Thursday, 21 January 2010

Big Swifty ignores person in wheelchair

I was sitting in the Bull on Tuesday (note: I was not Chief Sitting Bull) after work, to meet some friends before the single showing of the "No distance left to run" film at the Odeon. This was a local performance that had been secured by a Facebook group, the cinema previously having decided not to show it here despite Blur coming from Colchester.

In the Bull was a woman in a wheelchair who looked familiar, and I soon worked out that it was someone I had met recently in connection with my work and the Walk Colchester project. I would have liked to pop over and say hello, but I was only 95% certain it was her. With these odds I would usually take a chance and say "hi", but I had this fear that it wasn't her, and this stranger would say "so you think us people in wheelchairs all look the same do you?". I enjoy Ricky Gervais' comedy challenging our attitudes, and his wheelchair and disability themes in "The Office" and "Extras", I find very thought provoking. But the net result of my shyness and sensibilities was that I treated this person differently because they were in a wheelchair, though I don't suppose they were robbed of anything by me lacking the confidence to say hello. Ah the modern dilemma.

Anyway, I looked her up on Facebook, and said hi that way, and she confirmed it was indeed her in the pub, and apologised for blanking me!

What about the film? I had expectations that it would be an arty film, but it had a linear narrative, covering their recent reunion tour, interspersed with interviews and a potted history from Damon's appearance in The Stanway School play, through the britpop years, the arguments, and the getting back together. Maybe too many close-ups of their faces, some good old slo-mo film effects, and all one big love-in for the band and their fans. Very enjoyable it was too.
Earlier that evening the press had caught on to the idea that Blur fans were going to meet at the Bull before their hero-worship at the cinema. The camera man got all of us in the Bull to pose as excited Blur fans, and the following morning our picture was in the paper. In the front row a woman in a wheelchair, and in the back row a baldy middle aged man wondering if he should say hi. All the drama and angst captured on page 12 of The Colchester Gazette.


  1. Bonjour Mr le Swifty,

    Lovely post. I completely empathise with that 'will I wont I' dilemma which often runs alongside the 'what will they think if I don't' one and is so clearly writ large on this 'ere page.

    Strange how I know I would react if one of my nephews or neices described the same, with a 'for goodness sake, just go and say hello. Even if your wrong, what does it matter.?'

    The photographic evidence is a delicious twist of the angst ridden knife though..

    Noce one.

    Like Blur myself. Live music is just the best thing.....


    p.s hope the regime change has settled down and doing the needful for the wee fella.

  2. Thanks for comments. listening to all kinds of music is a big part of our lives, and I agree about live music, but probably not at big venues...... (Saw REM at Ipswich football ground and that put me off that sort of thing!!! - even though the band were excellent)



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