I'm fortunate to have a wide and varied group of supportive friends but despite that I've not been able to find anyone who is able to give me a lift to Leeds for my appointment with Professor Bird tomorrow. I would rearrange but as the Prof is retiring in September this might be the last chance I get to see him before then. So, regardless of the condition of my joints I'll be driving myself there and back tomorrow afternoon.
This is exactly the kind of situation David Cameron must have in mind when he talks about replacing state with society and exactly the kind of situation that demonstrates the problems with transferring dynamic sounding rhetoric into reality. People want to help each other, but the practicalities of modern life make that very difficult to do. I live in the kind of old fashioned small town where people tend to be involved with their neighbours, and will help in emergencies but most of the needs so euphemistically supposed to be covered by volunteers aren't emergencies but the day to day grind of life. Taking a day off from work, family, caring responsibilities, or all three has too high a financial and practical cost attached to it to make it realistic.
So yesterday I went off for a practice drive to make sure I could control the car safely with the state my joints are in. Within moments my left shoulder had dislocated, my left hip was already out before I started driving. The one advantage of having such incredibly unstable joints is that I'm used to moving and functioning, including driving with multiple dislocations. I just needed to ensure that I could continue to concentrate with the increased pain. It won't be top of my list of fun things to spend spoons on, but I'm confident I can make it there and back safely. And there's always the option of spending the whole weekend in bed if I need to.
Wish me luck!