After Storm Ciara, a trundle to London….

The weekend had been one of 2 halves…..Saturday, getting everything done before the storm arrived in case of power cuts and Sunday watching the storm develop…..

I’d done so much brain work on Saturday, planning my week, booking future train tickets, that by Sunday all I wanted to do was snuggle….I couldn’t think what to do about Monday….how to work out a plan B, so I did just snuggle, doing nothing in particular …

Before I went to bed Sunday night I did think to set alarms to check the trains were running as I was on the first train of the day and the taxi was due at 05.45… alert came through from the trains saying they were all running on time……well they were at 02.30…….🙄…..maybe that’s when it all went wrong, after all, it was me travelling…….

The stood by the window looking out for the taxi lights, being entertained by the owl in the paddock across the road hooting away in the morning dark…scanning my eyes for sight of it’s eyes or flight, but it remained hidden out of view, teasing me with it’s twitterwoos …..

I suddenly realised the taxi was late, pressed my phone to ring the number ( as they recognise my number, no need for explanation) and the voice at the other end confirmed my worse fears of the driver having been held up at the previous address…🙄…he wouldn’t be there in time to get me to the station😳…so would have to take me to Brough furher down the line to pick it up there🤯….not a good start but nothing I could do….

He eventually arrived, not someone I’d seen before. He explained the woman before me, going for the same train as me, wasn’t even up when he’d arrived🤦‍♀️…..he was due to Have finished half an hour ago, the reason why I’d never seen him was because he was a night time driver…. but had been asked to take me to Brough 🙏…..

Now taxi drivers always take the country roads to Brough and my little brain immediately thought, ‘was this a wise decision after storm Ciara….🤔….but he must know what he’s doing…🤪…..well to say it was like traversing a dirt track was probably an understatement….so much debris to navigate, fallen trees to swerve around and then a huge snow storm decided to add to the complications!….I simply held on tight….🙈……when we finally got to the station, I asked for my receipt, as usual, expecting it to be 3 times as much as usual, and he said…

“The office said this one is one the house, no charge…”….bless……..

I saw the waiting room was crammed with people….now this is a little station in the middle of nowhere but because all the trains stop here, has a sense of it’s own impotance….I saw the reason why so many people, as I squeezed myself inside out of the pouring snow/rain…

Cancellations and Delays…..😳

This wasn’t a good start to my day but impossible to change my mind stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way of getting home again. I just had to sit it out with everyone else….turns out it wasn’t due to the previous days storm but to a broken down train blocking the line 🙄……thankfully ours arrived eventually whereas others were cancelled…..

So here I am typing this on the train now….

I was heading to London for meetings at Dementia UK, the people that are responsible for the wonderful Admiral Nurses, specialists in dementia. Dementia UK IS Admiral Nurses…..The 2 phrases are often thought of separate but they are very much together……They are the only dementia charity who train specialists nurses, so, to me, more knowledgeable, and much needed in every area. At the moment they are a post code lottery, just like most support for people with dementia….but they have a wonderful helpline staffed by the qualified nurses too…you can find out more here along with their helpline number at the top right hand side…

I was due to be at the first meeting in the morning to discuss the Strategic plan for the next 5 years  and another in the afternoon, about how we could help publicise and promote the need for Admiral Nurses, but something told me to go back early …🕵️🧚⚗️…….I would see how things were looking……..

It was dark when we left but as the world started to appear the devastation caused yesterday became very apparent. The storm may have swept through but in it’s wake had left flooded landscapes all around, hard to tell where rivers end and land begins…..

It was still breezy outside. I could tell by the way the train was buffeted in the wind and the draft going through the carriage 😳😱🙈

Anyway we eventually got to London, only a few minutes late! Think we must have had a tail wind blowing us down…….but we got there. I made my way to Aldgate where Toby Williamson, the project manager for the ‘Lived experience Panel’ would meet us…..

The old alongside the new in London….

It turned out that Toby was just meeting me! as others couldn’t make it for one reason or another, so I didn’t get my hug from playmate George.

The meeting was being held at Whitechapel Art Gallery and as we walked in we had a sneak preview of the exhibition starting that day……beautiful………we went into the room to be met by Hilda Hayo, and Paul Edwards……so I did get hugs….also there was a Twitter pal who I hadn’t met before, Sarah Russell who now works for Dementia UK as a practice facilitator for the charity.

Paul, Director of Clinical Services, welcomed us to the strategic workshop. Obviously I can’t type about the discussion, but it was all about deciding how to stake their claim in the health field about the value of their services…..Me and Toby there were representing LEAP (lived experience panel)…..amongst the meeting were Trustees, Comms people, fundraising, business development, HR, and many others…..

It’s rare to have so many people from different teams together, but it was all about how all teams can work together for the next 5 years, but today we were focusing on Year 1….

Sarah Richardson, responsible for the strategy led the day…..

Charities often have to think of the social and political climate and how it might impact on their plans….no more so than now….

The uniqueness of Admiral Nurses lies in their expertise in caring for people with dementia. I’d like to think that my daughters would have access to an Admiral nurse further down the line. Someone to support them, to advise them, to simply be there. At the moment they don’t exist in my area and it’s a post code lottery from county to county, but one thing is for sure….they are a NEED not a luxury…..

We sat round our tables and had an hour to discuss the different elements for the first year.

The lovely Suzy Webster, from the LEAP group had arrived by then so we focussed mainly on embedding the LEAP group into the organisation and what the Opportunities, Risks, Challenges and Resource issues for doing this were…..

We had a wonderful discussion and wonderful feedback session and the phrase of the day went to Twitterpal Sarah Russell, who called members of LEAP, those with lived experience as having:

Practical Wisdom”…..a wonderful line to end on…….

Sarah, Toby, Suzy and me…

I decided not to stay for the afternoon workshop as the trains were all in the wrong place after yesterdays storm and liable to cancellations. I wouldn’t have got home until 9, which would have been ok if everything was normal but I’d taken a peek part way through the morning and noticed the first train of the afternoon had been cancelled so decided to call it a day.

The problem was, I was booked on the 17.33 train, so wasn’t sure if they’d accept me on an earlier one. I got to the station and found a smiley person who might be able to help and she took me to customer services. They then phoned through to someone, who came within minutes and escorted me to the next train, told the guard I could travel and found me a seat……..wonderful…..kindness really does cost nothing………AND it meant I would get home by 6……..❤️…soooo glad I made that decision to leave early as heavy snow started to fall as we ventured north…..😳..


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

8 thoughts on “After Storm Ciara, a trundle to London….

  1. Hello Wendy,
    So sorry to read of your travel problems. If ever you are stuck at Brough station again please contact me. I live in Brough and would be happy to assist you in any way, including taking you back home if you decide to abandon your travel plans. Can I send you my phone number to your email address?
    Diane x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Impressive that you kept that commitment after such a devastating storm. And that you got out early and beat the snow home. Sounds like your intuition is working just fine! .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing fortitude you have wendy, I actually really enjoyed this story, it was all rather famous fiveish, and exciting wondering if you would make London or not, and the battle to return home amidst all the panic of snowstorms and absent trains etc, well done, and keep writing your little stories, best wishes, paul.

    On Tue, 11 Feb 2020 at 11:58, Which me am I today? wrote:

    > wendy7713 posted: “The weekend had been one of 2 halves…..Saturday, > getting everything done before the storm arrived in case of power cuts and > Sunday watching the storm develop….. I’d done so much brain work on > Saturday, planning my week, booking future train tickets, th” >

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.