I have MS and the last couple of months have been particularly awful – no matter I’ve been swept up by Olympic elation just like everyone else. Ironically those of us trapped on the couch were no doubt some of its most ardent viewers.
So as a family we decided to splash out on the last day and sort of join in by going to the Blur concert in Hyde Park. As I couldn’t possibly stand all day – we bought an expensive package so I could sit in the grandstand.
Big mistake – for you see I have a little mobility – not a lot but I’m able to stumble about the place.
And this was sort of an Olympic event so we thought it would cater for the disabled – and it did as long as you were in a wheelchair. Now maybe I should have bought one by now – but as I haven’t welcome to my catch 22 endurance test.
There were lots of park buggies whizzing about – but not for use for a disabled punter – no insurance. No thought more like. We’d paid a fortune for these tickets so I took 2 hours to clamber to our entrance – fittingly a marathon time.
Once there I collapsed.
Blur were terrific – I missed The Specials completely, my fault for going back to the hospitality area we’d paid for and collapsing again. Marathons really do take a lot out of you.
Now so far so bad – leaving was jobsworth heaven.
The very nice St John’s Ambulance did have a wheelchair – but were only allowed to take me to a nearer exit at the concert boundary. Security [private ye gods] wouldn’t let them go further. As I hadn’t got a chance of exciting the park – I can’t do 2 marathons in one day [not even Eddie Izzard could manage that] I decided to get as far as I could and then do a lie down protest - one I had absolutely no choice in.
I was saved by two lovely public spirited policemen who told security they would take me to the edge of the park [‘They bossed them’ my teen son said admiringly] – which they did.
Thanking them & the St john’s Ambulance profusely I stumbled off with my family and got a taxi.
I also now have to thank BT, Boris Johnson, Live Nation [well if you can also upset Bruce Springsteen who am I to complain?] and Royal Parks for making it possible for me to join in the real athletes Olympic spirit.
events like this are really upsetting for us less mobile who arent wheelchair users.
i went to the stone roses concert in heaton park, manchester. i can’t stand for long periods of time because my knees lock and then my walking is really insane. so i borrowed a fold up camping chair. security wouldn’t let me take it in.
now i should have bought disabled tickets but i bought the tickets online and it didnt give an option for disabled.
i enjoyed the concert because my lovely friend propped me up and i did a lot of jiggling about so that my knees wouldnt lock.
it’s terrible when the reason i would ever buy a wheelchair is to go to events.
don’t stop going places, have a lightweight wheelchair stashed in the boot of your car.
How bizarre that wheelchair users get a better deal!
I constantly am reminded how wonderful it is to be on wheels. No fatigue, no distance limitations and organizers of events have usually taken our needs into account.
For people who are dreading the “decent” into a seat I would just say compare John’s awful experience to that of a person who glided up in a power chair. I have posted before about how much I love my wheelchair and its true – I’d swap my chair for healthy legs but not for stumbling ones.
Glad you managed to enjoy Blur even though you were probably whacked out by then.