harbor and building

Do you have a favourite city?

I don’t really have a favourite city. We don’t visit cities often, we both hate the crowds, the incessant movement, the hustle and bustle of people in city centers. It is one place that is guaranteed to bring out Mr H’s “fuck off” face. We are lucky in some ways, as we live in between two city’s, and we can easily travel to either Manchester or Liverpool. Both of us have worked in Manchester, I only did it for 3 months but Mr H worked there for about 3 years. I’m not exaggerating when I say it nearly destroyed him.

While Liverpool and Manchester are our nearest cities we can also get to Chester and Lancaster in less than an hour. We are surrounded by historic and beautiful cities and yet I am not thrilled by the idea of visiting any of them.

The trouble with going to the city.

I visited Liverpool a few times (mostly for a Hollywood waxing) and the Walker Art Gallery is a lovely way to pass a few hours – well it used to be.

These days journeys to the city are marred by the inconvenience of the wheelchair. Trains are convenient for city visits because you don’t have to worry about parking, which is generally extortionate, but now we have to factor the wheelchair into that. I know trains have ramps that the conductor will put on for you but I mean really, who wants the whole carriage watching while someone tries to push your chair up a steep incline? And then there’s getting off the train when you arrive….

So now we drive. Well Mr H drives, which he doesn’t like to do, and I try to not feel guilty for putting him in this position.

Rude people.

Then there’s the people. The workers who are only interested in getting from a to b as fast as possible. Wheelchairs are invisible. Seriously. Totally invisible. As soon as I sit in it I disappear. I get walked into, pushed, nudged and my personal favourite hit by bags.

Some people do apologise, most do not. Most don’t even realise they or their belongings have collided with a person.

Doors are hell.

Some shops have automatic doors, and we like these, unless there is a small lip. If you currently use a pushchair you will know what I mean. It’s just enough to stop the wheels. Now a pushchair is pretty light compared to a grown woman (or man) and given the pain I have the last thing I need is that jolt. When you add the city crowds to this scenario you get a funnel of rude and fast moving people it really isn’t fun.

Doors you have to push open well they are just awful. My wheelchair is larger than standard. I mean I have hips. I don’t think I’m the largest person out there but my chair will not fit through our own front door, or internal doors. Thankfully my electric chair does but it weighs quite a bit which means it’s not easy to take out and about. I’m not exactly coordinated either and I think Mr H panics at the idea of me falling out of it, into the road or some such.

City nights.

Having said all this, we do plan to visit Liverpool more. We are hoping that in the new year we will be in a position to attend the BDSM nights at the club the munch is held at, and as these are held on a Friday we will stay overnight in a hotel.

If these nights play out as we hope they will, I imagine Liverpool will become my favourite city!

Sweetgirl x

Sweet Autumn Rose  

 

  • harbor and building

This post was inspired by Wicked Wednesday #493 “Favourite City “. Click HERE to read other posts inspired by this prompt.

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12 Comments

  1. We have taken a friend of ours out in a wheelchair, and it honestly made me look at getting about differently – he doesn’t have pain but he has no ability to help himself. I ‘get’ the problems you’ve highlighted but I’m probably not as tuned in as you. I do hope you get into a routine of visiting places because surely some aspects will get easier with practice.

    1. It’s true, Mr H is getting better at his “get out of my way or I’ll kill you” face It’s guaranteed to part the waves …

      I think until you actually use, or as you have take someone who uses one out, you don’t realise how unhelpful the world is for wheelchair users. The top few shelves in shops, the middle shelf up in fridges, forget accessing anything in the freezers…. then there’s clothes shops, most of them you can just about get a pushchair around forget about a wheelchair!

