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Cartoon shows Anne and her husband driving up to a no entry sign.

Life wi the Broons: jaunt to an evening event

Anne Brown

An invite's arrived! Somehow I managed to get a story picked tae be in this year's Scottish Book Trust Book and noo they were askin if I’d like tae go tae the book launch perty.

Of course I’d like tae go, when would I ever get the chance tae dae anythin like it again? Noo we need to work oot where, when and maist importantly, how.

Where and when were easy, it was on the invite, but how wis gonny be the hard yin. We googled the address tae give us an idea of how close tae public transport it wis. No go there, it wis in the very centre o’ Edinburgh. It’ll be the car then, but who’ll dae the drivin? Well one thing’s for sure, it’ll no be me.

No way on earth wid I be able tae drive there, go tae a 'thing', then be fit tae drive hame through a city centre. Also parkin, whit if I couldny park near it? I’d be well and truly stuck. Right, I need to take ma car as it’s got the powered wheelchair in it wi the hoist in case we huv tae park far away.

Noo the question is, who’ll drive it? Poor hubby, but event’s like this are really no his thing, he’d rather poke needles in his eyes than go intae a room full o’ strangers an make small talk.

We came up wi a plan, we’d ask ma pal Franz. He hud a story in last year’s book so he knew whit it wis a’ aboot and he’s like me, he’ll talk tae anybody. We asked him but he disny like drivin in the city centre either so he suggested the train an taxi.

The last time I went to Edinburgh in the train I thought it wid be ok, but when we got off I was left strugglin along an empty platform tae the taxi rank efter everyone else wis long gone. Takin the wheelchair on the train is somethin I huvny tried yet so wisny keen to try the first time on that night. Oh well poor hubby wis it.

We left in plenty time an got there nae bother - satnav’s r us! That’s when we hit a snag, we could see the place but couldny get tae it. The Cooncil hud signs up that they were trialin a new one way system, but the satnav didny ken that. The wumman kept tellin us tae go doon an up street and to “turn around where possible.” We’d huv turned it off but were scared we’d end up too far away and no find oor way back.

Once we worked it oot, we circled the parkin spaces like sharks lookin for prey, speedin up when we thought we’d seen one, then fallin back when somebody else got there first. Then, a miracle, we actually found a space eventually, a disabled space, but a fair bit away, so it was park up an oot wi the wheels.

That’s when we hit the next snag. The space wis next tae the pavement wi nae lowererd kerb so hubby hud tae manhandle the heavy powered chair up on tae the pavement, or I hud tae scoot up the road among the traffic tae the end o’ the street tae the crossin. He humphed it oan tae the pavement an away we went.

The venue was braw, plenty to drink and eat, live music and with comedy and pathos when some folk read their stories. Then hubby’s worst nightmare! There was a roamin magician, doin close up magic for folk, but we successfully managed tae dodge him till it wis time tae go...

It wis a great night for me an I really enjoyed meetin so many different people wi somethin in common, but poor long sufferin hubby heaved a huge sigh of relief when we left. The journey home wis fine, apart fae him huvin tae humph the wheelchair back doon the kerb, but that’ll be oor last jaunt oot at night to an event for a while. Home, ahhhh!