Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ramps and Royalty

We are staying in an old manor that has been converted into a beautiful hotel. We arrived after dark and drove through the grounds and rounded the corner to see this magnificent building. It was just like in the movies and we gasped at the beauty and the imposing nature of the building. Wow. Us.

Inside the hotel we were assisted ably and friendly by a man of about my age. He would be described by Quentin Crisp as 'one of the stately homosexuals of England'. He told us a bit of the history of the building as we were making our way to our room. He had helped load the luggage cart but then seemed to think his job was stolling to our room with us, engaging in witty banter, all the while with Joe pushing the heavy trolley along. After they unloaded the luggage they came back for me, and again, while Joe pushed me, he walked along with us ... ensuring that I got equal attention. This was what you'd call a truly democratic Queen.

As we got to the door he said, 'I owe a real thanks to our disabled guests.' Here he paused waiting to be asked, I did. He then explained that the building was renovated to accomodate people with disabilities, there are ramps where there were stairs, there were elevators discretely placed around the building, there were wider doors and easier access. I nodded, thinking I knew where he was going. 'My old bones just wouldn't have been able to stand a few more years of those stairs. There were stairs everywhere, stairs for no reason, stairs just to keep the maids and butlers fit. Without these changes I'd have had to leave this job.'

Ramps. They give me access. But more than that, this one allows a lovely gentleman to continue to reign over the manor. To the Queen, and long my he reign.


Kristin said...

Great story Dave! Both the Queen and the manor sound delightful.

Rebecca A said...

sounds lovely! where in the UK are you? would love to come and attend your training again.


Laerke said...

That's one thing I've always been thinking: It's not as if making a building accessible only benefits the disabled visitors.

Everybody gets around a bit easier - the woman with the stroller, the guy moving wares around to put on the shelves in the shop etc.

kstableford said...

God Save the Queens.

Anonymous said...

"God save the Queens." Hear, hear!

Another great story.

Karen Gerety
Aberdeen SD, USA
(can't figure out how to comment w/o it being anonymous but had to add my two cents)

Nicky said...

Hi Dave and Joe...
I attended one of your lectures at The Merrion in Leeds last year and am delighted to say ill be attending again this month. I purchased a book at the lecture as at the time i was doing a course on palliative care and it really helped thank you so im hoping to find a few new reads again, See you soon Nicky