More ‘Phoenix Nights’ than ‘Ironside’
If you’d asked me three months ago, I would have hoped I wasn’t un-sensitive towards wheelchair users but I couldn’t honestly have claimed to have spent an excessive amount of time thinking about their predicaments. Things are oh-so-very different now. Louise’s achey-breaky knee has finally given up good and proper, and so for the last six weeks or so we’ve been rockin’ the chariot look.
I cannot emphasis enough the amount that it has made me look at world differently. Even before I actually had a go at pushing it I started viewing doorways/corners etc with a wary eye. Once I had been pushing it a while, an initial impression only got all the stronger: you really don’t realise how crap the pavements are until you have to push a be-wheeled adult with a bump-sensitive leg along them (this is not the same thing as a pushchair). Forgive my French (I don’t usually swear much), but the bastard Jewellery Quarter with its bastard driveway cobbles every twenty yards or so can bastard itself right bastard off.
A little exercise, then, for your own amusement: next time you’re out and about, just have a think about getting around wherever you are while pushing a wheelchair. I’m not trying to make some big point about disabled access, this is a personal thing. It’s a hidden world for the bipedafunctional amongst us, until one thinks about it specifically.
It does all help the old ‘faith in humanity’ game a bit, though. People are actually completely lovely for the most part and will go out of their way to help. Particular thanks should go to the Crescent Theatre and Stan’s Café as larger bodies (I’ll get around to writing something about the plays of both of theirs that we’ve been to see soon-ish, but suffice it to say here that in both cases they were both wonderfully helpful), but also to every single person out there who’s held open a door or whatever else. You’re all good ‘uns.