to see everything. A helicopter flew low over Head outside Buckingham palace and it was likely someone important visiting. I can’t imagine living behind bars, and razor wire with so much security. They could never just walk down the street. There is a real divide. There is them and then the people roaming around outside. I could never give up that freedom. It’s a duty I suppose to uphold tradition. But there’s something special about small freedoms I realized, like walking down a street alone, or sitting on a park bench or under a tree in any part of the city. Things they never get to do or really really see. And it’s all at their front door quite literally.

We had a really nice dinner after picking up Douglas’ Ensure. Douglas had some of two different cocktails. We hit the grocery store and got mom got wine and I got a cobra beer for Anthony bourdain. In one of his episodes he drank that at a byob Indian food joint in London. This was my Homage to him. I was shocked when I heard of his death. I thought he had escaped it. He was one of the ones who dealt with mental illness, addiction and got out of it. He was successful and travelling. I guess I assumed that meant he had made it out of the darkness. I was hit really hard by it and cried over it. No matter who you are or what you’ve scribed you still need to work at it even in your sixties. I always felt like I’ll be happy when… but it made me realize it’s a forever thing; wellness, and just because you accomplish the next big thing doesn’t mean you’ve achieved wellness or are totally free from your coping vices. I’m not looking for being happy when “…” any longer. We will try to do a few more Anthony Bourdain suggested things.

I saw Central St. Martin’s today, a school I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time. It’s the Harvard of fashion schools basically. I add courses to the shopping cart all the time! Accessories, footwear, 3D product design, textiles, photography, fine art, curation, jewelry, burlesque corsetry techniques, swimwear!!! I want to do it all!

My sister and her husband are likely moving here soon for his acting career so maybe there are some courses and visits in my future. I love school, l love learning! I love making things! I feel like London is too busy for me to live but I’d come for short courses and to visit my sister no problem!

We were in bed relaxing early. We have three single beds in a corner room with giant windows open to the street like a nice large dorm room I’ve looking a large street and a large park, Russell’s Square. It is hot! It’s either street noise or cook to death in the heat. It’s very loud. Hundreds of people going by, chatter in every language, traffic noise of every kind! It’s hard to hear Douglas call out at night even though he is only a couple feet away. It’s hard to sleep, I keep being afraid we will not hear him and he will suffocate on his breathing mask or have a panic attack all alone stuck in an uncomfortable position but that’s me catastrophizing. It’s what I do; Leap to the worst situations and plan for those. PTSD again. Eye roll. Hey at least I’m ready for anything. Nothing gets me by surprise! I’ve honestly never really been surprised. Not by disasters, not by human behaviours, not by anything. I’ve usually felt it coming or it’s somewhere I’ve already been as a possibility in my head. Not sure if that’s sad or a super power but ya. That’s how it can go in my head. I tell myself to take it down a notch but I feel better knowing all sides of the dice and being ready for anything.

Douglas said even though it’s busy here there is lots to like about London. And of course I agree. The amenities, lots to do, even if he can’t get on the subway. Seeing people, which doesn’t happen for him at home! He loves seeing people, the ladies, all the different cultures, outfits, people. I can’t imagine being stuck in the house only seeing us and a few visitors come in and out. He needs to get out. We all need to take him out more. The streets of downtown St. John’s are not accessible, he gets stuck on corners and needs to back track and go in the street to get around outside the parked cars. That isn’t fair and dangerous. I’ve walked with him, it feels demoralizing. The mall is the mall. I can’t think of a place he can be amongst the city living at home and be around other people. Here he looks healthier and happier and alive! He is apart of something outside himself. A living breathing unit made up of millions of people, and there are so so many people on this planet. Feeling that global heart beat as one is so important to step outside yourself and be one with the human race. We are a network. I for one feel inspired again. But also scared there’s too many people and we are going to destroy planet earth. 😬

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To London from Wareham

I saw two men making really elaborate carvings out of wood stumps with chainsaws on the side of the road in Dorset, I mean very elaborate sculptures, Mermaids with detailed fins and faces on the way to the train station. That takes talent, I’ve been banned from chainsawing even fire wood at my cabin.

