Sunday, 1 July 2018

Question Time

Hello dear readers!

There are more questions than answers.

Well there are unless you accept ‘I don’t know’ as an answer, anyway. Of course, if you do, then you have one answer for a hell of a lot of questions… But I digress.

The importance of questions, and the need to ask them was nicely illustrated to me just this last week.

Where There's Brass
The Seated Perspective clan (myself, Tina my wife, and Sarah my step-daughter) are headed to London you see. It is a long pencilled in trip, one that is being made to attend the commissioning of a new batch of Salvation Army Officers, a batch that includes some friends of ours.

Due to my decidedly non-religiously affiliated views on life, the universe, and everything, it’s an event that I’m not hugely looking forward to but I have managed to dodge the actual ceremony in favour of a football match, and will only be attending the evening celebration which, despite the lack of alcohol or buffet fare, and even with the probable inclusion of assertive timbrel bashing and more brass band marches than a years worth of Hovis adverts (with room for a cup or two of Yorkshire Tea) is probably slightly more up my cobbled street.

Money Matters
From a purely selfish point of view it will also afford your friendly neighbourhood blogger with an opportunity to explore the big city. A return to the British Museum would be nice (and free) and I wouldn’t mind taking in Tate Modern either. There’s also some good friends based down in the heart of the cold, hard south so hopefully time can be spared to look them up and treat them to a hearty slice of northerness (the lucky, lucky people).

Now, anyone who’s been struggling through these more or less weekly ventings of what passes for a mind for any time will know what I mean when I say that money is a bit of an issue for ourselves at the moment (if you’re not see here). We therefore waited to sort out the travel and accommodation arrangements until reasonably late in the day in the hope of securing a late deal and saving a few quid. It certainly did not save us any stress.

Travel was (hopefully) fine. We are taking a bus, one that might just be mega. It means getting up at a time that I have been known to use as a bed time before now and travelling for six hours but it does get us into London nice and early and, well, it’s cheap. So that’s all good.

A place to rest our collective heads though? Well that was a different matter.

Room For Improvement
It seemed to be going smoothly. We had secured a room. It was in budget. Not to far from where we wanted to be. And it was on the ground floor. Sadly it was also double booked.

We were offered an alternative which I’m sure was a lovely room. It being on the seventh floor took a little of the shine off it, as did the owner eventually assuring us that my wheelchair would ‘probably’ fit in the lift and through the doorways (I’m not that fat, honest). Not the most confident of statements.

So, between that and a price that seemed different from the one offered on the properties website, we passed. Cue a whole day of frantic searching of different hotel, motels, and hostels in the central London area. This is where the questioning comes in. 

A Question of Access
There are lots of rooms available, you see. Lots that fell into our budget. Lots that weren’t too far from where we wanted to be. With each one that was found though the question ‘is it accessible’ had to be asked, and the answers were... variable.

Some sites have a filter for just this purpose, some… don’t. For the latter it’s a case of trying to glean what information you can from the pictures available on site. Is that a set of steps outside the front door? Is that lovely ground floor view one from an available room? Is it possible to fit a shower, basin, and toilet into a space that small and still call it a bathroom? These questions and more are always worthy of asking.

Some of the information just isn’t there and, for the prices that we’re talking, and the frequent cancellation fee, it’s just not worth taking the risk. I guess it’s just one of those tasks that is made that little bit harder when a wheelchair is thrown (not literally) into the mix. We did eventually settle on a small hotel. It’s a bit further out than we wanted but I guess that just gives me the chance to try out the capital’s public transport system. Buses I’m hopeful for, the tube? Well, perhaps less so, but we can certainly ask the question.

I will of course be sure to avail you of our adventures.

Until next time...

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