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Friday 29 September 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Autumn Picnic

This post was kind of inevitable after my last one. Being at Brimham Rocks reminded me of how much I used to love the kind of early autumn picnics when there was a touch of frost in the air & we would have soup from thermos flasks somewhere in the middle of a walk. A lot of my fondest memories are of days like that...
With these memories haunting me I thought I'd take a risk. I remembered that there was a service road all the way up to the house/cafe at Brimham Rocks & I hoped that I would be able to get my wheelchair along that far enough to find an area I could take photos. I wasn't expecting much, maybe a slightly passable incline leading to a slightly open space where you could see rocks in the background. I vaguely remembered something like that & was hoping I could find it before my hips got too painful..

I found something better.

So it turns out that in the past few years the people at Brimham rocks have been building a totally smooth (tarmac & everything) wheelchair accessible path! Not an access road but an actual path through nature & everything.
It's not totally finished yet (it transitions quite abruptly into a packed dirt path not far from the house, manageable but uncomfortable - I couldn't stand it for more than a few feet) but apparently it will be finished next summer! How amazing is that? Wheelchair accessible nature!
Brimham Rocks is very hilly & some of the dips & rises were a little nerve wracking but if you were in a slightly more powerful powerchair, had someone pushing you or were in a motor scooter I can't see it being a problem. Worth trying at any rate.
I had to get off the path though, it's not really a picnic if you spent the whole time on the path. Or at least not the kind I remember.

The panic of getting a wheelchair up a steep and slippery incline with a slightly under-powered wheelchair was pretty intense. Worth it but probably not something I want to repeat.

It was a perfect morning, one of those dewy fresh Autumn mornings just on the edge of turning to frost. It's funny to think of it being Autumn because it wasn't officially yet, the leaves hadn't turned & the equinox hadn't passed but it was Autumn all the same. Perhaps that's why the season passes so quickly, it starts before we really acknowledge it & it's supplanted by Christmas the day after Halloween.

I guess being there got me all philosophical. It was one of those things that I thought I would never get to experience again & that I wish I'd not taken for granted you know? I'm sure every spoonie has a list as long as their arm of things like that. Dancing & going out by yourself & walking without pain & reading a book in one go & writing an essay &.....oh & all the little things that we all took for granted & miss so dreadfully now they are gone. It was seriously magical to get cross one of those things off the list. I did it, & it was worth the little flare I had afterwards.
Especially since I had one of those perfect Autumn moments, with the smell of damp bracken & the hot chocolate & the pumpkin muffins & the sunrise....if anyone worked out how to condense all that into a candle I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd buy 8.

This outfit is everything I was hoping it would be & more. The cardigan is by EmmyDesign Sweden & is one of their infamous Ice Skater cardigans in Cinnamon (it seems to be out of stock on their website but there seem to still be a few on the Revival Retro website). I've wanted one since last year but what with the price & the fact they go out of stock so quickly I never got one, this year however my mum treated me to this one as an early Christmas present & I can neither confirm or deny that I fell so desperately in love that I dipped deeply into my savings to buy two of the other colours. Okay I did & I regret nothing. The cardigans are so warm & so soft & despite being wool they are not itchy at all. Plus they are stunning & they look good with my clothes. Worth. Every. Penny.

The skirt is another item that was worth every penny. It's from Heart of Haute & is so lovely. It's made of a warm & soft plaid material, so warm & soft in fact that it kind of felt like I had a super light weight blanket wrapped around my legs, a total bonus for any wheelchair user. The whole outfit was pretty warm if I'm honest, the only part of me that got cold was my hands.

The blouse is from Collectif Clothing but they don't make it in this colour anymore (it's in a red now). I've been really struggling to find vintage style blouses that are the style I'm looking for - kind of a true vintage, House of foxy kind of style - that come in my size (a 2XL or a UK 20 in most styles) & this one has is the only one I've found so far. As you can imagine it gets worn quite a lot. I really like the buttons & fact that it doesn't go all the way to the throat, I can look a little 'all boob' if my tops go up too high so I appreciate blouses that don't.

The shoes are again from B.A.I.T. footwear. I seriously do own non-B.A.I.T. shoes but these are my most comfortable 'Victorian lady on a hike' shoes. They aren't Victorian-ish at all but I don't know they just felt like the shoes someone would have been most likely to wear for a day like this if they were too stylish (or impractical) to wear walking boots. And I did feel an awful lot of empathy (an awe) for those Victorian ladies in full length dresses & super tight corsets who climbed mountains whilst I was trying to get up that hill wearing high heels, a (not very tight) corset & a big fluffy petticoat.
I'm not going to lie, I also felt like I was climbing a mountain. It was NOT easy, even though it was a tiny hill (like maybe 10 steps) & I had loads of support.
It was kind of embarrassing. Also exhausting. And exhilarating. And...I can't think of any more 'e' words for it. It was really fun & painful & rewarding. And I love these photos so it was also worth it.

What things do you miss doing that you can't anymore? What's your favourite thing to do in Autumn?

1 comment:

  1. I always love your outfits, and this one is another beauty! So glad to hear about the wheelchair path too!


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