Postcard From Torquay (1)
Here we are in Basil & Sybil territory. This is the view that greeted me over an al-fresco breakfast this morning. The sea does something to me emotionally. Well, any significant expanse of water does actually. I get the same reaction watching the barges along the canal. It’s the completely different energy to the tempo of a town. So, eating my croissants, I am both in seventh heaven and tearful. Every holiday reminds me ththat, all things being unequal, instead of driving over to Babbacombe this afternoon, I could be on a train bound for a one hour visiting appointment with Steven in a Unit in Wales.
Life for learning disabled people is really that precarious. If things hadn’t gone our way in 2011, we wouldn’t have just shared an hour in the pool singing Here Comes The Summer. The fragility of a professional decision leaves me in a constant state of anxiety. Torquay today – what and where will next year bring?
But hey, I’m on holiday. Or rather I’m inhabiting Steven’s world of Fawlty Towers coming to life. A yacht sailed past earlier and Steven was convinced it was Mr Johnson at the helm (“Pretentious. Moi?”) Last night, we spent a few hours in our own private pub and when I asked Steven what he wanted, he asked for, ” a gin and orange, a lemon squash and a scotch and water please”. He refuses to have kippers for breakfast, in case it brings about his demise like Mr Lemon. And when he saw his ensuite bathroom, he sneered rather ungraciously, “not big enough to drown a mouse”. It’s huge! But that doesn’t fit with the Mrs Richards script.
The cottage is glorious and so is the generosity of the support workers. Yesterday, everyone pitched in. They assigned me one of the lower terrace bedrooms, so there are two floors between me and Steven, therefore ensuring an uninterrupted nights sleep. They took it in turns to dance the night away with Steven in the pub last night as he got sweatily excited over the wide choice of music on the jukebox.
I know how Shirley Valentine felt. Would anyone mind if we never came home?