Friday, March 21, 2008

Orbitus Interruptus

Well, I had been expecting to be at Eastercon right now. But alas...

We had everything organised; ensured we had one of the 3 disabled rooms reserved, got down there at a sensible time yesterday afternoon... And then screw-up city.

The room was having maintenance work done; and the other two were also allocated. While reception were very apologetic and found another ground floor room to park us, it was completely inaccessible -- in that the wheelchair couldn't even get into the bathroom, meaning Karen having to trek down the corridor to the loo.

Then, when we were told the room was available (after the staff had done their best to try and clear the smell of fresh gloss paint), they only provided one card key (after having two for the temporary room). So, one would be sent to the room, I was told.

An hour later, zilch, so stop by reception on the way to dinner, to be told one had been sent to the room. Perhaps the lack of doorbell (another piece of maintenance work seemed to be removing the ones in the door jamb, filling the hole, and the cutting new holes in the wall beside) had confused whichever person had been sent.

Then after dinner, the nightmare. For a disabled room, the bathroom was style (chrome and glass) over substance (usable accessibility), and reeking of retrofit onto a standard design. The toilet bowl was low-slung rather than raised, the grab rails and floor slippery, and only horizontal rails, set too low for leverage were fitted outside the shower. Also the space was barely large enough for chair and carer to fit, let alone providing room for some of the indignities that are involved in the body-servant business.

From waking about 06:15, getting up took about 3 hours, with the same painful drill in the bathroom, trying my best not to put my hip out with the deep crouch and lift required to move Karen from loo to shower chair and back again -- and not helped by Karen running a bit of a temperature, so being more floppity than usual.

So at that point, we decided to call it quits and go home, rather than breakfast and registration. At least the sun was shining, better than the pouring rain yesterday.

So, coffee and chocolate cake for breakfast, and a lazy day dozing in bed instead of spending too much time in the Real Ale bar...

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