Busy

In no particular order then, since I last posted anything.. I have been to the theatre to see Blithe Spirit ( with Jennifer Saunders in it ) – really, really funny.
I’ve seen a play called The Beauty Queen of Lenane – and that was way up on my list of Best Theatre Nights, I’ve seen James Bond ( well who hasn’t?! ), I’ve seen my parents and quite a few friends. I’ve been caught in the rain whilst out with my Triride, and had to wheel through ( almost ) ponds on the roads – not safe… I’ve almost been crashed into again by an old lady (that almost certainly should’ve been wearing driving glasses but wasn’t), I’ve been stranded on the wrong side of the river after a motorcycle ploughed through 3 pedestrians just before I got to that part of the bridge, I’ve had a few big nights out, I’ve had dinner cooked by Chris Cats, I’ve given up trying to cook ( because I can’t twist my torso and tbh it’s quite risky with only being therefore able to use one hand-and gone for plant based Mindful Chef deliveries, I’ve bought a Wii ( but hardly used it ), I’ve explored London more, I’ve actually watched my TV a fair bit, and started ( if not finished ) 3 books. And I’ve seen Brentford play against Chelsea and also Leicester ( and they should have won – but didn’t- both games )

I seem to have been busy then… which of course is key for me.

I also decided to do far less cranking and far more strength exercises… if you say want to look younger/ better then you can either work on losing excess, or turning it into muscle instead ( and I’ve switched to the latter .. which I also think is better for my headspace ). The danger is that you injure yourself and then lose arm(s) function… which when you only have your arms… is risky. So I’m very mindful!

🤷

I’m just leaving north London.

I’d been invited by my lovely friend Mark C to a talk by a fella he likes.
It was at the Bloomsbury Theatre, which is a modern building not far from Kings Cross station.
It took me about 90 minutes to get there via public transport, which all went smoothly.
He’d checked to see it was accessible and it was …

I arrived and noted all the steps in, and the absence of a ramp.. there were notices on the windows boasting (‘ Step free access around the campus ‘ )but there was a lift from the pavement level, but it did look small. As I can’t go anywhere outside without my triride attached, that’s then part of me.. not something I can just leave outside on the pavement.
I squeezed diagonally into the small lift and pressed and held the button ( just like it says to do ). The door behind me closed.
Then the door behind me opened.
I took my finger off the button and then pressed and held it again.
The door between me closed.
Then it opened again.

I tried a further few times with the same result.
I pressed the Help button in the lift.
Where are you, the voice said.

I said loudly – I’m in a wheelchair at pavement level and I can’t go up.

I can’t hear you, the voice said.
I shouted the same again ( twice ) and the voice said someone would come.

A passer by asked if I needed help. He said ‘ that lift is a waste of time, isn’t it ?!’

A fella came and got in the lift with me and pressed the button to go up.
He asked the passer by to close the door firmly… at which point we moved up.
So the lift works fine for a wheelchair user that can get up and slam the door behind him/ her ( and them, of course ) Maybe they should put up a sign explaining that?

I’m then in a foyer with a reception and a cafe. I go into the narrow cafe. I get to the coffee bit and it’s shut. The cafe is that narrow that I have to reverse all the way out…?

I go to the reception and say I’m here to see the speaker, and ask where he’s on. She says it’s through those double doors behind you.
I said ‘ so it’s on this level and is accessible then?
She said yes.
I go to the doors and behind them are 2 flights of stairs. There’s a kind of stairlift mechanism on the side.
I go back to the receptionist and say ‘ how do I operate the lift? It’s not level access like you just said ‘. She looked as though despite working yards away from the stairs, that she had no idea they were there.
She says I can go in the regular lifts to the second floor.
I wait for a lift. When the door opens it’s a square one and no bigger than a metre in any direction. Given I’m a metre and a half long, that’s a problem that I can’t get around… so I decide to call it a day.

Now I have to get back to the pavement and am starting to feel trapped in a building where I can’t actually go anywhere.

I ask the same receptionist to help me with the lift down to the pavement, since I’m one of those wheelchair people who can’t jump out to slam the door behind me, once in the lift.

The lift was down at pavement level and I’m a floor up. When I press the button to summon the lift, I can see that the door opens at pavement level… rather than brings the lift up to me.
The lady goes off for a while… and then comes back to say ‘ we have another lift over there, through the ( one metre wide ) cafe ( that’s not open ).

She and a security guard move stuff and open doors so I can get to the lift… which does actually work and I can fit into ( just ).

Now I’m back on the Tube.. on the way home.

It’s raining and I wonder how wet I’ll get on the way back.

That was a Live and Learn, yet again.

Essentially take no notice of what people tell you about Accessibilty, and believe nothing until you actually get there.

It happens to me a lot.

Good day

Tonight I went to the theatre to see Blithe Spirit.

The thing is that I saw this very same play before in Richmond, about 2 years ago. It, as it did today, and starred Jennifer Saunders as the main character.. but I think I may have had a few too many drinks last time… so i swear I’ve not seen it before!

