baratron: (london)
I've done a bit more work on migrating my lj friends list to a new dreamwidth access list. It is, however, really depressing how many of the accounts on my new list say "never updated" next to them.

It seems that my dreamwidth reading list consists of about 10 people who regularly post. I really miss the chronic health community that I had on lj, but haven't had the spoons either to post on lj to ask where people have moved to, or to try to find a new version here. Must find some spoons. Currently accepting donations.

I still have a couple of hundred links from my mobile browser which I "need" to post on my journal. I expect most of the news-related links are now hideously outdated due to new events. A lot of the queer or disability-related links are still interesting, though.

In exciting personal news, I now have a Freedom Pass! I've qualified for one for years, I just didn't have sufficient energy/motivation to submit the paperwork. And buses in London are free if you're a wheelchair user anyway. However, due to various things (such as the fire at Camden Lock Market), I now need to take the Tube on a regular basis. £8.10 for a Travelcard with a Disabled Railcard is just horrendous (that's like THREE chocolate brownies!), and that was finally enough motivation for me to apply for the pass.

So now I can travel all around London for free, and also on buses elsewhere in England. However, my travel is currently restricted owing to the fact that platforms 7 & 8 at Vauxhall will have no lift until April. Also for the next couple of weeks, trains from Kingston are only every half hour (instead of every 15 minutes), and will be taking 48+ minutes to get to Waterloo instead of 30ish.

I must remember to buy tickets for this vegan food fair. Perhaps after Richard has recovered from the shock of paying for my last-minute train tickets to Leeds - which were already heavily reduced due to aforementioned Freedom Pass and Disabled Railcard...
baratron: (bi_pride)
Who is going? And who wants to share a flat with me?

Proviso: I need an accessible room/bathroom which may reduce the number of humans that can be accommodated within the flat.
baratron: (cn tower)
Home from travelling. Actually, I got in somewhere around 1 pm yesterday and proceeded to pass out for many hours. Woke up at 1 am and (much to my surprise) have been awake ever since. Husband has been snuggled. Boyfriend has been talked to on Skype. He looks very sad, poor thing, but it remains against the laws of physics for me to be in two places at once. Hoping we can have him visit in late June/early July for my birthday.

Super weirdly, I have been physically energetic enough to have emptied the laundry rack, folded the dry laundry, sorted all of the dirty laundry in my suitcase, put on a load of laundry, emptied the clean stuff out of the dishwasher and refilled it. I hope that I will not pay for this tomorrow, though I have A Theory. A theory which involves, of all things, vegan bacon and my ability to get it.

(Gods, I knew that Yves Veggie Bacon wasn't very fatty, but I didn't realise that 3 rashers had only 0.5 g of fat between the lot of them, along with 14 g of protein. Short of actually, y'know, BAKING my own tofu, I am unsure where to get tasty textured fake meat products which are low fat and high protein. Nasty-tasting, weird textured but low fat, I can do. Nice-tasting, well-textured and full of fat, I can do).

Continue to be Unimpressed with Aer Lingus. Will relate the full story later when spoons exist.
baratron: (cn tower)
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10:00 p.m. — Monday, April 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Due to system maintenance during the dates and times listed, there will be a partial shutdown of AirTrain JFK service. There will be no service to/from all airport terminals and no service at the Howard Beach and Lefferts Blvd stations. AirTrain JFK service will continue to operate a normal schedule to/from Jamaica Station and Federal Circle. Free shuttle buses replace service and will be available at the affected AirTrain stations and airport terminals. Please allow extra time when traveling to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport and see a Customer Care Representative for assistance if needed.


Argh! I just LOVE the idea of having to travel around the airport in a shuttle bus instead of a nice, accessible train! *facepalm*
baratron: (boots)
I have many photos of my trip to the US to post, when I get A Round Tuit. They are crappy mobile phone pictures, but I cannot be bothered to carry a real camera with me any more. I am a terrible photographer with the best equipment in the world, and I'm more interested in recording memories than attempting to take good shots.

Currently I am worrying about being stranded in New York tomorrow once Delta drop me off there.

