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The Thing About Summer


Is everyone enjoying the weather? Got your barbecues out yet? How many people fell asleep yesterday afternoon and woke up with epic tan lines? Us Brits hot foot it out the door at the first sign of sunshine. And why shouldn’t we? We moan about the rain for 99% of the year. However, when you’re on wheels like I am, the rays prove to be somewhat of an issue which leaves me with a love-hate relationship towards anything remotely summery. Here’re a few examples:


The Sweat

Everyone gets a tad sticky at times and if we’re not whining about the rain, we’re complaining it’s too hot, followed by the obligatory; “there’ll be a drought soon, you know”. I think it’s ingrained in our British genes to never be happy with anything. Now, imagine being encased in a black seating system where there’s no room for airflow. I need the system to keep me upright and to stop me from falling over, so taking it out isn’t an option because I’d end up being even wonkier than I already am. But it does make you drip a bit. On many occasions, I’ve had to peel my clothes off my back at the end of the day.

Speaking of which, everyone should know by now I have a habit of losing bladder control when I laugh. But on hot days, it’s hard to decipher what’s pee and what’s sweat – I’m aware how delightful I am. Seriously though, a couple of years ago, I had a pommel inserted in between my legs. It’s not as thrilling as it sounds; it’s basically a wedge that stops my legs from clamping together. Anyway, the pommel is made of plush leather, so my skin sticks like glue which results in ominously placed puddles. If the pommel wasn’t bad enough, then there’re the splints. The plastic casts on my legs are the bane of my summer life and have to be swilled out when the temperature exceeds fifteen degrees.


The Shoes 

Shoe shopping and cerebral palsy don’t mix. Wearing splints is like having canoes strapped to your feet. My fun sized height means I can still fit into children’s shoes, but my splints turn my adorable feet into a size six. Not only that, but I can’t just buy any old shoes. They can’t be open-toed because I have to wear socks, they can’t be too narrow because my splints are too wide and they certainly can’t be heels because I’d have no hope of staying upright. What can I say? Flipflops on the beach ain’t my thing.


And the Clothes

The problem continues when I peer down at my pasty legs and wonder what the hell I’m going to wear. Firstly, it has to be something which will adequately cover my canoes. Secondly, even if I wanted to don a mini skirt it would be a no go. Thanks to the pommel, my legs are spread and so I’d create myself a reputation as Lincoln’s Cripple Flasher. Don’t get me wrong, the role sounds interesting, but I think it’s a little too out there. Lastly, on top of my ghostly complexion, there’s the purple tinge of poor circulation, all of which makes for an unsightly summer scene. Jeans it is.


That said, I do love the sun, the barbecues and the chilled evenings spent in the garden, but CP has other ideas.

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