When my son was 16 and I was 61, we did a tour of Scotland by train, with maybe one night in a hotel and the rest dossing down in empty compartments, washing our socks and pants in the toilet.
I wrote three reports, in joined up writing, which I sent to The Star by snail mail, there being no such things as the internet. The editor, bless his soul, printed every word.
When my son suggested a holiday with me and his two teenage boys, based on Fort William, the only drawback apart from my poor eyesight, was getting me to a toilet, though he had a wheelchair in the rented car, but this was managed with forethought.
We drove up, stopping at intervals to show his sons where he rode on his charity cycle ride , to John O Groats a few years ago. We stopped at a small petrol station where we descended by lift to the toilets, but how to manage when we’re different sexes?
A little cleaner no more than five feet wet through, bustled forward and polished every item in the disabled toilet, accompanied me in, supplied me with the necessary ammunition and left me to it, though I think she would even have wiped my bottom if asked. First hurdle was over.
When we arrived at the cottage, luckily my bedroom was downstairs, and the way to the toilet was only along a passage, through the lounge, and kitchen, touching the dining area, but I managed.
My son is an excellent cook and there were good shops, the lads had plenty of supplies of Father Ted. There was a radio for me when alone.
The first day was shopping, and then they wheeled me around the base of Ben Nevis, while they plotted their route for the coming day. So it was up Ben Nevis, to Mallaig on the steam train, with visitors from all over the world and off to the Highland Games to sit in the sun. Another day we looked for Nessie and visited Urquhart Castle.
All the last day was spent getting home. My son must have been exhausted, though we did stop for refreshments. That’s where we got help again: this time my son could wheel me into the disabled toilet. The only awkward bit was coming out, as I had to find the handle.
The original rail fare was £10 each, I didn’t dare ask how much it cost now!
Vera Percy, Hoole Rd, S10