Sense and Disability

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

Archive for March, 2009

London Eye and Other Things

Posted by Chelsey on March 29, 2009

I love London. Let that be said.

Today I slept late, later than I wanted either because I forgot that Daylight Savings Time started. I went to the sushi restaurant next to the underground for lucnh and it was as good as it was overpriced. Then I went into Kensington Gardens and saw the Peter Pan statue. I had wanted to sit out there and read, and did for a while, but it was cold, so I got back on the underground to go to the cafe Nero I love. Goodge Street was closed this week too, which was annoying, but I sat in there for a while.

Then I decided to take the tube to Embankment and walk the pier. The day had turned clear and pretty, with only a few grey clouds. The pier was great, happing musicians competing with their drum heavy music. I decided spur of the moment to do the Eye (thought of you sevarina ) and it was LOVELY.

Oh but then. I got lost trying to find Waterloo. It should not be this hard. I went allll the way around through the car park, tired and dragging. I eventually found it, got dinner at Burger King and went to get on the Jubilee to go my merry way home.

BUT WAIT the reason that it was hard to find Waterloo is because construction was going on around Jubliee. There was no service.

Insert epic tube journey here.

Right. Sleep now.

And guys, no pictures for a while. I has not my cord. Sorry

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Whirlwind Weekend

Posted by Chelsey on March 16, 2009

Two in the morning on Friday (well, Saturday) and I was trekking back from the end of term party, which was at a club that is a mile away from my place. The fact that my feet were dying then did not bode well for a weekend that would be pretty walking heavy; yet, I’m back from it and alive!

I got up on Saturday a tad later than planned, got breakfast at the News Cafe then got on a train to Paddington. Going the wrong way on the District Line got me on a train to Brighton at three, but soon enough I was threading through the Lanes on my way to meet Marcus, who I was staying with. Technically, I was surfing with Marcus’s flatmate Aubrey, but he was working nearly the whole time. We met at the pier then went back to his flat for a while before getting dinner at a pub in the South Lanes.

Brighton is wonderful if you like to be able to walk everywhere (as I do) but can’t walk much (as I can’t). I’m slow, so it took me about forty minutes to make the trek that Googlemaps assures me should take fifteen from station to pier, but I love the sights you see along the way. The sound of the seagulls I miss so much led me to the seaside; shops totting coffee, ice cream, tattoos, jewellery and loads of other things that are quintessential to Brighton. Starbucks existing (somewhat) peacefully near local cafés; it’s all great.

The gig I was going to was Emiliana Torrini, who is absolutely wonderful. She’s really precious on stage, although I wish she had done a meet and greet. I really appreciate Amanda Palmer more for always doing so. I chatted with the two ladies next to me about music and gigs and such. Emiliana opened with Heartstopper, one of my favourites. There is something absolutely amazing about hearing the music that has permeated my life being sung by the person who created it. At a gig, the music absolutely surrounds you and it is wonderful.
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Marcus picked me up from the church where the gig was and we spent the evening sharing a bottle of red and trading music and watching youtube videos. In the morning we went to a café and ate breakfast outside. Marcus gallantly walked with me to the station and I hoped on the train for London that left five minutes later (BritRail pass for the win!!!)

In London I drug myself onto the tube, I was rather tired by this point, to Goodge Street to go to my favourite Caffe Nero for a coffee and to nip into the Paperchase that it is above. The tube station was closed on Goodge though, so I had to go to Warren Street and walk up, then walk down to Tottenham Court when I was done. Ugh. Worth it though.
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Then to the O2 for Snow Patrol and to meet my LJ friend to whom I was giving the ‘companion’ ticket that ticketmaster gave me. We got a coffee and chatted before the doors opened. I have to say, initially i was not sure about this whole arena show thing. I like my gigs standing two inches from the stage, thanks much, and there’s no way I would fight an arena crowd for that. However, it ended up being amazing. The support was loud and screamy which was sad, but during the actual show– God– lights and video were amazing, and when the entire crowd stood and sang “If I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?” I wanted to forget the world.

However, I could not forget the long-haired guy and his MUM (it looked like) next to us. Nor the security man apparently showing a lost kid back to his seat. I love people watching.

We crammed ourselves onto the tube and I thought I would have to get the bus back to Oxford and be out ten pounds, but then I checked the time I had written down and saw that the last train was at 11:47 not 10:45 and went to Paddington. A guy at Costa made my night by not making me pay for my juice and giving me back the quid I put in the tip cup. Gimp pity or not, that was sweet. The train got in at one in the morning so no buses and the rest of the train grabbed all the cabs. I walked towards the center with a group about my age, The were lugging instruments and they got a cab near George Street, along with two girls who had either not changed trains at Reading or gotten on the wrong train and wanted Worchester. The hostel was shut for the night, so the group I was with took them to sleep on their floor and I got back to St Michael’s Street to treat myself to a cookie and milk before bed.

Lovely, lovely weekend.

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More Neil

Posted by Chelsey on March 8, 2009

Roomie got her present today. She’s the one for whom I had Neil sign a second book. I can, therefore, post the picture.

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The Waiting Game

Posted by Chelsey on March 6, 2009

Not to turn this blog into a Disability manifesto, but I got to thinking yesterday about just how much waiting is involved in being disabled. Overall going to and from a tutorial I think I spent an hour waiting for the bus (got a lot of reading done) to go one stop either way. A normal person could have walked it. Truth be told, I could have walked it, but I knew it would be pointless strain on my body. That and I always overestimate the time it takes me to walk places. If I had started walking to the tute when I got to the bus stop and saw ‘15 minutes’ on the digital readout I could have made it. But I fear bad things happening so I didn’t.

But this goes beyond waiting for a bus. What about the cabs that the disabled without cars take in cities where there aren’t just cabs on the street and they have to be called in advance? What about those (as I am at this moment) on a waiting list for services? Parents, like the ones my mother works with, waiting on a diagnosis for their child. Waiting for medications to take effect.

Now most of these things can’t be solved. But we also wait for the world to realize how much acceptance is needed. Sometimes we wait for the accommodation to be in place before we attempt something. So here’s the thing (and we watch as I get to the point of this blog), accommodation will not be made if people do not realize that it is necessary. And they won’t if the disabled (and I’m not accusing, I’m guilty of it) wait on the steps of the pool dipping our toes in and hope that the water gets warmer. You have to dive in and test the waters.

So that’s what I’m doing.

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