Anyway, Nicola and I loved it. Very funny – and it was written 80 years ago?! As with lots of plays written that long ago… because human nature hasn’t changed much , they still count just as much. Mind you… will the PC police soon step in to cancel all ‘ old fashioned notions’ and rewrite history? I think this has happened before… in all dictatorships.. the burning of books from the past etc.

Asides from that thought it was blimmin brilliant and you should go.

As I triride back from places at night i’m beyond increasingly aware of the reckless behaviour of other cyclists – not ‘ proper ‘ cyclists, who are road aware, but the numerous ( mostly under 25 ) cyclists who have rented Boris bikes and have no idea how vulnerable they are on London’s roads. Loads cycle completely randomly, on and off pavements, no hand signals, no looking behind them before they change direction, talking to people on hands free whilst they are in the traffic ( oblivious therefore to all around them )
I actually feel for the drivers who are now assumed to be at faut by default ( law wise ) when they get knocked off. Seeing what I see every time I am out at night, it’s almost certainly NOT going to be the fault of the car driver. ..

And of course I’m not against the concept of the Darwinist ‘ Elimination of the Dickheads’.

That’s a lesser known essay of his that applies here.

Oh and today I went to the National Gallery as well – just amazing stuff, everywhere.
Mind you, some of the works just CANNOT have been thought up by mentally ‘ normal’ people. A lot of those Old Masters must have been on the Mushrooms.. and I’m not joking – the mixture of nudity/ apparitions/ dragons etc etc cannot have been the creations of standard mindsets. I mean, we just don’t know what psychedelia went on back then, but mushrooms predate humanity by zillions of years … so that’s my conclusion for sure.
Am I the first to propose that, I wonder?

Close!

Just got hit by a motorbike. It was my fault. Crossed a road between stopped cars and didn’t expect a motorcycle to be there.
That could have been terminal if I’d crossed half a second earlier.
A motorcyclist put me in this wheelchair in the first place.. maybe it’s just unfinished business!

As it is there’s no damage done, to him or me.

Another life gone then. That’s about 12.

Stats

Some stats

GP’s work an average of 3 days a week

When the Greenland icecap melts the seas will have risen by 8 metres. That’s most coastal cities under water.
When Antarctica melts there’ll have been another 30 metres sea rise. That’s massive land mass shrinkage globally.

A Queen termite can live up to 50 years.
An insect living for FIFTY YEARS?!
She lays an egg every 3 seconds.

Wild animals now only represent 4% ( by mass ) of all the land animals on Earth.
That’s NINETY SIX percent that are domestic pets/ bred for human consumption.

So move to Milton Keynes.

Afterthoughts.

Cruise.

Would I go on another cruise?
Well I imagine not all cruises are the same…

This one was definitely ‘Wetherspoons does cruising’.
We paid enough to expect silver service waiters and restaurant quality food, along with the odd string quartet on Black Tie nights, but we definitely didn’t get any of that.
I suspect that in the situation that they hadn’t sold enough cabins with a month to go, and then had to offer big discounts to lure customers, P&O then downgraded the experience to protect their profits.

We definitely had a good time, but that was far more to do with the ports we visited and what we did on land, rather than anything to do with the Floating Travelodge.
The best day was the last stop at Vigo, where we met old friends of Lizzy – Sophia and Mark – and had a real laugh and great food/ drink.

All the eating we did on land ( and neither of us exactly eat a lot ) was far far better than anything on the Good Ship Premier Inn… and we just ate at places we happened across quite casually ( rather than anywhere with any kind of recommendation/ review that we’d seen )

The entertainment was definitely Butlins ( and yes I have been ) and so was adequate for the assembled crowd on board, which I think was mainly there because ( for them ) it was a bloody bargain experience – 2 weeks at sea with pizza and chips for less than you’d pay in Margate.

A lot of people didn’t actually get off at the ( beautiful ) places we docked at, which says a lot about their cultural attitude I suspect. I mean I’m not exactly sophisticated but it really was SO MUCH more interesting/ rewarding to the eye in every way OFF the ship.

It’s a pretty old crowd on a ship, with lots of people with ‘ mobility issues’ though a large percentage of those were weight related I suspect. Yes, you will struggle up the steps in you are 5 foot 3 and 20 stone. Maybe have less pizza rather than ‘ getting your money’s worth’ because you’ll probably never lose the extra stone you put on in the 2 weeks on board – not with that level of inactivity anyway.
Just saying!

People were definitely friendly, and the staff were fairly attentive ( but hardly amazing, as we’d been led to believe they would be ). For example on 3 days no one came to clean our room.

So would I go again?
Yes, but I don’t think with P&O. Maybe they should stick to cross channel ferries?

PS Obviously Lizzy was amazing was start to finish, and without her non stop help I couldn’t have even considered going!

x

Oh and it’s been a while ( and yes it did used to happen ) since someone told me I looked a lot like Daniel Craig… but a lady went to great lengths to tell me I did… though obviously his wheelchair twin.
Still can’t see it myself but hey how can you not be a bit complimented… though of course he’s actually older than me and a bit of a short arse. Notwithstanding those 2 things I was grateful for her saying… 😊