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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

“Poppy, are you ready yet?”

Buying a mobility scooter has been a journey in itself. An emotional journey, a realisation that one has moved into another phase of life. It was a long and painful journey of approach and retreat. This journey came to a head while staying on Darwin’s waterfront. We were visiting family, spending precious time with a two-year-old granddaughter.

We made the step of hiring a mobility scooter. There were lots of smiles at the sight of an elderly man on a scooter with a child in a pusher. Interestingly, it was the little kids who were most fascinated. They would point it out to their parents. Clearly they wanted one as a toy. Each morning as we set off for coffee in the Darwin Mall our excited little granddaughter would say, “Are you ready Poppy?” And for me and my husband it was transformative.

We had fun together for the first time in a long while. No more of “You go off, I really am quite happy sitting in this coffee shop while you have a look around, take as much time as you want”. Well, that was never going to happen – it’s too unkind to leave a partner sitting there while others covetously eye the table and the waiters do what they do to try and move people on.

As soon as we came home from Darwin, we continued that journey, off to Joanne at Scooters Australia to purchase a comfortable all-purpose scooter. My husband was very attracted to the glamour model that I likened to a small car, but fortunately his love of supermarkets tipped the balance towards a scooter small enough for our local IGA. It was so much fun and good for both of us.

I was walking again, keeping up with the scooter, always a person who needed exercise, I would soon lose the weight I needed to lose. We weren’t done there. We had a taste and we wanted more: to restore the lost wonderful experience of Travel. So within weeks we took another journey to Dandenong to purchase a Luggie Travel Scooter.

Recently, we took it with us all the way to the UK and France. In the UK, we stayed with family in a commuter town south of London. We could scoot to the station, take a black taxi from Charing Cross to our destination, and explore our old and favourite haunts again. We visited Northumbria and Uzes in Provence and many other places. Would you believe, my husband still spent a lot of time sitting in coffee shops and wine bars? The town square in Uzes is an absolute delight, and he fit right in. Besides, like most men, he loathes shopping.

So thank you Joanne, I don’t know how long ago it was that we took our first tentative step but your warm welcome when we eventually returned with serious intent was immensely helpful. I am reminded of our charming 2 year old granddaughter in Darwin. “Poppy, are you ready yet?” Yes we are. On our way.

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