This weekend, we went to the Greenwich comedy festival.
The comedy Festival is held in a tent this gets very hot and on Saturday it was very hot indeed. But on the plus side, this was because it was a beautiful sunny day 🙂 good thing really, because the tent is on the grass in front of the Maritime Museum and it would have been a nightmare in the rain! It is hard enough for wheelchairs on solid ground, but don’t talk to me about getting stuck in the mud! Fun game when you are in the playground at primary school, a whole lot less fun when you are a wheelchair user!
We travelled there entering the station at Bank, intending to travel on the DLR (Bank is only accessible for travel on the DLR). The lift entrance is not simple to find but cunningly hidden in an unmarked doorway on King William St.
, once you have successfully located the lift, the fun doesn’t end there!The lift doesn’t operate like regular lifts.You have to press the button to call to the station staff and then wait for them to sort out the staff in the station to assist you with the next set of lifts. Then, and only then does your lift arrive. Again, on the plus side this means that the lift is not used as a public toilet and does not stink of piss. On the downside, this means that you have to wait for them to spring into action which means you might be waiting rather longer than you would expect for a lift! But, once you are in the station, it all seems fine.
On arrival at Cutty Sark station in Greenwich, we immediately made our way to the site of the Greenwich comedy festival. As usual, the journey had taken us longer than expected due to the usual set of delays. When will we get used to the fact that there is always something that hinders our progress? The staff at the comedy festival quickly usherred us in, just as the show was starting. We immediately saw that there were already 2 wheelchairs/scooters in the accessible row so initially there was no seating for us but my husband alerted them to our plight which spurred them instantly into action. At this point, I should explain that the comedy festival is held In a temporary tent so all of the seats are the fold up variety so it is quite easy to move them around. The 3 acts were very good as was the compere. We saw Shappi Korsandi, Sarah Pascoe and the headline act Milton Jones.
He gave us the best joke of the whole day. He was late for his set due to traffic and apologised for this, explaining:
apologies for being late, I was sitting in traffic and got run over.
We attended the same festival last year and they have a big, horseshoe-shape of temporary toilet cubicles +1 accessible toilet. Last year I was able to use that toilet but I knew that this year my physical condition has deteriorated and this would no longer being option for me. Fortunately, the Maritime Museum has a very good disabled toilet. We had booked for 2 shows so in between the 2 shows we dived into the Maritime Museum and used their disabled toilet which is slightly more robust and has the grab rails which I need, plus the space for my husband to help me without needing to be uncomfortably close to my arse when I need the toilet!
We returned back to their 2nd show and saw another excellent compare, Ivo Graham, Nina Conte, the ventriloquist who I don’t usually like but this time she was exceptionally funny and then the headline act, Ed Byrne who was brilliant.
On the way back, we avoided Bank station and went via King’s Cross. Apart from an exceptionally long wait for a ComCab driver (they are the taxi company that you have to use with the taxi card that is provided to residents with disabilities living in London boroughs that entitles them to a very good discount when using black cabs).
Great day out, but with a sting in the tail when we arrived home to find that we had a letter from the NHS, dated 6th of September and saying that it was the final notice and we had 7 days i.e. before we had even received the letter, to pay the fine which we had incurred when we got free dental treatments because I did not understand the letter that was issued by the DWP because it did not clearly state that I was on contribution-based ESA payments rather than income based and it is only income based which entitles you to free healthcare. So, despite the fact that I had called up twice and my husband had called up once, totalling 3 phone calls and 3 promises that our case would be put on hold for a further 28 days, none of these 3 phone calls seem to have been logged and verse, will receive the already too late final notice. Let’s see how we sort this 1 out…