Now I have always thought of myself to be a good driver, something of a cross between a formula one world champion racing driver and the Queens chauffeur ,perhaps a little more of the former than the latter but be that as it may .However ,put me behind a wheelchair and it is entirely another kettle of fish . I tend to use the wheelchair , wife ensconced , as a battering ram to gain access to all buildings without automatic doors . Many a door,including my own front door,bears witness to the frontal assault . It has taken me some time to master the"bum first reverse "movement .Beware if you are standing in front of me in a queue as you are likely to catapulted backwards onto my wife's lap . If people greet me from behind then I tend to turn ,wheelchair and all in a scything movement which is akin to Bodicea and her chariot cutting swathes through the Roman legions . Little old ladies leap back with alacrity beyond their years but sadly not always with the same ability .
Recently I have acquired a set of wheels driven by a small electric motor which clips on the back of the chair. This allows me to propel my wife up the high street at speed with the wind in our hair and dreaming of the freedom of the open road - well at least we can go at a fairly sedate 3mph ! However the accelerator , call it what you will is designed like a brake handle . Consequently when I want to stop I tend to pull on the handle which simply increases my speed forward.
Our local shop has become fairly used to my somewhat erratic driving- to date I have ripped off the plastic moulding on a deep freezer ,demolished a display of cat food and don't ask about the newspaper stand as quite frankly , that was embarrassing . Imagine my horror/delight when I called at the shop this morning to buy some milk and was confronted by an irresistible obstacle course ( see photo ) Could I slalom between the smaller of the two displays and with one swift turn remove the bottom layer of toilet rolls from the ten foot tower and leave it still standing ? Whilst I considered my options , the manger came haring round the corner ,grabbed my usual bottle of milk and thrust it into my hand with the words "there that will save you the bother" Thwarted I put my machine into reverse - forgetting that it now had the capacity to run me over !Such is life .