Nearly Thwarted by a Step

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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heat, quiet, hotel, covid-19

Even in my able-bodied days, I was hardly Channing Tatum — who is? Model, actor, dancer, singer, and he even has the audacity to be funny. There might not be any real comic book heroes in the world, but he is possibly the closest to an X-Man we’ve got.

OK, OK, Hugh Jackman is all of these and he was one of the X-Men, but he doesn’t fit my narrative! Happy now?

All this way (one hour in a black taxi) to get to a party, and I was confronted by a small step. The film “Step Up” was Channing’s breakout role.

In this part of central London, all the buildings are historical, so handicap accessibility is not required. It seems no one can be bothered to have ramps, either! My son nipped into nearby pubs and not one was to be found.

Our host knows of my wheelchair condition, and the venue had done its best by moving the party to the ground floor. I’d even called the venue and discussed it. The 4-inch step never got a mention. It’s but a trifle.

So near and yet possibly too high! (Photo by John Connor)

If I were in my self-propelled — these days it has to be propelled by someone else — wheelchair it would be easy. But I’d come in my new electric one — it’s lovely but it has the weight characteristics of a Tiger tank.

Slight panic …

When I first got the wheelchair, an occupational therapist visited to give me a quick run-through on using the beast. There was something that could only be demonstrated outside. At this point, there had been no adaption work on my house, so the only way out was via the back garden. This is a tortuous story in itself.

(So boring that as I typed it, I found myself losing the will to live. I see no reason to inflict this on you.)

I made it out the front — ta-da!

The chair has the capacity to climb over small obstacles! You merely pull a small lever between your legs — or if you’re in a committed relationship, get someone else to do it for you — and you can manage a small step.

This memory surfaced and I tackled the step. The tank analogy is relevant — the chair is too heavy for anyone but a superhuman to lift. Luckily the chair does it by itself.

I was in.

Got to meet new people as well.

My trapped audience grins and bears it. (Photo by Jack Connor)

The space was so small I ended up chatting all night to the people at the only table I could park at.

I had a great time — told both my bear stories. Drank enough wine to attempt a third but ended up burbling about wolves.

I blame that Hugh Jackman!


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Cynthia King avatar

Cynthia King

I love that word, thwarted. Like, curses, foiled again! Or irked, that’s another one.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

I'd thank you Cynthia but the glory goes to my sub editor Beth Roughton. My column merely did its best to live up to the headline!


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