We managed to get James settled into his new home. He found it strange as he was used to a care home setting and this was more like a hospital. Despite having been trained by the staff at Papworth in how to deal with his tracheostomy, his new home wanted us to undergo training under their supervision. This meant that James could not come away with us overnight straight away so we decided to get some much needed additions done to the truck.
We had CCTV installed when it was built but unfortunatley the hard drive decided to give up on us and had to be replaced. Quick phone call to Neil at Creative Car Sounds in Winchmore Hill and like a true gent he came to our rescue. He replaced the hard drive for the system but also installed an on/off switch for us as well to try and preserve the shelf life. Neil has been a god send and nothing has been too much trouble for him, He has now set up his own you tube channel so if anyone is looking for tips on how to solve their truck media issues, he is the one to call. He can be found at CCS creative car sounds on you tube.
The next item was to get the logo that was designed for us ( marymcreates on instagram) onto the side of the truck. We had gone to a number of sign writers who all declined saying that it was too complicated. We then found Ryan Smith at Universal Signs (www.unisigns.co.uk). Two weeks later we had the design and the blog address on the truck
After weeks of taking James on outings with a nurse and carer, we were allowed to take him out on our own and eventually we could have him on the truck overnight. However, the truck had to be parked within the hospital grounds in case anything went wrong. Only problem, the hospital was within the LEZ zone and it was going to cost a fortune. Correspondance with Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London and TfL) we were treated with respect,sympathy and dignity- thankyou. We had an exemption to get the truck to the hospital. James had a ball and his face when the staff came to visit him on the truck was a picture. it was the first time I had seen him smile in a long time. He certainly was playing King of the castle that day
The next trip was to test how the truck would cope with some not so nice weather and what better place to do that than ‘up North’.
We set off on journey through the Lakes and onto the Trossachs. A couple of nights at the Lake district to get us in the mood helped, although how we managed to get the truck over that bridge was interesting.
From there we made our way up to Loch Lomond, stopping off just at the edge of Trossachs National Park. The views when you opened the door were stunning
From there we made our way to Loch Lomond. We found a spot right on the banks. To think that this is on your doorstep. In true Scottish style, it didn’t stop raining for 72 hours. One time it was coming straight down and meeting you on the way back up and the next it was what I believe Scottish people call ‘wet rain’. That fine fine rain. It didn’t however stop us from blowing up the canoe and spending a bit of time paddling up and down the loch.What it did highlight was that there was a small leak in the windows. We solved that problem for the time being but it may need a more permanent solution.
The highlight was the fairy mushroom right outside the truck door.
From there we made our way back down to London to see James, stopping off at a campsite in Chertsey. the closest we could get to James without entering the LEZ. A walk along the Thames showed us something we have never seen before. Cows paddling in the Thames