It turns out that Aer Lingus are morons. I've had several "incidents" with them this trip and am never flying with them again, but in the meantime they are supposed to be getting me home to London tomorrow.Read more... )
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
In the process of importing my livejournal. Hoping it won't take forever because 2001-most of 2013 is already here. Wondering about some of my communities (the two or three that I really care about) because I haven't been back to lj to "agree" to their TOS and mark my entire journal as Not Suitable For Children yet. Mostly due to lack of time.

In the meantime, if you want to be added to my Fiends List and use a different username here, please comment. I do so like Dreamwidth's separation of "Subscribe" and "Grants Access".

I am currently in Rochester, New York, USA visiting my partner Grant. Here are some pictures from Monday:
Me and Shifty cuddling

And two more! )

Plans

May. 5th, 2016 03:39 pm
baratron: (dino)
I did not get around to booking for BiCon. The closing date for accommodation was just too early considering that I have no idea what my health will be doing in July. If I am not much better than I am now, I will be going splat and having to go to bed in the middle of the afternoon, at unpredictable times, and it seems fairly pointless to pay money to go away in that scenario.

Which means you might be questioning how come I can go to Boston next week, but that will be easier since I will have the husband and the boyfriend, both of whom are entirely competent carers for me. If we're out and about and I feel too wobbly to carry on, I can trust either or both of them to get me back to the place where we're staying and/or get food into me. Neither of them want to go to BiCon (they are both way too introverted), and I don't have anyone else who is familiar enough with my current limitations to act as a carer. (I know people who would be happy to ensure I got fed, but I wouldn't want to ask any of them to give up what they want to do at BiCon unless I was paying them, which is a whole other kettle of fish and... yeah.)

I still need to talk to my university, because I was supposed to be going back when term started on 18th April, and I am clearly nowhere near well enough to go back for at least a few more weeks. It's likely that I'll actually go back next term instead, as long as they aren't going to give me grief about the fact you're only "supposed" to have a maximum of 2 years (6 terms) "off" on breaks of study during a PhD course. I'd love to be back, but it would be a waste of everyone's time and my money, since I just about have enough energy to get downstairs on average once a day. The increased thyroxine and vitamin D are helping up to a point, but I am not magically better and dancing around full of the joys of spring.

Today is however a glorious day and I went out to vote for the Mayor of London and London Assembly. No prizes for guessing which party won my first choice, and even my second choice is pretty easy to guess. (Hint: I didn't vote for anyone in favour of leaving the European Union). Politics lately are stressing me out: the London Assembly election today, the referendum on leaving the EU in a few weeks, and the horrible, hateful candidate up for election as President of the USA. Honestly, if it weren't for that nice Mr Trudeau, I'd be hiding under a rock.

Also today I washed my dinosaur. Yay! for clean dinos.
baratron: (endurance)
Yesterday and today, I've been wanting to talk to people but I have absolutely no spare energy with which to do so. I have reverted to taking 2000 iu of vitamin D per day as of today, because I'm shattered and not convinced that the 400 iu tablets are doing enough.

I'm supposed to be going back to College in 10 days or so, but I haven't sorted out any of the paperwork yet because it involves too much effort, and circular situations where I need a form from A to give to B and a form from B to give to C, but I can't get the form from A until I have the form from C. Gah! And right now, I am sufficiently exhausted that I am not even sure if I'm up to going back for this term. I really can't go back and then immediately have to take time off again, but I do need to get things like Disabled Students' Allowance in place again if I am going back.

Mental health has not been good in my little family this past week. We have all been depressed for no particular reason. Richard has been anxious, Grant has been tearful, I have been having nightmares. I know that I need to have my next trip to see Grant arranged as soon as possible, so it's settled and I have something to look forward to, but I just don't know when will be convenient. Since this year is a round-number birthday, I was hoping to do something special for it, but I am increasingly feeling that my original plan (go to Iceland again) isn't what I want to be doing this year.

While organising trips to various places, I have to decide if I am going to BiCon this year. I feel that it would be beneficial to me to be in bi space considering that I currently appear to the outside world as straight twice over, but it involves energy and organisation which I don't quite have right now. The deadline is apparently pretty soon though. Who else is going?

