June 21, 2014


Sunday began with a traditional Latvian version of an English Breakfast at M40 J8A Oxford. That is, no eggs, no bacon, no sausages, no fried bread, no mushrooms, no beans, no black pudding ..... Then we had to pack and vacate the rooms.

We decided to visit Wisley Gardens on the way to Tonbridge. Now the weather could have been kinder, but it didn't actually rain, and the grey clouds just subdued the colours and views. It only took about an hour to reach Wisley even with all our luggage.

On arrival we "negotiated" a place in the Disabled Car Park, even though we don't have a Blue Badge. Now I'm getting a bit pissed off with all this tyranny of Blue Badges. It seems you are NOT disabled unless you have a Blue Badge, although of course we all know now that half of all Blue Badges are actually used by the ABLE members of their family when they shouldn't be.

With a wheelchair member we need all the benefits of a disabled space, such as wider space and nearer the facilities. We don't need all the bureaucracy of the Blue Badge scheme, and all the paperwork, etc. I say let people with genuine ability needs use disabled spaces without application or formal processes. Those that use such spaces falsely will have their limbs severed on the spot preferably without anaesthetic.

To add to my annoyance at Wisley, and at some National Trust properties, and at many Supermarkets, there were 'Parent' spaces, Wider spaces for families. I have absolutely NO tolerance of such rubbish whatsoever. You are NOT disabled, and should not be given any more facilities than a single male!!! But just to put it into perspective, you don't need a Blue Badge (or any other colour badge) to park in a Parent space - people trust you to be a Parent, but not to be disabled.

Scrap the Blue Badge scheme, and scrap all Parent spaces.

The wheelchair travelled ALL around Wisley, not only through the various woods, wild meadows, and rose gardens, but also through the hot houses. The Rose gardens were extensive and spectacular, and the Poppy meadow, in commemoration of the Great War was dramatic.

I explained to a number of people how the Poppy came to be such a symbol of WWI (They sprang up naturally in the Spring following all the shelling and fighting across the fields of Flanders and France; Poppies like disturbed ground and can lay dormant for generations). But it seems that so many people are busy clamouring for Parent parking spaces that they do not know some basic history.

We stayed much longer than intended because even in fairly gloomy conditions, it was still truly wonderful. When we left it was too late to move onto another attraction. Instead we headed straight to Tonbridge and checked into the Rose and Crown right on the main street. Then we explored a rather historic and scenic little town bridging the River Medway and guarding this crossing with a Norman Motte and Bailey Castle. Our only hot meal was provided by a Two for One offer on Domino Pizza, and I rather suspects that the remnants of that will provide breakfast in the morning. Hey Ho. It's Chartwell and Hever tomorrow and maybe the Kent coast in the evening; give me some sun please.

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