Glory, Despair and Coffee before 10 in the morning

Finding my happy place again
6 September 2018
Wheelchair Rugby and Me
5 May 2019

My caffeine trophy with a view

I’m back! Have been dawdling with a new website to blog from and I’ve taken bloomin’ ages. I blame Multiple Sclerosis for the delay. Obviously. Planned to have it running for #MSAwarenessWeek. That’s just finished, curses! Or I could wait until #WorldMSDay. Too impatient! Here we go then.

Today started, ummm, interestingly. Mrs W is away and my carer doesn’t arrive until 10am (Carers, that’s a good blog topic to plan for). So I needed to do the 8am school run. Luckily, after at least six months adrift and mostly housebound, I am hand-control driving again. That’s all down to my new-found addiction to Wheelchair Rugby. Lots of work on core and upper body strength. (Wheelchair Rugby, that’s a fun blog topic). So out I stumbled from bed, briefly via the floor, and hours earlier than my MS-riddled body would like. (MS Fatigue, now there’s a topic for a moan).

Hobbled on to the driveway with kids in tow. Leaving my sexy walker-rollator thingie sitting there, and hoping oh so desperately that no-one would nick it while I was out. I mean, what does a NHS walker-rollator thingie ‘as used by Mark Webb’ fetch on eBay? Got away on time, yay! Arrived at school on time despite driving like a granny, double yay! Had to ask my 13 year-old to help with my 8 year-old’s tie as my hands were too numb. Boo!

Mission accomplished, boys delivered safe and sound. Then the petrol light came on. Time to fill up. Off to Tesco, where I knew you could pay at the pump. Clambered out of the car and crabbed my way along to the back to fill up. Knew the cashier was watching me thinking I was drunk. I wasn’t, honest!. Filled the tank up, paid the nice tappity machine. Got back in the car. Left my wallet behind on the pump. A brief, embarrassed crab back. Phew! Yay! Later found out I had left the petrol cap off. Boo! (Memory loss, that’s a good topic to line up…)

On a high after a successful delivery of the children and an ungainly but incident-free(ish) fuel top-up, I decided to finish off a jolly good morning with a caffeine boost. I was exhausted after all… Off to the friendly Highcliffe coffee shop where they’re happy to take my call and deliver a coffee to a thirsty me outside. My very own drive-thru, kinda. A ten-minute drive well-navigated. And the shop was closed for the day. Meh. Back to Tesco with a Costa in it. Another ten-minute drive and arms tiring with the hand controls.

Next challenge. Get a Costa Coffee. How? Too tired and clumsy to get the wheelchair out of the boot. Google to the rescue! Call the Costa Coffee man. Friendly enough chap but on his own, so he couldn’t help. Went to call Tesco Customer Services but they were in Dundee and I was in a car park and a phone queue. Sod that… Helplessness and isolation summed up. I started asking passers-by to buy me a coffee – including me buying them one in return. Two deliberate avoidings of my gaze. A third muttered ‘in a hurry’ and glared at me. And then my hero appeared. Elderly, lovely silvery-haired gent. Short and smiley. Off he trotted, refused my offer of a coffee in return and cheerily delivered me a glorious latte.

It was lovely and sunny, so where better to enjoy my coffee but by the sea – where we currently live. Five mins drive, arms ok, grin on my face. Glorious.

My caffeine trophy with a view

Home. Exhausted. Both my walker-rollator thingie and my carer were waiting for me. A grand two hours out, all in all. In a week where we saw some amazing feats at the London Marathon, that was my own. Kinda.




  1. Sheryl says:

    Loved your blog Mark! Congrats, you did so well, although tired after all that I bet you felt good ???

  2. Debra Smith says:

    Mark – very impressive website, even if it did take a little longer than you anticipated.

    I probably should get back to my rather lacklustre WordPress blog, but I have a lot less interesting things to blog about than you (having made the conscious decision to try and limit my posts about the “trials and tribulations of MS” – I do slip occasionally, mainly when I have had a really bad spell and need to get rid of my frustrations). You and others do a much better job of posts about MS than I and I guess that part of my coping mechanism is basically to try and ignore MS symptoms as much as possible.

    … Still, you may just have inspired me to get back to writing the occasional blog post! (Particularly as I have any lot of ‘exciting’ things coming up.)

    • One Man and his Catheters says:

      Thank you. I love it!

      • Mark says:

        Debra, sorry that was a curt reply. My system didn’t show up your longer text. Yes, like you I have plenty of adventures approaching. But also things occurring every single day I could write about! So a New Year’s Resolution to write more. Made on May 1.

  3. A truly wonderful,amazing blog from Mark ! Which I had the honour to have known during my career with DISNEY.. He was always happy and cheerful . Good luck…

    • One Man and his Catheters says:

      Thank you! Now I just need to keep writing. If you look through my historical blogs, I think you’ll find some Disney references there…

  4. Jenny says:

    Great blog Mark! Though I am exhausted just thinking about those 2 hours :-/ Well done for being determined to get your coffee no matter what. You sound like me 🙂

  5. David Lloyd-Seed says:

    The way you take us through your day to day activities and challenges draws us in to a life I could never even begin to imagine. Next time I see someone plaintively asking for help, I’ll try and be the silvery haired gentleman, not the floor watchers. Thank you, thank you, thank you, your an inspiration.
    Keep it up 🙂
    All the best to the lovely family and good luck with the move
    PS love the new website

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