vrijdag 9 november 2012

Going to the Norwich Playhouse

And yet another experience! Going to see a comedian, to see John Shuttleworth.
It was the first time for me to go the Norwich Playhouse. According to my wife there would be no problem going over there with the wheelchair.

                                           John Shuttleworth

We were a bit early and decided to have a drink in the theatre bar. It was quite a struggle to get in because the entrance was narrow, there wasa threshold and there were people sitting very close to the door.
It was packed so we drank our drinks outside with the smokers. We were lucky it wasn't that cold and it didn't rain.

After the drink we had a bigger struggle to enter the Playhouse from the garden. Another threshold and an automatic door closer that made it almost impossible to enter. My wife had to get out of the wheelchair to be able to get in.  Together we held the door open and took the wheelchair in.

After getting in my wife wanted to go the toilet. It was surprising to see the ladies' toilet down a flight of stairs and no way was she able to get there. We were discussing this situation when a nervous lady walked up to us.  According to her badge she belonged to the staff. But she had no idea how we could get to the toilet or even to the theater... as another stair was involved.  According to her she was new to the staff of the theater.

My wife already decided to forget the toilet. A ticket seller came to join our little gathering. He told us he had a solution for coming in. We had to wait a bit until things were not that busy. He left us and went back to his place behind the counter.
After a while he came back to us and explained to the nervous lady what to do and gave her a small torch . So she helped us to get out of the building and we walked around into a pitch black alley. Her torch didn't help a lot.  A door at the end was openened by the ticket man. The lady jumped up and down a bit while we entered the side entrance of the theater.

Indoors the first thing that caught our eyes were the stairs. Even entering the theater like this meant that we had to climb down a bit to reach our seats. We managed and I was asked to put the wheelchair downstairs at the sideof the path. Later a woman with a zimmer frame was asked to do the same; she had to climb without it even more steps than us.

I looked around and could not help to make a remark about the theater. Only the most needed things have been taken care of. There is a stage, lights, seats and stairs leading to them. The walls have been left like they were after this storage building was changed into a theater. A few windows have been taken out and the opening have been filled with bricks. It was Funny that John Shuttleworth made exactly the same remark which caused a big laugh from the audience.  It was a very enjoyable show and even while I could not grasp everything I had a few good laughs.

                                         Indoor wall in the Playhouse

After the show we had an hour before the pubs would close (11 PM), so we went to the nrely opened Norwich Tap House which is pretty near. We had heard that one of our favorite types of beer is being served over there.

To get in the pub took great effort. There is a threshold of more than a half meter, so my wife again had to leave her wheelchair and we carried the wheelchair in together. The staff watched the scene interested.
While my wife visited the invalid toilet (with a difficult entrance for a wheelchair) I found that they really had Westmalle Double. So I ordered and we enjoyed it. A bit pricy, so we decided to enjoy it double!
And it also had to be the last one too. Taking the last sip my wife ordered a taxi and we struggled to get outside while the staff very interested looked at the scene again.

We were lucky again, no rain and the taxi came quick. The driver asked if we were okay putting the wheelchair in. It was not very easy but I managed while the driver patiently waited behind the steering wheel.
Interesting evening it was!

zaterdag 3 november 2012

Struggling after curfew

We were aware of the way the cutbacks in Norwich work.
After 12 PM no more streetlights in the neighbourhood.
But yesterday we were really surprised.

There is the luxury of the Fat Cat Brewery Tap closing it's doors at 12, so we don't have to gulp down our drinks at 11 PM. But we realise that when we go home after 12 the streetlights will be off in the neighbourhood. So like the law abiding citizens we are, we go home a little after 11 PM.
We didn't realise that the cutbacks were getting worse!
Reaching our neighbourhood at 11:40 PM we saw the street in complete darkness. We were lucky that it was not totally clouded, so the moon gave a little light. It's obvious that the County Council decided to turn off the lights at 11 PM!

We already made the City Council aware of the bad condition of the pavement on lots of the streets we have  to use and the parked cars don't make things better. Things are quite difficult that way when using a wheelchair.
Yesterday we saw a car that had been parked ON THE PAVEMENT. So we were forced to walk on the street and without any lights that's a very risky business. People in cars will notice you only at the last moment. This already has been the cause for deadly accidents.

I keep thinking about the City Council and County Council as an organisation that sells you a product.
You pay tax and in return you get good roads and good lights on the streets.
Like when you go to a bakery and you pay money and you get a loaf for your money.
The City Council and County Council do things differently.
First they demand your money by council tax and then they do a very surprising thing.

Think of your baker asking the mouldy loaf back, opening the package and removing 6 slices.
Complaining about this didn't help, the County Council is not returning our 6 slices to us.
Instead they now decided it will be 7 slices!

What's next?