Planning progress and a celebration

Rachel has just texted to say that her Career Break has been approved. Another hurdle ticked off the list! D-Day is approaching fast.

Since my last post Alan (father) has enjoyed his 70th Birthday with a great party at the Rugby Club (TARFC). He’d asked the many guests to donate to in lieu of any presents. He raised just over £700 and that excludes GiftAid. Huge thanks to Alan and to all of the guests who made it such a great night. I also need to record our thanks to JJ for slaving away in the kitchen – lots of compliments from those there – and the staff at Torquay Athletic Rugby Club. All appreciated.

A special mention goes to Allan Forsyth and TAB Components Ltd for their support too.

Outside of this event – thanks to the First Irishman to walk to the North Pole for sponsoring our flights. Alan Humphries is Rachel’s sister Lisa’s partner. If you get a chance check out his book Spinning Beneath My Feet. A candid but modest insight into what it must be like to endure those extreme conditions.

Talking of ‘special mentions’ – Aunty Barbara – legend entertainment. Couldn’t get over how quickly that made it up to Wales via the Valley Telegraph! It was Wales where we managed to get another night in the van as we adjourned to the Land of My Fathers to continue the celebrations. Staying at Cwrt Isaf Farm, we tested the van for wind and mud – compounded by Cenydd the dog! Still at least it was much warmer than the preceding weekend (10 C outside/15 C inside).

The mud was a timely prompt to consider Western views of what is clean. The van, despite a healthy dose of overnight mud, is still far more comfortable and sanitary than many homes endured in the developing world. I wonder how much of our standards are driven by capitalism and marketing rather than a bona fide need.

The next Monday the Azalai went in to OEC to fit the wiring etc for a trailer board. This is working well as it can cover both the upright and horizontal (loadbed) configurations. The latter being tested with the wheelchair ratchet-strapped down to it just yesterday. I reckon that the board could be hinged so it doesn’t need to be taken off and replaced depending upon configuration – will suggest this next time some work is done. Currently the location of it when the lift is vertical, means the board needs to be removed in order to lower the lift to ground level. Not a problem if a load is going on to be transported; but a nuisance step if the lift is to be used just to access the pod. It looks like this can be easily modded – providing appropriate hinges can be sourced (possibly 90 degree sprung or alternatively locking hinges). I’m sure that makes no sense to the reader – probably easier to see than write down! Definitely the tail-lift is a winner though.

The next fundraiser is nearly upon us. The ‘African Ball’ hosted by Paignton Zoo is falling into place courtesy in the main to the hard work of good friends Dan Tisdall, Becky Bettesworth, Penny Jones, and roped in to help with the entertainment the enigmatic Glenn Powell. (Others have helped too but forgive me from avoiding too long a list of names – it in  no way diminishes our appreciation). This event should be a great party. It is one of our sincere aims that people enjoy themselves first, and that then hopefully the funds will follow. If not, well at least we’d have enjoyed ourselves!

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