Queueing for the Antiques Roadshow, St George's Hall, Liverpool
We went to St George's Hall the last time the Antiques Roadshow was in Liverpool. It was a lot of fun, even the queueing, both times. At least I managed to take some photos outside today!
We took a taxi down, as we thought it would be much too difficult to park anywhere particularly close, and I prefer to minimise my wheelchair travel as much as possible... Especially over cobblestones!
Dolphins on the base of a lamp post
When we arrived we noticed the queue was snaking up and over and down the steps in the front of St George's Hall. There was no way that we could manage that with the wheelchair, so John parked me at the bottom of the steps, and went to the back of the queue to ask the folks there to mark a place for us, and we would join behind them when they reached us.
Fun outside St George's Hall
Then someone saw me sitting in the wheelchair and offered their place in the line! They had decided not to wait any more, so decided to be kind to me. We explained we were happy enough to wait, and we didn't want to jump the queue. But the folks behind seemed happy enough for us to take the place of our benefactors, so we went for it.
Shortly afterwards a young chap approached us and asked if we knew that wheelchair users had a special entry, and didn't have to wait. At some point John had been to the front of the queue and asked, to be told that we had to queue like everyone else.
Well, that seemed fair enough to us, other than that we couldn't manage the steps for the queue, but John had sorted that in a way that seemed fair to us. But this young man was insistant, and even went back to check that there was a seperate wheelchair access. Came back to tell us, and accompanied us to the door. (Well, he walked around the outside of the queue, we cut across inside to avoid the cobblestones)
Once inside it was a labyrinth to find the lift! Up to the first floor, along more corridors until we reached the right level. Into the Great Hall, and oh, the ceiling, the stained glass windows, the statues, the marble set behind them, the moulded and coloured roundels - George and the Dragon, Liverpool coat of arms, the Liverbird. Not to mention the amazing chandeliers, suspended from moulded ships prows. I tried to take photos, but sadly the light just wasn't good enough.
Everyone was very kind. When we first entered the Great Hall one of the Roadshow crew fetched us the labels we needed (books, china and miscellaneous) so we were able to begin the individual queuing.
We went for china first, it was a pretty long wait, but in the wonderful surroundings, and with chatting with other folks in the queue, and watching things being set up for filming (suspect will be an item on slavery) the time went pretty fast. A note to self for next time - not a lot of folks took glass.
Followed up with a pretty short queue for Miscellaneous and then a somewhat longer one for Books. John was standing behind me in the Book queue (he had to push the chair) and thinking something along the lines of "there's a lot of people here, bit odd we haven't met anyone we know" and about 30 seconds later someone comes rushing up to me to say Hello!
Margaret, who I used to work with before I got ill. She was a bit surprised to see me in a wheelchair. She said she retired a couple of years ago. I knew exactly who she was, but simply could not remember her name when she greeted us. Think this is cognitive dissonance - Antiques Roadshow and (ex-)work don't mix in my mind. Unexpected juxtaposition.
As for the rest of the week it was all rather awful.
Monday got IB50 (EEEK!), but from Birkenhead not Liverpool, which worried me. Managed to get advice from some folks on email Lists that allayed some of my worries. And John called DWP in Birkenhead on Tuesday and found that dealing with the forms is centralized within areas rather than cities and towns now.
I re-joined the wonderful Benefits and Work. Took a look at their advice on filling IB50 in, and fell asleep...
Next morning (Wed I think) found I'd kicked the dregs of my glass over, splattered keyboard and screen, computer frozen and couldn't re-boot. EEEK again!
Kept trying to re-boot over next few days, finally somehow (not sure how!) managed to get to a screen that let me take the system back to how it was when last working. I am not going to try and install my (perfectly good otherwise) printer on this laptop again, as I think maybe that was the root of the problems.
At least I finished reading 3 books while I couldn't get computer to work.
But don't want to go through that again anytime soon!