We got on the train with a small hitch in Wareham. We missed the first train because I was trapped on the other side of the track with all our luggage. I was getting the tickets, left the luggage in the middle of the road thinking mom was behind me and ran but I got locked on the other side for trains crossing… I was dying of thirst with no water and a stranger gave me a new bottle from his bag, which I took gratefully because I was sure I was dying… we waited fifty minutes in direct sun for the bus to the station and I held the commode wheelchair with all our luggage with one hand and a foot from hitting old folks on the bus sweating. I thanked everyone on board as I exited for their patience. But who closes the one store anywhere near a train station??? Luckily the man gave me water and I accepted because there was none on the train either for two and a half hours.

You know you’re really old when you wonder why there are so many kids on a train and then you stop at a university. If university students are kids to me I must be old. Also I kinda knew I was old because skateboarders and hockey players are too young to date. I often hear skateboard wheels coming down the road and turn instinctively expecting to see the man of my dreams and feel gross and disappointed to see a kid. If you are almost forty and still skate that’s attractive to me. But it’s a needle in a haystack now a days.

A man I spoke with on the train said he flew over Canada on his way to Seattle and was naive enough to look for reindeer on the snow. People don’t know where we are from. He said he was just a commuter and that seems sad to me: to commute everyday of your life on a train and to never take it further from your stop.

So we are already doing things. I have always wanted to travel, I have travelled but not extensively or for a long period of time. I spent a month in India once. But I’d spent years of my time in my office wishing I could run away and travel. And suddenly I am. A dream I tried to lull to sleep is now my reality. Awake and alive and well and exactly what I needed.

Another man across from me kept giving me dirty looks and rolling his eyes at me whenever I talked to mom. He’s a hater. I built a wall of items so he couldn’t see me through the cracks in the seats but it toppled. And he seemed even more irritated by me. I debated sticking my tongue out at him. Every time mom got up to help Douglas he stared disapprovingly and rolled his eyes. I hope he has allergies and isn’t actually that rude. I am never sure how to handle these situations, anger rises and I want to yell at him but maybe he has a shit life and I should feel bad for him, then a part of me says, well still, you’ve had a shit life at times and you don’t take it out on others, he shouldn’t get away with it. If I were quick enough I’d say something intelligent in a friendly tone to educate him, but maybe a smile is the best option. That says I see you seeing me and I’m offering kindness. It really bothered me. I can read people well. He was being rude. What is the point in being rude? Life is much easier when you are polite. I wish it didn’t bother me but it does.

A sweaty well dressed woman got on the train, she sat across from a well dressed very good looking man, she did the pretend to be uncomfortable with your lips pursed and toss your hair all lovely while not noticing him move. She waaants hiiiim! I love making up stories for people. I think I was right. I am in tune with people and have had much success reading them. I’ve been right about more elaborate things. If she does a Sharon stone I’m going to stand up and applaud. In my head. I think he noticed too because he loudly called his girlfriend. Awkward.

“Got any rubbish?”, I love hearing that. I could take a train all over the world I’m sure now. Even by myself.

Things I like I’ve noticed I hope Newfoundland adopts; Solar panels, a lot of houses have them, more support for farming, free range everything, hedges… When I get home I will get busy on building a water feature, propagating ferns and moss, gathering slate and stones, growing lily pads, raising koi, propagating my rose bushes to cover the entire back fence, trimming the apple tree, and tending to the garden. I also need to take down a deck and build a terrace. I have a trip to Fogo planned and a plan figured out for my next business moves. I won’t say yet what it is but I’ll surprise you mid Fall with something… My come back has been three to four years in the making. It’s okay, the new band has been playing for about three years now and we only now have a Fall album coming. I used to worry so much about timing and wasting time, but good things take time and I enjoy more and more an elaborate journey. I want to take my time to get it right and enjoy it. I have felt overwhelmed with ideas at times, I’m inspired by so many things, having a trends background it was hard to figure out what ideas were really me. I’ve had to turn off from the fashion industry. But I’m not done with it entirely. I just need to slow it down and make it about creativity and not chasing seasons anymore. I’ve lost touch with the reasons I went into it to begin with. This trip is helping me sift through and pick what I want to focus on and to accept it can’t be everything.

