Bob's Blog 16 - Do you want the good news or ...?

First the really good news. I was looking forward to this holiday after Social Secretary, Jackie, texted me in March to say she had booked wheelchair space in the Festival Theatre to see the stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I was pleasantly surprised when Victoria asked me on incoming Monday whether I would also like to go to a restaurant for lunch. I didn’t realise Leuchie guests staying for 11 nights can now go on two trips during their holiday. This takes us back to pre-Covid days.

Now for good and bad news. Kevan said Apple had introduced new features for cognitive accessibility, along with Live Speech, Personal Voice, and Point and Speak in Magnifier. That was the good news. However, it is unlikely that my ancient iPhone 8 will support these new features and I might be forced to get a new shiny model, (blog 15). However, Kevan did think Apple would launch new products which will mean enthusiasts will upgrade to the latest models. So, I may be able to afford a refurbished iPhone that could handle these improvements, which could make my life even easier. But, I’m not holding my breath! However, I won’t do anything without K’s seal of approval.

On incoming Monday, I was greeted by Lisa who was sitting behind a new wraparound desk. It will make a great first impression to visitors, and reflects the professional approach of the Leuchie team.

Hilarity at breakfast when I asked Claire to get me under the table. Totally inappropriate language as I meant to say “Claire please tip the chair forward and push it under the table.” Definitely a LOL moment.

Iain persuaded me to have a Rusty Nail (*1) after dinner. This transported me back to fraternisation with other members of the Court (*2) at the annual Riding of the Marches in Linlithgow (see Blog 7) . My hip-flask was full of Macallan ™ but another Court member had Rusty Nail in his, which I now remember to be the best swally I had ever had!

Iain will be the first to admit that he is a bit rough around the edges but he isn’t such a bad chap. One afternoon he wheeled round and held up a beaker of drinkable (*3) tea for me. He does a lot of fundraising for Leuchie including an annual shave which was live-streamed on Facebook during this holiday, for which he raised £950.

More good news. I was asked if I would like to go on the inaugural Tri-shaw bike ride. This is an electric bike pushing a platform upon which my chair was strapped. The Tri-shaw was funded through a series of generous donations, about which you can read here. With Louise in the driving seat we set off in bright sunshine with a gentle breeze. Twenty minutes on local roads getting up close and personal to birdsong and the scent of wildflowers and hawthorn in bloom. Couldn’t get a better start to the day if you tried.

Latest good news. Leuchie has taken delivery of two Cyclo-ssage massage mattresses. They give full body therapy that alleviates a wide variety of joint pains, aches, muscle spasms and stress mobility problems. The non-invasive massage and heat will stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation through the body. Iain has had a 15 minute session and felt the benefit immediately. I will have a shot when I’m next at Leuchie and give a report in the next blog. Katie will now ask guests after their arrival whether they have aches or pains which they want sorted. She will then create a programme to sort out any problems.

Finally the really, really bad news. Kevan gave his presentation on Internet Safety, Security and Privacy. This was an enlightening listen and I would recommend guests to go to it if he is up for repeating it when you’re next on holiday. The key point he highlighted was protecting your identity so it cannot be stolen. I was horrified to find Meta, who own Facebook, retain the personal data of all users. I had deleted the Facebook profile I’d created in the dim and distant past when I could type. I didn’t give my mother’s maiden name but I’m sure if some thief wanted to search for the alumni of Pennyfields Primary School they might get to clone me! However, it’s not as if I have the name John Smith - my apologies to any John Smiths reading this - so I’m hoping I’m safe!

Thanks to Kate who was involved in this blog from the start. Is this to prevent me going off – piste and having to be redacted before publication?

Jackie – guest; Victoria – Guest Engagement Manager; Kevan – Enabling Technologies Co-Ordinator; Lisa – Receptionist; Claire – General Assistant; Iain – Guest; Louise – Physiotherapist; Katie – Occupational Therapist and Kate – Digital Marketing Officer.

1. A very smooth beverage, a 50:50 blend of Drambuie™ and Grouse, other brands of whisky can be used if you have to. Iain insists on having his on ice but seriously if you have to add water, a splash of Highland Spring™ will suffice.
2. The Court of the Deacons of the Ancient and Royal Burgh of Linlithgow.
3. Drinkable is a definition of temperature not taste. It could be better defined as a beaker of tea that can be drunk in up to four sooks on the straw! Claire, in pursuit of tea making excellence, got her probe out. At 43.9 ℃ it was a 4 sook beaker with good colour and taste. Don’t worry Care Assistants and General Assistants, I’ll not expect this pinnacle of drinkability every time!

Editors Note. Bob’s idea of a four sook beaker is one he can drink without hardly taking a breath!