Yesterday’s weather was probably the most challenging yet in terms of getting to work. Snow and ice still around with freezing rain which was forming black ice.
As with the weather for the last couple of weeks my spikes saved the day and I was able to get to work without slipping. Half way down the hill I met a lady who was standing still and pretty much stranded. She was amazed that I was trudging off down the hill without falling over. She was trying to get back to her house and unable to walk up the hill without sliding back. After a bit of persuading I managed to get her to agree to walking with me back to her house! So, blindy saved the day!
This led me to thinking. When the weather got bad, I took a recommendation from a friend and bought some spikes, at a cost of £40 so that I’d be able to get out and about if it continued. This I’ve done and I’ve not missed any work. However, most days, someone has not made it in because of ice and snow. Usually because its not safe to drive.
If I’d not had my spikes, I’d have got myself to work in taxis, again at personal expense. But it seems that car drivers by and large wouldn’t consider finding an alternative, particularly if it meant additional personal expense.
So why did I do it? That I can’t really answer. I think deep down somewhere there’s been instilled into me the fact that blindness related problems are for me to overcome at no expense either financially or in time or effort, to anyone else. With a new dog, I couldn’t walk down the middle of the roads where the snow and ice were clear and I can’t see to avoid the worst patches, so I had to find myself an alternative.
I wouldn’t mind but some people here have taken it for granted that because I walk to work, I can get there early in the morning to open the lines. When the weather closes in at the end of the day, those in cars are urged to leave early before they get stranded.
So where is the recognition for those of us who walk? Where is the understanding that just because I’ve made it to work, I’ve done it at my own expense financially and under some stress what with having a very new dog and the usual stresses that blind people experience when there is snow and ice on the ground.