In other news, I have found some mysterious photos on my computer. I mean, they are patently photos of me and Richard hanging around in our hallway in January 2012, but it is mysterious as to why we took them. They are all exceedingly yellow and would require considerable correction in Photoshop to fix. I thought maybe Richard had bought a new camera and we were testing it out, but the numbering starts at IMG_6562.jpg. Weird!
baratron: (willpower)
I'm sitting in Starbucks on Wardour Street waiting for Richard to get out of work. Someone's broken the only lift into his building so I can't wait there, and Westminster Council hates wheelchair users so much that I can't easily get around Soho by myself due to a severe shortage of dropped kerbs. So I didn't have a great deal of choice. I couldn't even get to Costa because it would have meant hurling myself off 4 inch high pavements and then driving along the road. I value my teeth a bit too much to risk that sort of thing.

I really need to organise some sort of petition/protest/shoot a video showing Westminster Council just how fucked up their access around Soho and Covent Garden really is. That would, however, require spoons, which are in short supply at the best of times.

I'm sure I owe you guys an "I got home from my travels safely" message, but I have been far too ill since I got back to manage anything. Nothing new, "just" severe period pain combined with my usual back/hip pain, the combination of which has required eating enough painkillers that I've been too sleepy for coherence. Joy! "Conveniently" I had an appointment at the Pain Management Clinic already booked for Monday. But it was hard to fill in the pain questionnaire when I'd been lying flat on my back groaning because of my uterus for days.

So after a week of doing absolutely bugger all, today I've got up & gone into London. Earlier it was sunny but not warm, now it is positively freezing. It was 30 deg C in Canada and I got irradiated by strong sunlight every day - here it is a maximum of 18 deg C in the middle of the day. Positively autumnal, and I miss my summer. Going out for dinner with Richard and his vegan colleague who is visiting from Canada. Richard has been unimpressed by the way his company has been treating this guy, e.g. yesterday they went out for steak even knowing that nowhere that serves decent steak in London also does vegan food at all.

I'm tired. Life could be a lot worse, though.
baratron: (bunches)
I am in Toronto with @Wicked_Shifty! Sorry for the lack of updates... the wifi in our hotel room is beyond terrible, so we've come down to the lobby to post sickening adorable pictures.

Me & Shifty 2015-08-29

Me & Shifty 2015-08-29

Shifty says, "Without internet, we have had to find other ways to amuse ourselves. Surprisingly, the TV hasn't been turned on yet." :D
baratron: (cn tower)
1) Write a packing list.
2) Pack.
3) Buy travel insurance. Who did I buy travel insurance from last time? There's the company which refuses to insure you if you're bipolar, and then the other company which will happily insure you if you're broken, but not for anything pre-existing. Which is fine - I might be "mentally ill" but I am not going to flip out and hurt myself or anyone else! (Grr. So discriminatory.)

4) Sort out the jury service form. DONE!

5) Fill in and print out Air Canada's amazing wheelchair form several times. I am not being sarcastic - that form is actually amazing and I wish every airline had something like it.

6) Check in for my flight online.
7) Print out my boarding pass.
8) Check in to the HOTEL online.
- all done on Thursday night.
9) Figure out where we’re eating on Friday night, since I doubt we’re going to be wanting to go very far from the hotel. DONE! Apparently there is both a pizza place and a burrito place that does vegan food nearby. And Whole Foods is within walking distance.

10) Wash my wheelchair, because it's currently covered in mud from the Download Festival :O
11) Tell 2 x banks that I'm going to another country and they should therefore expect to see card transactions from there. - sorted.
baratron: (poly)
So I finally have my trip to Canada booked. I'm flying to Toronto on Friday 28th August to meet Shifty. He's American, but lives close enough to the border that Toronto is pretty much the nearest major city.

Then Richard's flying over on Thursday 3rd September and all three of us are going to hang out until Sunday 6th September. Then Shifty's going home and Richard and I are going to Montréal until Thursday 10th September, whereupon we fly home.

Any potential burglars who are reading this and think that they can break into our house while we're away, please note that it will be guarded by a vicious Attack Mother. Which is worse than a dog, because a dog will only bite you... my mother will talk you to death!

Anyway, if you are located in Toronto or Montréal and might want to meet up with us while we're over, please read below the cut-tag. Details )
baratron: (cn tower)
Today has been an exercise in frustration. Booking accommodation while disabled is... difficult. I have to make sure that I can get in and out of the bathroom by myself without immediately forcing my new boyfriend into "carer" mode when he's never even met me in person.

