A Week is a Long Time in Dundee

I was planning on spending today writing up serious observations and impressions on the first week of my residency, but have actually just spent two hours labouring with the appearance widgets on my blog page.

I am obviously going wrong somewhere!

All I want is a nice little informal portrait of me in the sidebar but after four attempts I have given up. the first three materialised as long, thin, indeterminate sections of my chosen image and the forth, whilst more the size and shape I was after, showed a random selection of my bum on a chair. Not the  kind of public image I was after at all. I am obviously in need of a little help with all this.

So, portraitless but with a natty new background – I have cracked some of the simpler elements, I’m just going to press on with the real business.

I am tempted to write about the wonders of wheelchair taxis and the deplorable state of the pavements in the Perth Road but I’m not sure that my Access Audit actually takes in what happens before I even reach the building. Maybe a little scene setting is permitted, background information about things which, when you think about it, do impinge upon my situation when I  arrive.

Anyone with M.S. will tell you that fatigue can be a real problem. Its not just feeling tired, its like physical and mental paralysis – total shutdown. They might also tell you that it creeps up on you with little warning, one minute you are full of the joys of Spring and the next you are deep in the trough of lethargy. Experience tells you what things to avoid, overheating, overwork, over excitement, over eating,  over anything really.

Click here for more information on fatigue and M.S.

But piloting a basic NHS powerchair from Peddie Street to DCA ? You’d better believe it! It can’t even be a mile but the obstacle course which is your average Dundee pavement makes it seem like the London Marathon – by the time I got in last Tuesday I was exhausted and needed a double expresso and a long sit down. Once I have all my technological kit sorted out I will be posting angry instant photos of broken slabs, impossible cambers, missing dropped curbs, precipitous slopes, errant wheelie bins and the other miscellaneous hazards which conspire against me. It might not make much of a difference to the reality of the situation but at least it will make me feel better and it might throw up some interesting images for my work.

In contrast, the taxi scenario – forced on me because I can’t get my wheelchair in and out of my car, is a totally trouble free if somewhat expensive solution to a problem that initially bothered me when I was first offered the residency. It’s worked every time. The drivers have all been friendly and  helpful and have turned up on time, so apart from sometimes having to face backwards in the larger vehicles – a bit disorientating, it’s actually been quite pleasant.

So next week I  get down to work in earnest, tuition in WordPress, you’ll have to notice the difference, Flash and i movie. And that’s just Monday and Tuesday. Will I make it through to Wednesday? Watch this space?

About mssmith57

I'm an artist and novice blogger. I love books, good food, red wine and jazz. I also have M.S. so I write about the practicalities of life as a disabled artist. It might be challenging but its not all grim! My work's quite jolly really.
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