Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's Sunday afternoon, and it's taken me this long to not recover fully from a trip, (scooter bound) from yesterday, that, may I add, lasted all of 40 minutes. Short and sweet it may have been, but it was still an eyeopener.

First up was the little girl that said to her mum, "Why is that lady in there? Is she poorly?' Cue the little girl being whisked away and being told not to stare. And hands up, I was a twat, and ignored the whole thing, when in retrospect, I realise was probably wrong. I should have spoken to the girl, and answered any questions she may of had. Otherwise she may grow up believing that she cannot talk to people who are a bit, well, different to the 'norm' and you best ignore them.

Then I got stuck in a disabled loo. It was really quite big, but sadly not big enough to manoeuvre a scooter around in with ease. So, I bent the basket of the scooter in my efforts to turn around. Then when I got to the door it wouldn't stay open. Luckily, a young lady shopper was alerted to my difficulties, as she probably heard me swearing, and she held the door open for me. Thank you! So I popped the dent out of the basket, and carried on.

Next up was the shoe shop that we were taking the little man too. We had some faulty shoes to return but the kids department was really busy, so replacing them proved tricky. BUT hats off to the young lady assistant, who was very helpful, offering to clear obstacles and fetch shoes, and just making me feel involved, rather than a bystander. Gold star to her.

Accessorize was a bloody nightmare. I wanted some hair clips, and thankfully, they were on the first display, but however, all the displays were so rammed together, it was difficult to move, and get to the till. Even if you were a walking size 8 contortionist, it would have been tricky. Spacka friendly, it was not. Still, I got some very nice clips, and only knocked one thing over, (which I picked up, of course, I'm not an animal). So, all in all, not a complete disaster.

Back in to the shopping centre and amongst a very strange breed of people. Despite being a wide load (due to the scooter, you understand) people kept walking AT me, as if they were stuck on a track and must not deviate from the course they wish to take, NOT FOR ANYTHING! So I'm weaving in and out of people and resisting the urge to mow people down.

So, yesterday was a real mixed bag, which saw me saying, "Remind me NEVER to go out on a Saturday AGAIN!" and I really meant it, but then I remembered I'm going to my sisters and we have a date with Meadowhall and bra shopping, also on a Saturday...... I think I'll have some fun though by extending the wheelchair challenge to scooter challenge and the first contestant will be my sister. I can hear her squeal with 'excitement' from here.....

On the way home we went to an ELC and Mothercare shop. I had gift cards from Christmas for the little man and spending them was a joy. I guess they are used to catering for people with bumps and pushchairs and this transfers to,

a, room for pushchairs = room for me, or anyone in a wheelchair/on a scooter/or crutches/or a stick.

b, toilets! In a shop!

c, helpful, friendly staff.

d, Displays on the shop floor, that I can reach. I only need help reaching the wall displays , and this     
in itself is a gem, as it enables independence, and independence is underrated until it's under threat.

One of the things I got for the little man was a set of school children, and one child was in a wheelchair. How could I not buy them?! 10/10 to ELC for that bit of inclusive thinking.....genius!

If more shops were like this, it would be a amazing. Not to mention a joy. I cannot overestimate how incredible it is to go somewhere, and to be welcomed, served, and treated like any old customer. And for that, I'm happy to spend my pennies there. And isn't that what makes a shop successful?

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