Right guys, it’s been a while.. and for that I’m very sorry. You know that with me there’s a load of stuff going on, and that I’m always flakey with my writing.. AND writing jobs come first, so, because me writing more than one piece in one day is entirely unheard of my blog has been suffering (sorry!).
ANYWAY! I’m back and this time I’m afraid it’s for a rant. Let’s set the scene as I always do. I’m sitting at the island, drinking a coffee out of my “K” mug trying to make myself feel empowered, whilst the kids are watching Disney’s Brave on volume 76 and hitting each other with giraffe and tiger inflatables from yesterdays zoo trip. The washing machine is whirring away on it’s third load for the day, trying desperately to catch up on the mountains of scrunched up clothes that have been chucked in out of numerous overnight bags. Glamorous, right?
WELL! Instead of staring longly into the swirling, sodden black hole that is the washing machine drum, with “Hello darkness my old friend” echoing from ear to ear, I decided to do something productive and something that most of us do when we are feeling a little bit glum, *SEARCH THE INTERNET FOR THINGS TO SPEND MONEY ON!*.
What came next, only pushed me further into my white-good based abyss. I’ve been pretty burnt out recently and I’m really feeling a middle of nowhere, ramshackle cottage, kind of getaway.. something luxurious inside, with underfloor heating, a TV bigger than my bed, rose petals and Patron, the whole shebang! but something from the outside that gets no phone signal, no wifi and you could or could not be entering into a Cabin In The Woods/Evil Dead style contract.
SO anyway, here’s me, sat at my laptop feeling HIGHLY, HIGHLY optimistic, daydreaming about swaying trees and little tiny birds dressing me in ball gowns… Then comes the “google moment”, that moment where your fingers hoover expectantly above the keys while you try and conjure up a sequence of a few words that will reveal whatever your desired result. “ROMANTIC, QUIRKY COTTAGE, DISABLED ACCESS”… easy enough. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing that meets the criteria, queue pictures of smiley models in wheelchairs playing table tennis, throwing leaves at each other playfully and being pushed along the coast lines by their plain faced, rainbow jumper wearing carers OR theres the other side of the spectrum “perfect” couples with 30 day shred bodies, floating on the edge of an infinity pool, drinking champagne and flashing annoyingly straight Colgate smile’s for all to see.
By the second, my optimistic daydream is disappearing into the distance and the walls are closing in. Where do I fit in all of this? Why isn’t there a .JPEG to represent me? Why isn’t there a solution to my request for easily accessible, one level, luxurious, solitude? and why does no one value my money?
I find this a lot in my industry and day to day life, inaccessible VIP area’s, no option for disabled hospitality tickets, VIP area’s in clubs being upstairs, beautiful hotel rooms with mezzanine level emperor beds.. I guess a Stannah stair lift, just doesn’t ADD to the decor does it. It’s NOT sexy.. But why not? I don’t get it. Holiday companies, Food companies and the hospitality industry PAY marketing experts to make things SOUND SEXY.. you know what I mean, “This isn’t just a mackerel, this is an M&S mackerel, sourced by a well groomed fisherman, with a wife and 2.5 kids, extracted from sparkling stream on top of a mystical mountain.” MAKE. DISABILITY. SEXY! MAKE. DISABILITY. AIDS. SEXY!
I’m not asking for a lot, I’m asking to spend my relatively hard earned cash, on a getaway, it can be literally ANYWHERE… it just needs to be luxurious and accessible, is that really too much to ask? I spend a hell of a lot of time in hotels usually in between meetings or extremely hungover.. THIS time, I want to go somewhere to cleanse my soul and my mind. I want to spend like, 2.5 hours in a bath, without rolling over and staring Olaf directly in the smug little face. I want to sleep, like A LOT.. and I want to just do NOTHING, with no schedule and no emails to respond to.
In many ways, I’m just a normal… girl.. woman, thing! It comes to that point where you WANT to be described as normal, can you imagine how depressing that is, normal is the most boring, average thing you could say… yet you’d take “normal” instead of question mark. People assume too much about disabled people, people assume that I’m with a “friend” instead of my husband, people assume that I’m on benefits, people assume that I don’t get up to much apart from sitting in my house waiting to be collected and taken on my next day trip. It’s just NOT realistic. I have a great life, and a NORMAL bloody life. I’m married, I have a house, I travel a lot, I work… a lot! I want to go on a burn out retreat without being placed in an all white, completely medical room, crammed into a twin bed (because of course disabled people don’t share beds!) what’s sexy about that? What’s exciting or revolutionary about that?
I don’t/can’t speak for everyone of course, but I HAVE a disability, yes, and that makes me want to do more, it makes me want to prove people wrong and it makes me want to see the world… to meet people, to talk to people and to educate people. I don’t understand why I have to fight for that? When is MY money going to be accepted, when am I going to be able to get into the business class section of a train and not have people assume that I’ve been put there by a kind train manager as part of a special little treat for me?
I guess after this hugely depressing rant post guys, what I’m asking is, when am I going to be able to live the life I want to, without exception or special treatment?
Answers on a postcard please.