I felt overwhelmed and grumpy when we arrived. Well since we left on the commute after pushing the chair across a gravel parking lot. The organizing and maneuvering and sweating and keeping us in check to get us safely on route… my brain was frazzled. When we arrived at the London station the traffic was similar to Mumbai at first and navigating accessible ways to get to our hotel was a bit brutal. People would have walked right into Douglas not looking where they were going walking quickly on phones if he wasn’t stopping every few inches to avoid them. One hip check to his joy stick could send him flying. I was rotted. The man at the underground said the city is only 28% accessible. I panicked inside. We were better off taking a bus which wasn’t so bad when we found the correct stop. I felt my body constricting and fighting against the hustle and bustle but I did some deep breathing and a meditation I do to embrace the business around me and to relax into it. Our hotel is an old Art Deco era hotel with an Art Deco bar and artwork. I like Art Deco a lot. I started researching the hop on hop off bus for tomorrow’s sight seeing while Mom rearranged the furniture according to Douglas’ needs and fought off my grumpiness quite patiently but she was grinding my gears not listening attentively at points today. Having to repeat details multiple times or research them multiple times was hard. I guess we all have trouble being checked in at times but it made me think of how an ex likely felt with me being too “ladeedeelateeda”, and asking the same questions repeatedly. I used to do exactly that. I understand it as a coping strategy. We need to let go of these things. I gotta check myself in that regard. I don’t want to make anyone feel as I felt about it. No room for foibles. I got it universe, thanks for the lesson. I had to eat something. A man in the elevator referred to me as well fed to his buddy. I pretended not to hear and got off a stop early. He had a gross angry sexual energy. I fought off crying by remembering the people who love me as I am. If I started I’d cry about everything.

We scouted out the area around our hotel. Put an order in for more Ensure. We had to get Douglas out of his chair. By we I mean Mom, because she does all the lifting, she has it down to a safe science, I spot her as best I can. She found a small red spot with a blister on his elbow we are hoping is a regular old blister. He is very concerned it is a pressure sore because it’s been hurting. I took a photo to show him. So we are cleaning it, and figuring out a solution. It’s friction from his chair arm rest. We will have to make sure it touches nothing. It will take care and configuring. Pressure sores can lead to infection and death in patients with limited blood flow like this. I didn’t know that!!! So I was freaking out. They don’t heal regularly??!! I want to put him in a bubble. I’m doing research now for this. He’s feeling pretty defeated today. He almost cried but I hugged him and agreed it was scary but we’d find a way. I think we all are worried. I secretly thought if calling it quits but If Douglas wants to go on, I’m not leaving.

I’m tired and concerned and pissed off today. I don’t know if I like London yet, I’m a bit surly. We went to bed early. The travel today was hard and I’d kinda rather be in the woods with my bff cuddled up with a fire. I want to be a hermit lady. I miss Bella and I need baby snuggles and kitten snuggles. Positivity is hard today. People walking by the window having fun are annoying me. It’s hot, there’s no air. Maybe I’ll wake with a better attitude tomorrow. I need my support people but I’m being stubborn and trying to be stone cold brave.

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The isle of Purbeck

I woke up quickly and sprang out of bed to my feet with mom at the same time when Douglas called out. We are so fast now, I doubt the last vibration of sound was even out of his mouth. I was dreaming about a beautiful apartment in Montréal with blue stained carpet and under padding that had rotted into dust, I had lived with it for a long time, I loved that place but not the carpet, I was going to give up on the place, but I started tearing it up, revealing beautiful hardwood….what does this dream mean? Douglas dreamt of painting hardwood floors at home. Why are we dreaming of refurbishing floors?

It’s Douglas’ last day at Tank Fest, we leave tomorrow morning so I went in search of a train station to buy our tickets out of here, Ensure at Boots and another beach I haven’t seen yet by bus.

There were no Ensure. You have to order it in, hopefully we have better luck tomorrow in London. And wifi. I went to the train station in Swanage and was sent to the Tourist information centre on the beach to find about about trains, another excuse to see the beach so I didn’t mind the walk. They sent me to the internet so hopefully the wifi works enough at the hotel to book. When my bus arrived at the station a very grumpy bus driver scolded me and said not until ten to. He has distain for people. He answered an old man’s question very sarcastically. I worked in customer service most of my life and genuinely am interested in people and their happiness. Even the harder customers I’ve had, I try to help and understand what they need. It takes less energy to be kind and much more to be mean. Negative energy sucks more from the unkind then anybody. So I have sympathy for the mean.

All cultures except the west have definitions for life force energy; pranayama, chi, meridians… I believe in energy and maintaining balance. Of course there’s no light without darkness but you bung up your own energy being mean. And bunged up energy leads to poor health and unhappiness.

