Lots been happening to me.
Probably the most memorable was my night out to see Placebo in Brixton.
I met up with my buddy Leigh there and we were escorted to the Spazzer platform bit.
Hanging off the front was a very small lady that we got talking to a bit, that was a nurse.
There was actually a far smaller person than her on the platform but he was a dwarf. I didn’t think that was counted as a disability but hey obvs one is gonna struggle in a standing crowd unless they dwarf tunnel their way to the front.
Having seen Lord of the Rings quite a few times, I happen to know dwarves are excellent tunnellers, so perhaps that wouldn’t be a challenge in Brixton Academy? Mind you they also like gold so they might be really tempted to steal wedding rings off people in the crowd.

Or something.

Anyway at the end I talked to the short nurse for a few minutes whilst I waited for the crowd to empty. Well you try getting through a 3000 strong crowd in a wheelchair!
The security guard lady told us to please leave as the venue was closing. Clearly it would be, but there’s an awful lot of clearing up to do, so it’s not like it’s imminently empty or anything.
Nursey asked the security lady to be patient.
That lady then turned on Nursey and told her she was rude and that she ‘ felt sorry for her patients in the hospital’.
I asked to speak to her boss.
He was seriously unhelpful/ and actually more rude, even refusing to give his name ( or hers ).

I then said I wanted to speak to someone in charge and needed to leave the auditorium. The lady then told me I couldn’t go through the door immediately in front of me… as it was now closed.
To leave via the other door was probably 80 metres in total and involved a slope and 2 more doors, and another room.
I said ‘ seriously?’ and moved the 6 inches from me to the door.
Big screech from lady – YOU JUST RAN ME OVER !! … right , sure 😂

Her boss then said he wanted to report ME !!

Irritated by now I did leave via that door and got to speak to the gent in charge. Very helpful and VERY apologetic for the other ( not part of his team ) staff.
Incidentally as I’d entered the venue 2 hours earlier I’d gone to great pains to thank the staff there and tell the ( BIG ENORMOUS BLACK ) guys on the door that I always found them incredibly helpful, and my trust and faith in them was very reassuring.

Clearly then I had already identified myself as a decent and appreciative bloke… which definitely helped at that moment.
There’s a lesson…. Let people know you appreciate them cos you just don’t know what might happen next!

As by then I’d missed the last tube I had to wheelchair home. That’s 11 miles. I had loads of battery so that was ok and it wasn’t raining. I also have a LOT of lights stuck to me.
Essentially I go via the main roads where possible – faster and more direct.
Soooo.. I find myself approaching the Hammersmith Flyover. Now a while back it wasn’t legal to cycle over it, but now the sign saying that has been removed. If I don’t go over it I have to go under it and navigate the hairy Hammersmith roundabout.
As I approached the incline for the large flyover, I did clock a police car just hanging out there.
Obviously I did have a choice there – but hey it’s safer over than it is under!

A kilometre into the flyover I see the flashing blue lights in my rear view mirror and hear the siren.
Now that’s not unusual In London. Emergency services pass me often.
This was the first time that I was the one being chased though.. .. as they pulled me over to talk to me.

We don’t think you should be on the motorway at night in a wheelchair, Sir. .. said the lady traffic officer.

It’s not a motorway, I said, politely. It’s an A road.

Whatever it is, she said, we don’t think you should be on it at the moment.

It’s not illegal though, I said. It used to be banned to cyclists, but not now. Im faster than a cyclist and have a lot of lights..

Ahh she said… looking slightly surprised. Well we didn’t think you were visible enough.

Me? In this wheelchair with 8 reflection panels on the back of my chair, a very bright flashing light on a front headband, 2 bright red flashing LED rear lights, and a new 360 degree reflective jacket that means any headlights make me glow like I’m radioactive… I said .
Not visible? It’s impossible to miss me….

She was now smirking a bit.

Can I go now, I asked, since I haven’t done anything illegal? I am extrêmely grateful though for your concern for my welfare…. Officer.

Yes, she said, smiling.

Off I went feeling slightly relieved 😂

Two miles later as I came off at Brentford, the police car passed me again. They’d either escorted me all the way to look after me, or tailed me to try to catch me contravening some traffic regulation.
Thankfully I hadn’t, so I gave them a cheery wave.

Never a dull moment.

6 thoughts on “Blimey.

  1. Sad and yet, as always, a brilliantly told story Russ. Glad you got home safely. Saddened to see that such a great venue is so tragically prepared for access to all. You should tweet this and add them in…. They won’t learn otherwise.

  2. I suspect the copper came past you again because she wanted to check you were real! Either that or you pulled and didn’t realise it.

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