We were looking at apartments on AirB&B and TripAdvisor… the problem is that all a person needs to do to make their flat “wheelchair accessible” is to tick a little box. So there were a whole load of apartments that I could apparently get around fine until it got to the bathroom. Whereupon there were suddenly no grab rails, a bathtub with no seat or dropped sides, and a fixed shower head rather than a detachable one.

The Download Festival is more accessible than most of these condos, and that's an outdoor music festival where you sleep in a tent! But at least it has grab rails in the toilets and enough space to transfer from a wheelchair if you can't walk at all, and roll-in showers with a seat and grab rails.

Also, the most frustrating thing on any website is the phrase “This hotel has accessible rooms that may include the following accessible features”. Just fuck off! I don't care about what you "may" provide, I want to know what you definitely "will" provide!

Grargh.

In other news, I have discovered that Electric Wheelchair Hockey is a thing. That's positively amazing - I hadn't known there were any sports accessible to users of electric wheelchairs before. Wow :)
baratron: (endurance)
Argh. There really is nothing like arriving at a large station like St Pancras and discovering that the train you thought was 13:36 is in fact 13:26, and instead of being pleasantly early, you need to get to the platform NOW.
baratron: (eye)
So I haven't written anything here in over 2 months, which is probably the longest I've ever gone without updating this journal since it's existed. Mostly this has been because I've been busy enough to lack spare energy to write about what I'm doing, combined with the fact that what I'm doing isn't even interesting, but also because I need a new phone. My phone is an HTC Desire Z which is at least 4 years old, and it's reached the point of unreliability where it randomly reboots itself with no warning. Also its hardware keyboard (the main reason why I've kept this phone for so long - I find touch screen typing very difficult) randomly misses keystrokes or adds extra ones. To add even more insult, I can't even comment on some people's livejournals because I can't open the "comments" pages from my phone web browser - it just gets stuck in a loop of reloading the post without the comments. Bah.

Some good and interesting things have happened. We went to the Jettblack album release party, which was held in a basement bar in Soho down a terrifying flight of stairs - which necessitated the band members carrying my wheelchair down the stairs! Also we went to see Ginger Wildheart's Songs and Words show in Leeds, which was extremely moving and also hilarious. Since I'm a member of G.A.S.S. we also went to the Meet and Greet where I gave Ginger a t-shirt that I'd seen online and thought he might like the slogan of... and he told us how his youngest child believes that Lemmy is his grandad! The next day we met up with some of my friends from Pokecharms, and went around the Royal Armouries. This was delightful since we're all video gamers and were looking at old swords and armour going "That's like the $fill_in_the_blank armour from Skyrim!"

My chronic fatigue is still crap. I got the results of my blood test back on Tuesday and discovered that my TSH level is now 1.31 - which is well within normal by every reference range I've ever seen! So... it's not my thyroid making me exhausted all the time. Going to get my vitamin D level checked again because a few years ago, the anticonvulsant I take as a mood stabiliser was destroying all the vitamin D in my body. But given that I take a high dose vitamin D every other day, that might not be the problem at all.

Also, the Mirena coil and I are officially Not Friends. Cut for those who wish to avoid )
baratron: (london)
...and I don't have all afternoon to get from London Waterloo to Camden Town and back to Birkbeck for an evening class. So I am going to Take The Tube! Along a theoretically accessible route which I've done before... But you never know until you actually get there whether the lifts are going to be working, no matter how many times you check the Transport for London web site.

My train journey from Kingston to Waterloo doesn't rely on lifts. Going, I can drive myself up the ramp if I need to (it's steep, but do-able in an electric wheelchair). Coming back, I can always get off at Norbiton, which has a ramp. Journeys which absolutely depend on functioning lifts stress me out in a way that a person with healthy legs would have trouble understanding.

The worst thing is that at King's Cross, there are three separate lifts to bring you to the surface from the tube. Not three which work in parallel, but each one doing one floor. So it's up and along and up and along and up and out, therefore either tripling or cubing the amount of stress required.

Still, it's better than sitting in a traffic jam for gods know how long.
baratron: (cn tower)
So, it turns out that Richard and I have really different ideas about what we want out of a holiday. He wants a complete break from Work, which includes everything: work for money, housework and Being A Carer. Whereas I want to go somewhere exciting and different.