I boarded the bus to studland, ironically where the nude beach is, I think its named that because of the horses they raise there. I headed for a ferry crossing the sandbars to see what I’d see and in search of more swimming. People walk around bare foot here. It’s a country farm beach town. I would love to own a stone farm house and live here, live off the land. The trees were really hitting the bus on this ride, with screeching tire sounds on bends but I trusted the driver knew how to avoid a catastrophe. Like in Mumbai in traffic, I trusted the cosmic flow and you almost hit but nothing ever did hit.

The ferry crossing took a long time, but it was on the shore of a golden sandy beach with boats going by and every water sports imaginable happening and mansions lining the hills, this is Britain’s Malibu beach. I decided to get off at Compton Acres to see some gardens but changed my mind once I saw the time and the 8.75 pounds entry fee. About to give up and take the bus back I saw an elderly couple with beach bags and followed them down canford cliffs road through a public park, down over hills and through forest paths for a ten minute walk and it opened up to The golden sandy beaches and I went for a swim. I made the mistake of putting my pants back on over my wet swimsuit and went back to the bus still wet all over with wild beach hair.

The isle of Purbeck is the place to spend an entire summer. Motorcycles seem to be the best way to get around, avoiding toll booths and cheaper ferry prices. There’s a local biker gang calls Satan’s slaves. I don’t want to be a slave to Satan or to anyone or anything but I wouldn’t mind having a girl gang on motorbikes to go around with.

I didn’t get off in studland after all, I was sad to not see the old pirate village but I was hungry and wet and it was getting colder and I had a ways back to my town. I would have liked more time to visit the sand dunes and hiking trails and a real old fashioned pub too. I changed out if my swim suit at the station for the next bus “home”.

I spent about an hour booking our train and accessible services for tomorrow’s journey in the hotel bar and caught a beautiful rain shower, the first rain fall in over two weeks since we arrived “across the pond”.

Then we had our last dinner in the Morton’s house lovely restaurant and spent some time relaxing in the lounge, an old 1500s style room with dark wood wainscotting and carved wood cigar room with a grande fire place from the era.

Our dessert was a meringue, clotted cream fresh strawberry masterpiece. we are getting quicker at packing up and readying our bags for efficient travel. Tool kit for the wheelchair, hand air pump just in case, urinal, chair cushion pump and ensure and water handy in a reusable shopping bag, correct chords with adapters ready for charging his air machine and chair on the train, my bag, moms bag and his bag on the commode and tickets and travel items in purses handy. We can get up and go pretty quickly including getting him in his chair and tweaking the joystick and arm rests and things. We are pretty handy.

We both showered him because one needs to pump his air pump manually. Mom does all the heavy lifting, I help shift him in the bed by pulling the waistband of his pants to the side. I learned my lesson when his arm moved and it fell dead weight and he punched me in the face. We laughed a lot but I know not to move him that way now.

We watched old westerns and set the alarm for our last included breakfast and to get ready. This little tip; to get breakfast included with accommodations saves a lot of time in the morning and a lot of money. And they are usually perfectly good, even for a breakfast connoisseur like me. Now don’t be making breakfast at Tiffany’s jokes. See you tomorrow evening!

Side note: there are bats here. It feels like Transylvania at night and it’s pitch black. Also Douglas looks much healthier from the time we left so travel really suits him.

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Tank fest day in Bovington

I am realizing now that it might be my inability to fully be present in the moment that is stealing my happiness. Feeling and being in each moment is happiness. Something that already exists, I just lost connection to it from dissociating from my feelings to avoid feeling hurt because being hurt for feeling was usually the outcome.

Also I may be projecting my views of myself onto others. Am I presuming people think the worst of me because I do or is it legit? Should I care if it is? How do I not care? And how do I know when my gut is right or if it is an inaccurate illusion I’ve fed myself due to my conditioning. How do you know the difference between the true truth and a truth someone tells themselves? Am I believing in false truths? What is the truth? Some of my truths are pretty painful to accept so I tell myself lies about them. But I want to live truthfully even if it hurts.

These are some thoughts I am having while traveling. I feel calm and have the head space for these types of self analytical retort.

I feel really checked out sometimes and miss beautiful moments. But a lot like memories everyone’s view point is different. I need to remember this.

