‘I am a wheelchair user’ – well that is what I say when I am phoning places to enquire about their access. Actually my best friend is a tiny electric blue mobility scooter who has no name but accompanies me everywhere.
She lives in the back of my car (and her twin lives in my garage). The car has a hoist and if ever there was a man magnet this is it. Grown men and little boys line up – fascinated by the mechanics of the whole thing. I prefer it when the girls are intrigued and want to see how it all works – engineering is not just for boys after all (but that’s another story).
My scooter is my legs and most of the time we tolerate the able-bodied world and cope with the challenges that are thrown in our way. However there are certain times when we have loads of fun. There are particular venues that look after us extremely well and one of these is Cheltenham Literary Festival. Like most festivals it pops up on open land and most of the events are in large canvas tents – all very accessible, and the marvellous organisers often give us the front seats and we are always very near the action!
To have a good sight-line is wonderful but it does mean that ladies of a certain age, intelligence, style and sophistication (yes, I am referring to myself here) are suddenly reduced to quivering wrecks as they get close enough to their idols to touch them! Having said that, I didn’t get too starstruck when I chatted to James Naughtie last year, after all he is in my bathroom and bedroom as I get showered and dressed pretty much every day!
I find it fascinating, we behave like we know these people….because in a funny sort of way we do, especially with the advent of social media interaction, but they do not know us from Adam! It can make for interesting conversation both on and offline. Pleased to tweet you Mr Naughtie…..
So once again my trusty scooter and I set off for Cheltenham Spa wondering just how close we’ll get to the stage, and which interesting people we’ll chat to this year. We’ll report back, and just so you know, we make serious judgements about people depending on how well they relate to us. After all, it is only my legs that don’t work………