As you will know if you read my recent blog Shopping with ME, I do most of my shopping online. This weekend I wanted to try and do some actual shopping. I am fed up of shopping online and not being able to see properly what things look like and spending a fortune on delivery too.
On Saturday we went to Headingley Farmer’s Market. It is quite a small market so was not too overwhelming. We bought some products from Wildcraft Gluten Free Bakery including Pakoras (which Emily loved) and Cheese scones. The market is located in the centre of Headingley. There are 2 pay and display car parks, but no street parking. Parking is £1 and hour and blue badge holders have to pay. You don’t need more than an hour to look around the market.
We had read online that the market is disabled friendly, which is true as it is level access and paths all round. This doesn’t mean that you can actually see anything on the stalls though as it is quite crowded. At a few of the stalls I was left at the side of the stall whilst Rob and Emily looked at the goods. We did enjoy it though as it was small and had some nice products. We would go again, but maybe go for the start in the hope that it might be quieter.
On Sunday I had arranged to take Emily Christmas shopping at White Rose. We wanted to go for 11am when the shops open, but as it was Remembrance Sunday we thought it was a bit disrespectful. We got there just after 12. There were no disabled spaces left in the car park and there are a lot. This maybe because a big chunk of the car park is fastened off for mobile NHS screening caravans. I was using my scooter as I wanted to take Emily round on my own. It was a nightmare, people are so ignorant and so unhelpful. Some shops I couldn’t get in at all, others were so hard to get round, people will not give you space or move out of the way. I spent half the time backing up as people were blocking the way and wouldn’t let me past. Other people saw me and decided to rush in front of me to get out of the way. Other people are totally oblivious of what anyone else is doing and walked into me. The scooter doesn’t stop immediately you let go of the lever. Emily was very anxious and was worried I was going to run into people. In the end we bought one item that was in the first shop we went in! Looks like it’s back to online shopping. Controlling the scooter and trying to look at things is very tiring, although most of the time we didn’t see anything! It was very disappointing. I hadn’t wanted to go to White Rose, I wanted to go to Trinity Walk in Wakefield as it is a little easier to get round.
Emily also wanted to go in some shops with Rob so I was going to sit and have a drink. I tried a cafe where there was nowhere to sit or where I could have put my scooter. Next I thought I would try Sainsbury’s cafe, but the way into the cafe was too narrow to negotiate, so I didn’t get a drink. I went to look at Gluten Free stuff in Sainsbury’s instead. I bought a few things, then went to pay. I was struggling with my scooter and trying to pay and pack my bag, the lady on the checkout just sat there making it obvious that I was holding things up so I ended up putting all on my knee and moving out of the way.
Argos is now inside Sainsbury’s and there was an item Emily wanted to buy for Rob so I had a look and there was what she wanted so waited for her to come back. We ordered and paid for the item, but on the receipt there was no order number or pick up point number. It was really crowded at the pick up point and we couldn’t get near, so we went to stand at the online pick up point and every member of staff ignored us. We went back to find Rob and he had to go and see what was happening. Apparently the pick up point system had crashed so people were just waiting for their item to come along. So we went back to the pick up counter and could see our item. I couldn’t get right up to the counter as people wouldn’t move, eventually Emily got someone to serve her, I then had to back away and again people wouldn’t move.
By this time I was exhausted and very upset so we decided to leave. Going out through Primark to go along the outside of the centre rather than fighting to get past all the people. Primark was a nightmare too, one woman nearly ended up on my knee as she was walking backwards after looking at something and was also on her phone, another swerve manoeuvre. The rails are packed in and the queues to pay obstruct the aisles.
Thankfully we didn’t need to get anything to eat as the seating area of the food court is not accessible and the food counter are always very busy so it’s a case of who can push the most.
Ironically White Rose are having a consultation tomorrow about disabled shopping, but of course I can’t get there on my own and I am not in a hurry to go back. They are also having quiet times for disabled shopping, Purple Tuesday . Sainsbury’s had a very small notice saying they were have quiet hours 9 till 10 am and 4 to 5 pm, but I guess they are quiet times anyway and I don’t imagine they will turn away non disabled people.
Before we had Emily, Rob and I used to go to White Rose in an evening, it was much quieter then, but not sure if it would be now and our evening are now taken up with Rob and Emily’s activities and homework. I can’t drive to go shopping alone and wouldn’t be confident enough in the shops either, so I can only go when someone can take me and push me round in wheelchair or get my scooter in and out of the car.
I went to rest as soon as we got back from shopping, but it was impossible due to the adrenaline pumping round my body from being out and over exertion. I had to spend most of today in bed as I was so worn out and I was awake in the night in pain.