I’ve been fighting the urge to get angry over Douglas’ condition. When I get angry I cry and when I cry I panic. And I haven’t let myself feel sadness towards his condition for years. Since the actual diagnosis when he was about ten and he is 28 now. I turned it off so he wouldn’t be scared maybe. But I feel myself wanting to feel that sadness and anger over this. I don’t want to. It’s like a flood gate of grief and mourning you can’t close once you’ve opened it, I’d have to see it through to the end. And I’ve mourned so many things. I’m not ready to do it again. Not with this.

I think I’m waiting for the actual end.

I took a shift early this morning sleeping in the bed next to Douglas. I moved his arm for him and gave him an arm massage, there is no muscle inside it, his upper arm is a gel like substance around the bone and the forearm has atrophied into what Feels like solid bone. His hand fused into a small solid bent crook. We wondered if he ever got his dystrophin gene back would this be reversible? We doubt it. And we threw away the idea there’d be a cure.

These are things we do regularly, imagine up hope then discard it. But secretly hold onto it.

I went to Tank Fest and sent mom with the map and directions to the beaches But she stayed at the hotel in the garden in her bathing suit and suntanned all day. She tried to take the bus but the wrong one came about an hour late, like I said they’re on their own schedule here.

There about 10,000 people at Tank Fest. There were stands outside, carnival games, food trucks, army wares shop tents, military and mini tank themed stands, all around the tank museums exterior. There were two buildings; the main museum with exhibits and the conservation warehouse with hundreds of tanks yet to be refurbished and a stage for the world of tanks computer game folks rolling out a new world of tanks game and gamers playing to the sides. I might be a bit of a tank girl, I fell in love with a laird centaur half track. It’s kind of like a Land Rover pick up with tracks on the back.

Douglas got to meet Quickybaby, a YouTuber who does World of Tanks videos. They had a bit of a chat about accessible gaming while I chatted with a woman from Special Effects as well about the same topic. They make equipment to make gaming more accessible. He was excited about that. He showed me all his favourite tanks and we went through the exhibits. Outside there was a course where actual tanks were going around with commentary over a loud speaker and they were doing re-enactments of tank battles with soldiers showing tactics in different field battles. They shot off loud artillery fairly often, a thunderous, loud vibrational boom or series of booms. It was about 30 degrees. The heat was hard for me and my sunburn. The heat wave means little rain in the UK, the grass is crispy and dead by now in large areas. So it is very dry. We spent a good five hours at the festival.

I was amazed at the amount of people interested in tanks. There were men from the military lining the wall in the wheelchair section. Some with medals, injured from serving in the military. People from many militaries from around the world. Some like me interested by the engineering and mechanics. I am against war, but I appreciate history. Many of the worlds technologies were invented because of and during war times. Even fashion as we know it today, mass produced fast fashion came from war times. Women were sent to work in factories while men were at war to make military clothing from industrial sewing machines made of the same gun metal used to make weapons of war which created an entire industry. It was hard to see so many people celebrating a machines of war, essentially a killing machine but again it is part of our history and a great mechanical human invention. I feel sorry and confused as to why we need war or militaries as humans, the barbaric nature of war, why countries need to protect against others, the concept of having enemies, corporations roles, inhumanity, greed and the causes of war…

I’m lucky I don’t have to shoot anyone and I feel sadness and fear for those who are sent to do so in the name of our countries.

I am touched by the support of the people for the military. It was interesting to see so many united by their histories. The war re-enactors and military French, British, German, American all united in telling a story about their history in a friendly manner even if the time they re-enacted they were against one another.

There was respect and honour in their retelling. There were the young men interested in the game aspect of tanks. We talked about the benefit of these games. If my brother was disabled in a different time he would not have computer games to keep him occupied. It gives him a world to be involved in with friends around the world to keep his mind occupied while we are all coming and going living our busy lives. I get why he loves tanks and wanted to come here. I worry about the glorification of destruction but I hope common decency and moral ethics also prevail. I am happy we could make it happen for him. He deserves to have dreams come true. I took a photo of in him in front of about a hundred tanks so I didn’t post them all. He will likely post those on his Facebook.

I passed out soon as we got back to the hotel from the sun, from the walking, the energy of the event, all the people, the real affects of war, the halloomi fries and elderflower lemonade I ate from a double decker bus food truck… I was exhausted. I napped for three hours and I don’t nap! There was a wedding in our hotel. Douglas chatted with a man who’s father put airplane cockpits into tanks as they were blown up in the Second World War. When I woke up I sat in the garden and listened to the birds in the gorgeous landscape and the steam train chug by which reminds me a little of an antique cape cod.

