So I went into town for my usual Saturday coffee - ideal timing for once, I actually got to where I normally park as my friend was walking past, and the car parked 5m away pulled out as I told her 'I'll just go find somewhere to park."
So I got the new chair out of the car, I'm going to take advantage of having it even if it is going back, and we headed into town, cutting through the little disabled car park to get to the High Street. The kerb cut in the car park, the one that flipped me out of the other chair back at the end of October, is getting worse by the day. Rather than put a proper kerb-cut in, there is a projecting vee of paving that is slightly lower. The drain at the point of the vee (because clearly you want a drain grate right where people are going to wheel) has clearly collapsed and the road side of the ramp is slowly sinking as the ground under it is eroded away. It's now caused a paving stone on the pavement side to flip up by a good inch, making access from all sides dodgy. I need to get back there during the day and take a picture, then send it to the council, copying relevant councillors.
Next up was our normal venue, with its three steps at the entrance, I'm used to it being a nuisance and having to climb out, but with a rigid-framed chair I now need to unbolt the other side of the door, rather than just squeeze the clown chair slighty narrower. We'd picked up another friend on the way, so I did have plenty of hands to hold the doors and help me lift the chair in. So we get in, the only empty table has a reserved sign on it, and we catch the eye of one of the waitress to ask if there any free tables right at the back and around the corner.
"No," she says, "We could possibly put you upstairs," then looks at me and visibly winces at what she just said.
So turn around and unbolt the door again.
Back on the pavement, I suggest to everyone that we head across the road to the little Italian coffee shop, then realise that while I can hop down onto the road (pedestrian only on Saturday) I can't actually get up the kerb at the other side as the anti-tips won't let me wheelie high enough.
"I'll just nip back to the kerb cut further along," I say, which I'd already come down once, but then realise a) someone has put up scaffolding against a shop front between it and the Italian, b) they've taped off between the scaffolding poles to block access (in no way normal practise) c) the rest of the pavement is blocked by a bollard. *headdesk*
So it was climb out of the chair for the third time in three minutes and lift it onto the pavement.
At least we had no problems getting into the Italian, though by the time we'd spent an hour and a half nattering my hips were definitely protesting at being squeezed by the GPV's too narrow seat.
Heading back to the car I had to rely on my friends to steady me on a kerb-cut and a short steeper section of pavement, as the chair wanted to flip into a wheelie, but those are more the fault of the overly tippy chair
Despite all the hassles it was actually more confirmation that a rigid framed chair is distinctly better for me for getting around, but so many problems in such a short distance, and if I hadn't actually been able to get out and stand we would have been completely stuffed.