A little story about a walk[er]

For our weekly volunteer shift, a few times I happened to arrive at the building at the same time as this particular volunteer. Even before she had her walker, this volunteer would use the ramp that snaked back and forward, rather than the handful of stairs to the side of the ramp, to enter the building. Sometimes we would exchange a greeting and she would start on her slow, winding ascent while I removed my helmet, locked up my bicycle, found my water bottle and disconnected my pannier bags. I could then dash up the stairs and meet her in the corridor, where she would often hold the internal lift for me so we could travel up the one floor together.

One week, just after she got her walker, I was walking back with her to her house, as she was going to give me an interview. This time, there was no ambiguity that she was kindly helping me out and I insisted on paying for the very inexpensive lunch she was using her walker to carry back from the Chinese Takeaway [yes, named that] shop we had called into to pick up something for lunch. On the walk, this volunteer named what I had noticed; she moved a lot faster with her walker.

However, a single step into a shop or up or down a kerb was annoying. We chose our path to minimise obstacles and part of my general chatter was that she would get good at knowing where the kerb cuts were. As I have suggested above, using a walker did have an impact on what paths were suitable for travel. However, we were able to find a path through.

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