He wants to go somewhere he is familiar with, so he has an internal map of the place in his head. He also doesn't want to be in the situation where "the extrovert has gone all shy, leaving me to do the communication."

This means that we need to go somewhere where the primary language is English, so I'm not reliant on him to manage a language I've mostly forgotten or never learned, and that we've been to before. The existing stipulations of somewhere with a lot of vegan food that is easy to navigate by public transport using a wheelchair and that has bears somewhere that he can go off and commune with still apply.

This greatly reduces the number of cities quite hilariously:

New York? We both know our way round Manhattan, but unless something's changed in the past few years, it's a nightmare to navigate in a wheelchair - they have a ridiculously small number of pre-book only accessible taxis.

Boston? Lots of vegan food, and I've been there in a wheelchair before. A couple of times, even. Not sure about bears, though.

Toronto? Lots of vegan food, and it seemed that a lot of public transport was accessible in 2007 even before I needed that much accessibility. Also Canadians are very polite and helpful so I wouldn't feel awkward asking for help if I needed it. And Toronto Zoo has THREE (3) types of bear. Flying there is damned expensive though.

Somewhere in the Netherlands or Flemish Belgium? Okay, the primary language there might be Dutch, but pretty much everyone speaks enough English to deal with tourists. I'm looking at Antwerp right now because it's easy to get to (Eurostar plus half an hour, and the second train is included in the price of a Eurostar), and it has a good zoo and art museums, although the zoo does only have one type of bear.

Hmm.
baratron: (cn tower)
I feel awful. Woke up after about 6.5 hours sleep and couldn't get back to sleep. Richard has booked a week off work (!!) from 15th-19th September so I am supposed to be finding somewhere to go for some or all of it.

I want to go on holiday somewhere that is Not Here, and ideally in another country altogether. I would like to combine this with viewing of Bears and/or Wolves. That is about the best I am capable of in my current state of brain.

Richard would quite like to have some time at home to Tidy Up His Workshop, although that doesn't have to be in that week.

We don't have very long in which to figure out where we're going.

I was looking at Ely in Minnesota, because it is where both the North American Bear Center AND the International Wolf Center are, but it looks like there is absolutely no way to get around without a car. Actually, I can't even figure out how to get there from the nearest airport (Duluth), 115 miles away!

I am not good at adjusting from European city geography to middle of nowhere tiny North American town geography. (Seriously, a town with less than 4,000 people has two newspapers? That just breaks my brain!) Also, there is almost certainly nowhere near enough time to arrange something as complicated as that.

Which means either somewhere in Europe, or a major city in North America. Although I'm not aware of lots of bears and/or wolves around major cities in North America, with the exception of Toronto Zoo. Hrm.

Anyone have any smart ideas?

Stress!

Aug. 1st, 2014 08:25 am
baratron: (london)
Guess who managed to sleep through two alarms and now has to rush across London?

Sigh. And I'm still tired enough to feel nauseated.
baratron: (angry)
Safely home. Got in yesterday morning and went to bed for 6 hours, then Tim & Peter came round to take me out for dinner, then I went back to bed and slept for another 12 hours. I would now be feeling like a human being if my mother hadn't spent the whole day driving me insane.

Today I had a great Need To Be Alone. While I'm usually pretty extroverted, travel knocks me out and afterwards, I just want to be on my own while I recover. It's at least, in part, a chronic fatigue thing - having to deal with other people and take in unnecessary aural input exhausts me sometimes. But she decided to spend the whole day here, trying to organise our damned house before Richard gets home, and failing to take hints. I don't know how much more explicit I needed to be, since "I would like to be left alone, please" wasn't good enough.

To me, being "left alone" means being alone in my house.

To her, it means that she stays downstairs most of the time and only comes up to bother me once or twice an hour :/ I guess I should have said "Please will you go home", but I only just thought of it :/

So she decided I was being ungrateful for her help, when it was her simple PRESENCE that was annoying me. I've been getting progressively more-and-more bad-tempered, and only calmed down in the hour and a half since she left. And I haven't got anything done all day, because I needed alone-time in order to summon up the requisite attention span to do what I wanted.

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