- My wife and I were in Yorkshire, staying in a B. and B. Unfortunately, our room had only a shower, and after 24 hours of not being able to bathe, I rapidly began to stiffen-up. However, my wife rubbed lavender oil (moutte lavandula angustifolia is the one to use, apparently) into my calf muscles, and the relief was immediate and lasted all day. Highly recommended!
- An online service, which makes it easier for Blue Badge holders to find the location of parking bays is now available on the Directgov website. The Blue Badge parking map can be used to find: • Blue Badge parking bays in 64 towns and cities across the UK • The address, number of spaces and any applicable restrictions and exceptions • Red route parking bays in London It also gives information about accessible petrol stations in the UK and their service facilities. www.direct.gov.uk/BlueBadgeMap Saw this in the Times recently: www.accessibleguide.co.uk Blue badge holders pay £1.99 p&p. They don’t ask for blue badge number.
- Question: Do mobility scooters have to be registered with the DVLA? I’ve never been told I needed to, but read it somewhere recently.
Answer: Class 1 Manual wheelchairs, i.e. self-propelled or attendant propelled, not electrically propelled. These are not required to be registered with DVLA. Class 2 Powered wheelchairs and scooters – intended for footway use only with a maximum speed of 4mph and an unladen weight not exceeding 113.4kgs. These are not required to be registered with DVLA. Class 3 Mechanically propelled invalid carriages that are constructed or adapted to be capable of exceeding a speed of 4mph but incapable of exceeding a speed of 8mph on the level under its own power (generally powered wheelchairs and other outdoor vehicles including scooters intended for use on roads/highways). They must be fitted with a device capable of limiting the maximum speed to 4mph for use when travelling on footways. The unladen weight must not exceed 150kgs. These are required to be registered with DVLA. How to apply to register a class 3 invalid carriage. Class 3 invalid carriages need to be registered for road use, be licensed in the "disabled" taxation class and display a nil duty tax disc. Unlike ordinary cars, invalid carriages do not need to provide evidence of VED exemption when licensing in the disabled class. Also, they are exempt from paying the first registration fee and are not required to display registration plates. In order to register and license a class 3 invalid carriage the user will need to complete form V55/5 (for used vehicles) or V55/4 (for new vehicles) - and take or send it to their nearest DVLA local office (addresses can be found on the website at www.direct.gov.uk/motoring or in the V100 information leaflet which is available from post offices that issue tax discs or by telephoning 0870 243 0444 – you will need to quote your postcode). Evidence of the vehicle’s age (if available) will need to be submitted with the application together with documentation confirming the keeper’s name and address. Should I have insurance? Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised to have insurance. Suitable schemes are not too expensive and are available to cover your personal safety, other people’s safety and the value of the vehicle. Telephone: 0870 240 0010 www.dvla.gov.uk Vehicle Customer Services (VCS) DVLA Swansea SA99 1AR
- When we returned our car to Alamo at Los Angeles airport, they arranged for a member of staff to accompany my wife and I to the terminal in our hire car. This meant that we were spared the problem of transferring ourselves and our luggage to the terminal via the shuttle. I was also told that they would have met me at the airport when I arrived, had I asked.
- From a trip to the USA and hiring a Chrysler Grand Voyager "what a test drive" 3000miles. We were looking around at cars at that time so when we got home we bought one which I drive and use every day. Again this meets my personal needs.
- Roland suggests: Signature Stamp I can no longer hold a pen or write which means that I cannot sign cheques, forms, credit cards etc. One solution is to use a rubber signature stamp which stamps your signature onto paper or plastic. You can buy them on the internet but I went to my local stationers and asked them to order one for me. You need to provide a copy of your signature, wait a week or so after placing the order for it to arrive and pay £20. For this you get about 2,000 stamps.
- Gil recommends: I have something which I use on my computer instead of a mouse. It is what is known as a 'Tablet' and is made by 'WACOM'. If people do a Google search for 'wacom' they will get the usual list of websites to go to. I find mine very useful and easier to use than a mouse. It has a pen which you hover over the base and the cursor moves with movement of the pen. When the cursor is where you want it then just touch then pen down on the tablet and it selects whatever you select. It also has a toggle switch which acts as the left and right buttons on a mouse. It's not for everybody of course but for people who find a mouse a bit cumbersome it may help. There is a wireless version of it available now.
- Arthur suggests: I find switching off/on power sockets tricky, I would use a stick rather than bend down and it takes a few attempts. I bought a number of remote control power sockets, so from my armchair I can switch off the TV, PC or whatever. I bought three of them with the one controller for £18 but I have seen them for as little as three for £5. Each remote can handle 16 different power sockets and you can have multiple power sockets sharing the button (which counts as one of your 16). There is also another button which switches everything off.
- Jean recommends: Spring or Coil whisk Stirring or whisking is very hard to do with weak wrists. This little gadget is brilliant and requires very little effort to mix batters, sauces eggs and cream. I find it a godsend. Difficult to get hold of in UK – mine came from USA, but I’ve seen them in John Lewis, cost around £5
- The Circulation Booster™ Every second or third night I use a Circulation Booster. This gives small electric shocks to your feet, I use 30 minutes at level 10 (out of 99), I started out at 5 and have worked up to 10, currently anything over level 15 is uncomfortable. At level 10 it is quite relaxing and seems to considerably reduce muscle spasms. It is marketed as improving circulation and reducing swollen feet and ankles. More details can be found at http://www.cosyfeet.com/the-circulation-booster-p-549.html , the only problem is the price at £170
- Snowdon Riser & Recliner It wasn't until I got this chair that I discovered how swollen my feet got sitting down. This chair really helps.
- Telecare for people living with a physical disability Roland gleaned this from ‘The News’ Log on for safety advice The Disability Living Foundation and Tunstall have launched a new website to raise awareness of the benefits of telecare for people living with a physical disability and sensory impairment. Telecare consists of equipment and services that support people’s safety and independence within their own homes. The equipment can sense risks such as smoke, floods and gas, can remind people to take medication and can also call for help in the event of a fall or accident.