First Visit to Cornwall.
After the excitement, and exhaustion, of the London 2012 Paralympic Games it was good to have a little time off to recover and rest. However, on Tuesday I set off on a long journey to Cornwall. I had been invited to speak at the 'Methodist Women in Britain - Autumn District Day held in Launceston. It was also a very special day for Mary Tucker who was to be inducted as the District President.
I had to travel by train via Paddington, then train again to Bristol Parkway where I was met by Mary's daughter Avril who drove me down to Launceston. Avril was lovely and made the long journey fly by, pointing out sights along the way. We arrived safely at Tyne Wells House and I was given some gorgeous saffron buns and tea, both of which I enjoyed immensely especially the buns which were delicious. Launceston is a beautiful town, very peaceful. As Mary prepared dinner, I chatted with Mary's husband Bernard and with Avril. I learned that Bernard had also contracted polio as a youngster and we swapped stories of our experiences. He told me he had a Meccano set that had to be scrubbed before his friends would play with it and eventually the paint wore off. That reminded me of my own experiences as a little girl trying to play dolls with my friends After dinner I visited Launceston Methodist Church to see where I would be speaking in the morning, and also to try out the brand new powerpoint presentation I had just completed the night before. The church was beautifully laid out and since the theme was taken from my book, "In My Dreams I Dance", they had a bunch of beautiful flowers that reflected the colours used on my cover page and on this was a pair of silver dancing shoes...... I was emotional. I was exhausted by the travelling and so after I was settled into my accommodation at Trethorn Golf Club I had an early night.
As usual I was feeling very nervous about speaking, but once I was up on the stage and saw the audience of women,(and a few men), I soon got into my stride. The audience oozed wisdom, love,passion and dedication for what they believe in..... there was no doubt they had given and not counted the cost of their time to come and celebrate with Mary. My contribution was well received, which was a relief, and we had lunch.
In the afternoon I gave a small talk about 'Jesus and Disability' and we had a very lively discussion on the subject. Mr. Proctor also introduced us to the Jaipur Limb Charity, the project Mary will support during her term of office.
In the evening there was a social event to raise funds for the Jaipur Limb Charity. It was sold out and to me it seemed like everyone was related to each other in some way. Again, this reminded me of life back in Kenya. There was a friendly atmosphere and the food was delicious. I spoke again, and Mr Proctor told of how lives had been transformed by the project. It is a very worthy cause and well worth supporting for the great work it does. We were entertained by the Young Farmers Choir, and the thing that gave me the most pleasure was hearing the story told by Bernard and Mary's son, who was MC for the evening, about when his father and himself had to visit a farm. They had to put on rubber boots so they didn't carry any infections onto the farm. Bernard has an artificial leg and the boot was a very tight fit. After the inspection was finished Bernard was struggling to remove the boot on his artificial leg, and the farmer, noticing this, offered to help. As he struggled to remove the boot the whole leg came off in his hands! The farmer went white and almost fainted! The son said that to this day he doesn't know if his father deliberately pressed the release pins, and Bernard won't say. I haven't laughed so much for a long time. For me it is a great example of how we people who have a disability can laugh at ourselves. It was a lovely evening and I really enjoyed the company.
Labels: Avril Tucker, Bernard Tucker, Jaipur Limb Charity, Launceston, Mary Tucker, Methodist Women in Britain. polio, Norman Proctor, Paralympic Games 2012, Trethorn Golf Club, Tyne Wells House, Tyne Wells House.