If my SA had a dislike of public attention before his accident, he’s even less of a fan now. Such a shame that the Wheelie Family just lurrrve to make an entrance. “Oh, goodness, you can’t actually get up that massive stone step en route to the table we reserved for you in this restaurant that happens to be packed out and offers no alternative?” Hey, it’s all Kool and the Gang, it turns out they have an alternative entrance we can use, via the patio at the rear – there is a set of French doors.
There may as well be a toastmaster standing on ceremony announcing the arrival of the wheelchair family as the doors open (both doors) sending a viciously nippy breeze round the ankles of the other diners. Patrons mutter their apologies (or tut) as chairs screech across the wooden floors, the room reluctantly parting to make way for us. Myself and SA repeating between us “Sorry, thank you, sorry, thank you, thank you – ooh the lamb looks nice – sorry thank you, sorry”.
When we finally arrive at our table red faced, a lot more tension between us than when we arrived, the table is just low enough that no amount of ramming will fit SA’s knees under. Either that or there’s a leg or two that just cannot be negotiated around. (I never appreciated before just how many different variations of table existed?!)
Side-on dining it is then.
Completely used to this scenario, the kids are obediently already starting to colour in their junior menus with the two coloured pencils the restaurant has provided that actually have been sharpened this year.
Through gritted teeth SA warns me “Just sit the eff down”.
Given a few minutes SA can arrange to lift his feet off of the footplate to afford him that extra couple of inches that will mean he can get close enough to the table to a) be part of the conversation b) stand a chance of wearing those trousers again tomorrow.
(Photo Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge2 by Klaus Boesecke (edited))