It's Friday, it's Falkirk, it'a tough morning. The hotel's alarm system went off last night and we immediately called downstairs to find out if we were in imminent danger, flames licking at our door. No, no we were told, it was a false alarm. But, they also told us, they didn't know how to shut it off. So we laid in bed with the lights off as the sound blasted us for what seemed like hours. A second call down had the clerk annoyed, it would only be a 'wee while' and we needed to be a 'wee bit patient'. Instead I just got a wee bit angry.
My reaction to fire alarms has changed over the two years that I have been disabled. I am on the third floor of this hotel, that's four flights up (given the European's inability to count). The elevator is not usable during fire. I am suddenly very alone and very vulnerable. I looked to see where the 'gather point' was for those with disabilities and it's out in the hallway, near the end. Hey, about where you'd expect a fire.
While the image of a fireman, all rough and sweaty, carrying me down a ladder might sound a bit Scarlet and Rhett but it scares the hell out of me. I can just imagine some guy hollering down, "Hey, Hal, we got a meaty one up here." I can imagine being left for last, dragged out of a window that's too small, plummetting to a safety ring and tearing through hitting the ground.
But it was a false alarm.
That kept ringing and ringing and ringing.
Reminding me, at every bleep, that my world was no longer as safe as it was before. It's been a tough night with little sleep, and the day is yet to come.