My first venture back on a train……….

By pure chance I had my first full free day of zoom a couple of weeks ago. I cherish these days and they feel such a relief after so long of zooming during lockdown. I decided, as it was forecast to be a cold but beautifully calm and sunny, that I’d take the plunge and go on my first train trundle along to the east coast. I needed to do a few practice runs before my first solo trip to Keswick in June.

The day dawned as promise, frosty but blue sky and sun. I had a morning off my early walk and instead planned to catch the first bus into town at 09.50. I was ready early so decided to amble to the pond bus stop to see how the ducks were doing.

Teresa terrapin had just surfaced to bask on her log

And then my heart stopped as did my body. Ducklings had been hatched overnight and there was proud mum parading them along the pond

I counted them in disbelief as there were 10, yes 10 adorable chicks. I was captivated and in danger of missing the bus as I watched these balls of fluff following their mum

But they’d be there later, so I continued to the bus stop where a mum and her little girl were waiting patiently. The little girl must have been about 2 or 3 and was having her first bus ride ever and she was beside herself with excitement. Mum told me she’d been singing the bus song all morning. As the bus came I told her to put her arm out like me so the driver knew to stop. She shouted as loud as she could ‘STOP BUS STOP’….and her excitement had begun. I remember my girls enjoying a ride on the bus……nice memories..

It was when I reached the train station that the day took a turn for the worse, but not before handing over a box of choccie biscuits to my taxi office as they’d been so good to me during lockdown. I then turned and went over to the ticket office where a gloomy man sat behind the desk. I was anxious enough and really needed a smiley face but wasn’t going to get it. I couldn’t remember what to ask for, I needed his help not a grumpy face. I hesitantly said, with a smile on my face:

“ I need a ticket to get me to Bridlington and back again please’

You mean a day return’, he said rolling his eyes and making me feel very stupid. It hadn’t started well…..🙄

I was the only person waiting for the train so was hopeful of a silent journey. It was at this point I wished my audiology appointment hadn’t been cancelled the week before, as it would have been nice to have the safety of my hearing aids to help cope with the noise, but sadly Becky was ill so we’d rearranged for the following week; I’d have to cope without them.

I could see the train coming and put my hands over my ears as it pulled into the station. 

I climbed into the front carriage and took my seat away from the only two other people. As soon as the train pulled away, I heard music playing and turned round to see the two people had removed their masks and opened a couple of cans of beer. I suddenly felt uneasy and as the music for louder and their voices competing to be heard, I could feel my body tense and realised I was gripping my bag hard. Thankfully the ride would only be 30 minutes so assumed the guard would appear and ask them to quieten down, but no such luck, he never appeared. By the time the train pulled into the station I felt so anxious, so nervous, so overwhelmed. Maybe the sea front would be quieter…..

The signs from the station are really good and once I got started I went from sign to sign following the sound of the seagulls. The first piccie I took was of a quiet beach, looking towards Fraisethorpe, Sarahs and mine favourite spot but only to be reached by car.

A lone seagull perched on the wall looking out to sea

As I headed towards the boats I could sense the tension returning as voices and people started to appear, I kept snapping…

It was lovely to see the lobster and crab pots again and the boats in the harbour waiting for the tide

Little Turnstones were rummaging in the mud for food

There were people sat on the harbour benches chatting away, people walking past me and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by the amount of noise and people, children shouting excitedly and parents shouting even louder. It wasn’t the image I’d had in mind for my day. I tried to focus on my camera, a speedboat catching my eye as it sped out to sea

I knew this would be the final snap

I needed to get out of this apparent chaos. My brain couldn’t take these surroundings any longer. So used was I to the quietness of my village that this was too much. Beautiful as it was I needed to be back in the safety of my village, so after just 30 minutes I headed back to the station for the train home.

I know everyone will find the return after lockdown difficult. Many like me, have forgotten how to be with crowds. It’s just that the experience seems exaggerated with dementia, a crowd can dozens or be just half a dozen people. Sensory overload had whittled its way inside my head.

Utter relief washed over me as I waited for the bus back to the village and I ended the day as I started ….by checking on the ducks..all 10 ducklings present and correct…..

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.

28 thoughts on “My first venture back on a train……….

  1. Oh poor you I know how difficult getting back to normal is going to be for a lot of us! But you are so brave to attempt all the things that you do do! Keep safe and carry on! I love your photos and posts xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I sympathise with you about your journey, but share your hesitations and nervousness. But you did it, Wendy! That’s something to be proud of. And again you’re treating us to your account and lovely photos! A duck with ten babies! That’s even more than the “Captain with seven children” as in The Sound of Music!

    I’m sure there’ll be a next time, but by then you should have seen your audiologist, so be better equipped, and maybe you could ask someone else to go with you for reassurance.

    I haven’t been on a bus or train for well over a year, and I’m still not sure when I will. I don’t have dementia either. I’m content to just be at home still at the moment. I guess my time will come!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have my first outing due tomorrow and though I am looking forward to seeing my friends, I am also worried about going out after such a long time indoors too. So glad you ventured out even though you retreated after a little while. It is easy to just stay where we feel safe. That is only one step from exchanging living for just existing and that is a step none of us want to take. Such a lovely photo of the ducks too thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel for you. Soon I have the first train journey for many months. Last time I felt anxious as people took off their masks .. . It is difficult to break out of a cocoon. However, well done for focussing on the boats and getting some enjoyment out of that. Getting to keswick will make the journey worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you are so brave Wendy to venture out like this. We’re still in a stay at home lock down in Ontario Canada. I don’t miss the crowds and the noise of large groups of people. It’s going to feel strange when we are able to get back to some kind of normal. I love seeing your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing Wendy. I have always struggled with crowds but could be in crowds before my diagnosis of dementia. Now I just want to avoid them too. I too cannot handle the noise. We are going on a vacation/holiday in May and I find part of me is dreading it while another part is excited. We shall see. I found myself holding my breath until you returned home safe with the cute little ducks. I started a mantra in one of my zoom groups “We are brave, we are strong, we Rock!” You Wendy, ROCK!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done though Wendy for getting out and doing it. Sorry such a disappointing first venture further afield. Hopefully your next one will be less stressful for you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you only knew how wonderful you are and how well you did cope with that outing Wendy. All on your own too, my admiration for you is off the scale!
    I’m anxious about venturing out to anywhere other than the supermarket after so long in lockdown and I don’t have dementia. You did it and took some lovely pictures too. Just well done you, hopefully next time will be easier 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If only I had known you were in Bridlington, Wendy. I would have come and met you there and hopefully, it would have meant you could have stayed in Bridlington longer. Viv xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, all in all, you got where you wanted to go and you got home again safely – you did it!! Bravo!! Now, it’s about that train station guy: I was thinking maybe folks with dementia should carry a little card, maybe made up of a delightful little smiley face, with the message in the centre that says “I have dementia. Please be kind to me.” Handing something like that to him, would have changed his demeanour immediately – and hopefully forever after, when he was tempted to be rude and short with someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an achievement – you actually got on a train and got to your destination – small step forward and a kick in the whatsits to dementia – you should be super proud of yourself. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Really brave Wendy! Glad you made it out even if the world wasn’t as peaceful and welcoming as hoped. I am hoping next trip goes better and you have some confidence knowing you have done this one already. Pictures are lovely as wonderful. Congratulations Mrs Duck!

    Liked by 1 person

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