This is not the blog post that the two people I went to London with yesterday are expecting to read.
Because that’s about so much access fail and ridiculous stuff. And it’s frustrating as hell and it had a huge impact on our day and didn’t need to happen. But at the same time as much as those who I was with were shocked and appalled, I wasn’t. I wasn’t surprised because I’ve been there, done that in so many places.
And as soon as I saw the photos of the venue on their website I realised that it would have been built at a time when the idea of wheelchair access wasn’t something that existed. In fact, it’s a listed building. So I knew going in that it would probably have some form of access that had been shoehorned on as a second thought.
I’ve blogged a lot about finding places don’t have what they should or even what they said they had when I checked in advance (although on the grounds that both the organisation who had paid for me to go and the organisation running the event have reputations as being very good with disability I hadn’t looked into it closely. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway as it turns out). I can’t be bothered to blog about it yet again today.
This also isn’t the blog that I’d like to write about yesterday.
I’d like to write about something that happened while I was waiting to get in the disabled loo the first time. It was unexpected, made me smile and funny as hell. And one of those things that I only got to experience because of my disability.
But I can’t write that blog because it’s all mixed up in the ramps I thought I’d fall off, lifts I couldn’t really get my chair in and disabled loos where I couldn’t properly shut and lock the door if I had my chair in there. And so the thing I’d probably have blogged about on a good day with good access gets lost and forgotten.
That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with about days like that. Not the problems and the struggles and the “god damn it can I not even go for a wee without taking someone with me to stand guard?!” but having to deal with the people I’m with being shocked and appalled and suprised or whatever and how they deal with that. Because it’s kinda exhausting.
Along with the fact that I have what would be a really cute story but I’ve almost forgotten about it in all the access fail it’s just a reminder that I am different and how what I consider normal and wouldn’t even blink at is shocking and disgusting and completely abnormal and a big deal to others.
I’d like to claim that it’s really depressing. And it probably should be. But it’s just…
EDIT: The access stuff also means that I completely forgot to mention in this post that we’d actually gone to London because we’d been shortlisted for an award. We didn’t win (and I’d have probably remembered to mention it if we did) but I was never convinced our being nominated was right in the first place and I thought the winners were a good choice. So that’s all good