I bucked up enough to walk to the neighbouring 1500s style village at the base of the castle to find distilled water for Douglas’ breathing machine with no luck. Everything was closed. I got a bottle of water from the bar. They weren’t serving dinner in the hotel because of the wedding and the two pubs in town were all booked. We went off and left our hotel room door wide open for maybe an hour, running off to try to connect to wifi by the main house frazzled but nothing was taken and then we went to bed with no dinner in the end but we will make up for it with breakfast! (My favourite meal) Douglas was in his chair all day, about 14 hours which is a lot for him and has some minor discomfort but is doing ok!!! Sleep sleep.

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Dorset; Wareham, Swanage and Lulworth Cove

Douglas would not show excitement until he got out of the wheelchair taxi this morning and was on his way into tank fest. I carried on in the taxi no idea where I was or how far it was but I pointed to a cove on the map where I would likely see water and said there.

We drove through a small village of houses from the 1500s; houses with thatched roofing and winding roads to the coast. I was let out in a beach town. A beautiful thatched roofed, cobble stone town. I went straight for the ocean and luckily had a bathing suit in my purse and went for a swim: it was Newfoundland ocean cold at the end of August after a hot week. Enough to take your breath but not so much you go numb. I had a hike to the cliff edges and sat on the beach in the white chalky stone. It could have been Greece with the white cliffs and boats docked in the sea. I was there All by myself.

Something I don’t do at home, enjoy nature all by myself. I bring a friend always. Something I’d like to do more when I go home. There were people bringing down kayaks and surf board sand paddle boards. I want to do that regularly when I get home, a car rack and a wet suit are in my future.

I fell in love with jimmy’s oat cold coffee at a cafe and found a bus back to the corfe castle near where we are staying. I decided to stay on and get off on the Swanage coast in the end to find more swimming.

Everyone is very Tanned from the sun. I am pasty white, luckily I had sunblock. I left with nothing but a hotel map, a bathing suit and a cardigan in my bike shorts, a tank and a hat. I used my cardigan as a towel. Buses are not on schedule in Dorset, it arrived about forty minutes after the time it said, by this time I was covered in white dust and cooked from the sun.

I could see on the map there was a nude beach but I wasn’t feeling free enough for that. None of the beaches would be accessible for Douglas and since we only have two tickets to tank fest I hoped on another day he’d take me but today was my chance to see the beaches. I hung my swim suit over my arm to dry. There were butterflies everywhere, the white stone kicked up white chalk dust everywhere. Hills rolling green. A pale blue ocean. I realized I didn’t have a room key and it would likely be six o’clock or later before mom and Douglas got back to the hotel.

I sat on the top of the bus naturally to see the view. Communal gardens, retirees, rose bushes, Coiffed Hedges Edward scissor hands may have done, strawberry you picks, and sheep and cows huddling under trees to avoid the sun. I love the sound of branches I’m hitting the bus from the well manicured hedged and tree tunnels towering over the streets.

I got off in Swanage at the train station and walked a short distance through a quaint 400 year old beach town to an open beach like you’d see in a California with an arcade and a board walk. I went to edge of a pier then decided I’d swim again. The water was warmer and the waves were more fierce. I dried off with my cardigan and went for mushy peas and fish n chips. I took the bus back to our hotel and had a pint in the garden listening to beautiful birds sing, made friends with a giant koi fish who was more like a puppy looking for attention and watched an antique steam train go by.

I have never heard Douglas talk so much about a given topic filling me in on tank fest. Mom screamed when the shot off the tanks apparently. I would have liked to see that. He had a good time but might be more interested in the nude beach. He was pleased to meet a 23 year old from nearby with dmd. His parents were nervous of travelling with him but less so when they met Douglas. He got mom to play world of tanks. She didn’t hit anything and almost shot team mates and drive straight into walls he said but she did it! I passed a tank driving down the street and was shocked at the size of it and saw a Matilda one all shot up they use for firing practise. Douglas got dropped off by one of his favourite tanks, the Churchill. He’s happy now, he made it. Dream come true. But he said the better part of it was meeting the other family dealing with dmd. It was almost 30 degrees today.

We are tired and I am burnt. Mom went to the village nearby at the base of the castle for a break while I looked for shortwave radio signals with Douglas and relaxed then went back to the garden for wifi and so I could drink a drink. We were all in bed early.


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