Tuesday we headed over to Bradford to see Debbie and Omar. You’ll likely have seen them on the news in the past as the particular Debbie I’m talking about is Debbie Purdy, who won her legal battle to have the assisted suicide guidelines clarified. The day she finally won was fantastic as I knew that if the decision went against her that she would be heading to Switzerland sooner rather than later and well before she would want to. Omar Puente was one of my teachers at college and one of the few inspirational educators I came across there. He’s a fantastic violinist from Cuba who recently released his first solo album and has worked with a huge array of musicians from Courtney Pine to Kirsty MacColl. We have kept in touch ever since and he and Debbie are like Duncan’s extra set of grandparents.
So I started to do various computery bits and pieces for Debbie and Omar while Duncan set about exploring and playing with a couple of toy cars he’d brought along and seeing where he was and wasn’t allowed to explore. Eventually he started playing with Omar which was so funny to watch as previously he’s been a bit wary of him. Should have known that day would have been different as when he got out the car he ran straight up to the door and started banging to be let in. Eventually he escaped upstairs where Omar was showing him all the various musical instruments he has up there much to Duncan’s delight leaving myself and Debbie downstairs listening to their squeals of laughter. Somewhere up there is a 1/4 size violin with Duncan’s name on it for when it’s a bit older.
Once all the technical jiggery pokery was finished we had to dash off to Texere Yarns so I could gets some bits and bobs to aid with my book review which will be posted later today. It’s housed in an old mill building and stacked top to bottom with yarn and just about everything else you need for knitting, sewing, crocheting and even rug making. Well worth a visit if you’re into that sort of thing. Dunc dragged me around the whole place first before settling down on one of the sofas watching videos on my phone which gave me about half a chance to find what I needed. Then it was time to battle our way home in the driving rain at the beginning of rush hour. Not fun.
Wednesday I was all for getting out and about but just as we started getting ready the sky grew dark and threatened to soak us through for kicks. So if we were going to get anyway we may as well go swimming. It had been a long time since we had last been for various reasons mainly money, time, energy and giving my back and neck a bit of a chance to heal.
We went to Armley Leisure Centre hoping it would be third time lucky. The first time we visited was the weekend after the centre had just opened. They had let too many people in so we couldn’t get into the smaller pool in which one of the kids subsequently vomited. As they hurriedly ferried everyone into the large pool it became overcrowded and the life guards couldn’t cope. The place was filthy with the changing rooms not having been washed down since they had opened 4 hours previously and the showers were scalding hot. The second time we didn’t even make out of the car as someone who was just leaving informed me that the pool was closed because of a leak. So I certainly felt some trepidation about giving the place another chance.
Thankfully things have improved greatly much to my relief. The floors of the changing room are still a bit grubby and could do with some sort of mat as you enter the changing room to wipe your feet but it was no where near as bad. the small pool was relatively quiet and they now have some toys for the kids to play with. The showers have been sorted out so that even Duncan was happy to get underneath which is saying something – he hates showers.
He was a bit wobbly when he first got in the pool. Couldn’t find his balance but once he did he was off (with the aid of his float jacket). All the things I had tried to show him just somehow all came together. He was happy to have his goggles on for short stints which is a huge step for him and with them in place he was happy to come under the water with me too. He was even letting me support him while he floated on his back whereas last time we tried that he was having none of it. He was enjoying it so much he didn’t notice when I took my hands away and he was left floating there.
The only problem I have with swimming is that I get cold afterwards and when I get cold and can’t warm up I get sleepy. Thankfully managed to stay awake until Rob eventually got home from work so then I got an hour or so kip on the sofa. Warmed up a little but still not quite right so will see how I feel in the morning before making any plans.