first post harks back to the very beginning of my University career and will
introduce you to two key characters in my life – Pippy, my first ever mobility
scooter and Pearl, her little sister.
Those of you who know me from secondary school no
doubt remember my whopper of a granny scooter, known to the world as Pippy. She
was beautiful, red, shiny, and - in an ideal world - about to play a huge role
in my life as a student in London. So in the months spent sitting on my bottom
after foot and ankle surgery (willing bones to fuse), I drew up the following
Charge Pippy. Service Pippy. Wash Pippy. Use Pippy every day to get me to and from
lectures. Explore London with Pippy. Graduate (probably without Pippy).
It seemed like a fool-proof plan. Until something
really had been a great friend. Many a journey to school had been spent slaloming
around the bollards in the pedestrian precinct, lapping around the bandstand,
and getting the occasional “finger wag” from the local PCSO. Once I actually ran
into the back of a policeman’s ankle when neither of us was looking where we
were going. He was about to lecture me on careless driving but relented when he
saw Pippy (it was love at first sight). The final leg of the journey to school
took us through an underpass and one morning we came bumper to bumper with a
ride-on pavement sweeper. This became the first of many “I’m not reversing, you
are” exchanges and we finally reached an agreement (unspoken) that whoever got
half way first had priority. It didn’t take long for him to change his routine
and wave to me merrily from the other side of the road!
I soon became a familiar sight on the High Street and people were very kind.
The local bar managers often said that if there was a problem we were just to
go in and they would help. There was one occasion when some of our street
drinkers took a shine to Pippy and one of the bouncers (one of those guys with
a face that only a mother could love but who had a heart of gold) escorted me
half way home. Bless him.
Lesson #1 of life with Emily: Looks can be deceiving
and help comes from unexpected places.
I really enjoyed was when my brother said to me that one of his friends had
commented, “Cor, I saw a really hot blonde chick on a scooter in town today.”
To which my brother replied “Dude, that’s my sister. Back away!” My brother of
course undid the ego boost by adding “He must have been a long way away when he
saw you!” Harsh.
Pippy died and whilst the loss of a
faithful and trustworthy friend was a tragic and heart-breaking event, there
was no time to dilly-dally. I was leaving for University in less than two
weeks. After much time spent Googling for "granny scooters" (and
discovering that they are in fact called "mobility scooters"), I
found the beautiful creature that was to take Pippy's place. This new mobility
scooter was lighter, sleeker, and indeed more practical than the original red
beast (although forever alive in my heart), and a week later she was delivered
to my door.
Sadly, she too was not to last for long for within
five minutes, I had broken her. Yes, VANDAL is my middle name. A conversation
with the company she came from followed and with 24 hours to spare, a
replacement arrived at my door and we were ready for our Big Adventure. For
those of you unfamiliar with London, I will tell you now that it is indeed
large and deep and, for those of us not genetically predisposed to walking long
distances, a granny scooter constitutes a necessity. And with that, Pippy’s
little sister was christened Pearl, and I became the girl with the Pearl