Sense and Disability

occasionally pink-haired traveller, often spotted with blue cane.

Southern Belles in London Sing

Posted by Chelsey on February 5, 2009

Last night i went to London to see Amanda Palmer play at the Electric Ballroom. I’m a concert addict, it seems, I’m seeing six this term, only one of which did I think to call for disabled seats (and they gave me an extra free ticket, pity it was the last one I booked).

I set off for London at 11 or so but my train didn’t leave ’til 1:30 and as usual I underestimated my walking speed. Once in London I realized that my cute Converse were NOT a good idea for walking ’round the streets of London. Scraping the back of my heel, dastardly shoes! The hostel was okay. First floor does not mean ground floor, but not bad. When I got to the room all the bottom bunks were taken, so i wrote a note on a girl’s ‘claimed bed’ slip in the hopes that she’d grab a top bunk This comes into play later.


I set off to find food, coffee, and a postcard to get Amanda to sign (rather than shipping posters home, plus I already have a signed poster from her…) 

I found SUSHI I have failed at finding good sushi in London since ever. It was great. Then I hobbled (shoes) into the line and stood outside the venue with the other cold people for an hour and a half. I think I may have been the only person on my own. The crowd was a crowd and I am proud to say that my usual epic fear of crowds did not kicked in. I managed at one point to get three rows in but the two girls in front of me then couldn’t move and I was too close to think ‘oh I’ll just stay and hear the music’ because I could SEE THE STAGE Security Guy that the girls in front of me asked about me getting closer said ‘Oh go see my supervisor to the far right under the red light’. It’s a club. Can I tell you how many red lights there were? No because I couldn’t count them.

Eventually I found myself perched on the top of a three stair stairwell near the stage, a kind of breezeway to the steps for the next floor, but there ended up being little space where people weren’t standing. Disabled visually impaired me could SEE THE STAGE. that doesn’t happen. I stood the whole time (I’m making that six hours) and I’m fine. I didn’t know I could do that.

After the show I got my postcard signed and Amanda recognized me. And it wasn’t the cane, i didn’t have that in Atlanta! 

On my walk back to the hostel it was lightly snowing, but didn’t stick. At the hostel girl was asleep in bunk. I hope she didn’t speak english because otherwise she’s a bitch. Downstairs to the bar/reception. The guy was quite good about switching me to a new room but the whole group in there was asleep so I felt awful going in and out to change.

Next morning I hobbled to the tube, not because of standing all night before but my shoes. New shoes, bad idea. 

The Underground and I need to have a talk. I love it. Love, love. But it doesn’t make sense there are stairs in stations that have lifts from the station level down to a set of stairs. Paddington has escalators right until the platform. How is that supposed to work with LUGGAGE let alone disability? 

Train and tube were uneventful, except vague ponderings on the snow outside the train window. And then, sure enough, slush all over Oxford. Other people look so collected walking through it as if it were nothing. I feel like Bambi on the first day of spring. But I made it home and to my tutorial with no incidents. 

We’ll see how next week goes when I go back to London to see The Fray!

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