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Here is a tale of warmth, humour and love which all took place one weekend in Cork, Ireland. We arrived at our hotel and, as we were booking in, the concierge came and said “if there’s anything I can ever do to help you whilst you are here please just ask”. We were to find out that this was not just an empty promise.
On the first morning we ventured out to visit the old prison. My husband is a fit man and so decided to push me in the wheelchair all the way despite the steep hill. Sadly the wheelchair and the road were less fit but we bumped our way on steadfastly. We made it to the prison which was very interesting but rather isolated. Not one to be beaten my husband decided if he could walk up the hill pushing me in the wheelchair then surely walking down the hill would only be easier. Big mistake! Just a little way down we hit the final bump in the pavement and the tyre on the wheel at the front of my wheelchair came off. Without that wheel I was going nowhere.
This was when we met our first act of kindness. A taxi driver stopped. He told us he was going up the hill and told the lady in the cab that if we were still there on the way back he would stop for us. We were and he did. He took us back to the hotel where we met our second act of kindness. We saw the concierge and reminded him of his promise to help us any way he could but doubting that there would be anything much he could do but he immediately sent us to his brother who had a garage around the corner. The brother, Paddy, fixed the chair and refused to take any payment.
Meanwhile I was in the hotel. My husband man handled me into a chair in the foyer. Then came the third act of kindness. I had only been sitting there for a few minutes when the manager came up to me and sympathised with our predicament. He insisted on bringing me a tray with tea and cakes and again refused any payment. I passed a pleasant half hour until my husband returned. I did keep some tea and cake for him!
Our weekend was saved and we continued to have a lovely time.I will end with a photo of the accessible bathroom. It seems ungracious to show this but it demonstrates that despite the kindness a certain degree of Efficiency is also needed.
Story by; Sue Ferreira