Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Seeing the whole game...

Back on December 3rd last year, I went to the Emirates Stadium for an event to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I decided to accept the invitation because I thought it would give me something interesting to write about but look how that turned out (it has took me over two months to post). One of the reasons I have not mentioned the day until now is because, quite frankly, it was all a bit Tottenham*. That is probably harsh of me because I am sure a lot of hard-work went into organizing the event but for the first hour or so, I thought to myself "why am I here wasting valuable blogging time?". I especially thought that when someone tried to play catch with me. Needless to say, my hand-eye co-ordination is awful so that was a disaster.

The day did improve though as Arsenal & England's Jordan Nobbs made an appearance (I should not have to say this in 2016 but she plays football at the top level and is better than quite a lot of men) which, being an Arsenal Ladies season ticket holder, I was particularly pleased with. There was then a Kick It Out workshop fronted by the first British Asian to captain a professional football team in England Anwar Uddin. Although I am not a Chelsea fan and do not need to be told that racism is wrong, I found the talk very interesting as Uddin's story was pretty unique. It is certainly more inspiring than any of this Jamie Vardy nonsense.

I have spoke before about how my sight (long distance) has deteriorated in recent years and that glasses do not seem to help the situation. It is not really an issue in day-to-day life but at football matches, the problem does become noticeable. Normally, in the first half, Arsenal shoot away from the North Bank where I sit and I struggle to see where the ball is. I only know if we have scored because of the crowd reaction. However, I had accepted that I would always miss about 50% of the matches and would have to keep getting my brother to talk me through the goals.

That was until the third session of the day run by Arsenal's Disability Liaison Officer Alun Francis and veteran broadcaster Clive Tyldesley who had managed to shake off Andy Townsend for the day. They spoke about audio description and how it is a very important service for supporters who cannot see as it means they can still enjoy the match. Although I am not fully blind, I still have a Visual Impairment that affects my enjoyment of the whole game. So, at the next home match, I was given a radio set and I have been using it ever since. It's a shame they do not have them at away grounds I visit although I think I would get annoyed by the bias.

*just to clarify for any of my readers who are not Arsenal fans that I have substituted a word that rhymes with 'hit' for 'Tottenham'.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Lift ettiquette...

I went to see Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled being recorded last Thursday and came away feeling quite disappointed. Not because the show was bad or the guests were poor (it was my third time in the audience and I would definitely go again) It was completely the opposite actually. We were lucky enough to have the National Treasure that is Stephen Fry on our episode so he only added to the entertainment with interesting and witty anecdotes. Sandi Toksvig, Sara Pascoe and this is really awkward but I cannot remember the other comedians name were all very funny but no one can captivate and dominate a room quite like Stephen does.

Anyway, enough of the Fry love in. Back to my disappointment. It stems from the fact I quite like both Alan Davies and Sara Pascoe. Apart from being hilarious, they have always come across as decent well-mannered people. So, I felt slightly let down when they used the lift instead of unselfishly taking the stairs like most people do when there is a queue of disabled people waiting. It was almost as if their egos were telling them they were too important to walk upstairs. I am not saying able bodied people should never use elevators but it is only right that those who cannot walk are given priority.

They would probably say in their best Arséne Wenger impression "I did not see them" but I do not think that is acceptable. Fair enough, they might not have seen 'Wheelchair Boy' because the queue stretched out the door and I was at the back but the other people clearly had walking difficulties (indicated by sticks and frames). Yet Sara and Alan ignored this and got in the lift regardless. I just think no wonder there is so much ignorance and selfishness in the world if that is the example those in the public eye are setting... Also we were only in The Hospital Club, not The Shard!

It is commonly said that "You should never meet your heroes" because it will probably end in disappointment but I would like to change the phrase to "You should never see the lift protocol of your heroes".

Bye for now!