  2. I really appreciate you sharing about your experience, Sweetgirl! I think it is really important that able bodied people get a sense of what it is like for people, for example, in a wheel chair (I doubt most people have ever considered that their shopping bags might be giving a person in a wheel chair a good whack). One of the classes I teach at the University is public speaking, and years ago I had a student (who is considered a dwarf because of her size- her terminology) give a speech on what it is like to be so short. She had many examples of nearly being run down in parking lots, being hit by people’s shopping bags, and being ignored at store counters. In any case, I was glad to see this post! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us <3

    1. Thank you you reading my ramblings Nora and your comment it really is eye opening when you consider things from a different perspective like a smaller stature or being in a wheelchair. Even the hospital we go to for my pain management appointments has a lip on the door. We brought it up on our last visit!

  3. Thanks for sharing this sweet as I think it highlights some significant and important issues. If you aren’t a wheelchair user I think you can be oblivious to how difficult it can be. I would like to think I would always be courteous and considerate but until you have experienced it, I think it is difficult to really appreciate. Missy x
    Missy recently posted…Mirror Scene ~ tell me what you seeMy Profile

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I think most of us (decent & considerate) people would take time to notice wheelchair users but, I also think in those crowded spaces it’s easy to get distracted. Looking for a lost partner, an exit, the till, and as you turn your bags over your shoulder are forgotten. I’ve done it myself, and bumped into people, (well in truth I’ve also fallen over my own feet and hit myself with my bags but then again I’m clumsy) so I can only hope I’ve never taken out someone in a wheelchair when in a preoccupied haze!

  4. I totally get your annoyance with people in a city not even seeing you or the wheelchair, and the fact that not all shops are equipped for disabled people. We encounter stuff like that too. Master T walks very slowly, and with a walking stick, and if you bump into him, he will fall over. Some people don’t see the stick, or are irritated when they are stuck behind him. So many times people kick against his stick, or almost bump into him. When we’re together, I always walk next to him, and watch everyone around, to make sure they give him the space you need. And then, don’t even get me started about uneven pavements…
    In the past years, there has been more attention to make cities in the Netherlands ‘friendlier’ for disabled people, but they still have a lot of work to do.
    Thank you for sharing this, Sweet, and I hope you can get to Liverpool a lot next year 🙂
    ~ Marie xox

    1. Absolutely! Uneven pavements bah! To get a disabled parking badge you have to attend the local council office. Now they have just built a new building… totally accessible. Is the department you must visit in there? No, of course not. It’s in the old building, where you have to go down one of the oldest streets, that’s completely paved (with broken slabs) through the disabled door which should open automatically but only one half works, the other you have to push. Then up 2 floors in a lift. Completely ridiculous…..

  5. A thought provoking post for us non wheelchair users.
    We are also not lovers of big cities. They are alright for a short break but no way would I want do extended periods in a big city. Give me the countryside any day.
    Fingers crossed for your visits to Liverpool
    lilly
    Lilly recently posted…Amsterdam – Something Different !My Profile

    1. Thank you and I agree I much prefer the countryside- although that isn’t wheelchair accessible either

  6. NonyaB says:

    Hi sweetgirl,
    I have not been in a wheelchair, but I have been on a water then cane till I was able to do okay without.
    I can relate to each comment.

    Something no one mentioned (I hope for a laugh) but I’m serious AF.
    The height of toilets. After a surgery, I was at Walmart (evil Wal-mart) and I was bone tired, had gotten my steps in and I had to pee. So I’m thinking and deciding whether I can make it home, no, so I make my way to restroom and it’s packed. I wait for handicapped stall not because the toilet is much, but for the grab bars. Well, I could not wait any longer and had to take next available.
    Sweet girl, I had to ask for help to get back up off of that commode and that was not the past time.

    My eyes dared anyone to say a word, sometimes my face has been known to speak volumes…().

    I hope some great stories come out of overnights to the dungeon. ☺

    1. That must have been so embarrassing but I can definitely relate. Thankfully I can just about manage a standard toilet with my crutches, but it’s much easier on the taller loo and with grab rails.

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