It seems I haven’t written for over a month. I would say that’s because I’ve been living it up. But unless you count reading books, drinking tea and doing cross stitch as ‘living it up’ then it’s probably just that there’s nothing much to say.
I did go to the cinema, for the first time since 2019. A different decade. A different world it would seem.
You probably already know that the reason I’ve not ventured to the cinema of late is because there’s been a bit of a global pandemic that lasted way longer than even pessimistic me expected, and is nowhere near over yet as much as our government would like us to believe it is. But let’s not get into that.
I’d always been quite the cinema goer. I say I’d in past tense because pre pandemic me isn’t quite back yet. Not from my choosing, and it’s got nothing to do with bravery. Last I knew being brave was not an antidote.
It’s a reasonably accessible activity, going to the cinema, that I enjoyed doing with friends but also on my own on a quiet Tuesday morning. Or whenever really. But I say Tuesday because that’s the day that there were senior showings, and although I discovered this at the ripe old age of 23 back in my Art School days, they always welcomed me along with a complimentary biscuit. Who doesn’t love a biscuit?
So, as a ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ person (I’m not just disabled anymore!) I was shielding, which then turned to semi shielding, back to shielding, semi again, and now who knows what I am. But I felt ready, and kind of like a weird impulse, a necessity, to go somewhere that wasn’t a park, zoo, or graveyard.
There was a lot of back and forth in my head before booking tickets. Do I, don’t I. Will there be loads of snotty humans not wearing a mask? Will someone choose the seat right by me despite many others being empty?
Restrictions had just ended. I say restrictions automatically because it’s been drummed into us that all that stuff was happening to restrict our lives, when in fact it’s there to protect us. Preserve our lives.
I don’t disagree at all that we need to get on with life. We all want to. But we can live an almost normal life with protection. Doing an LFT test before going to the theatre, wearing a mask if you’re able, and isolating if you’re positive. Simple protections.
Back to the trip.
So I finally decided that yes I will go to the cinema, but I’ll do everything I can to limit my contact with other humans.
Typically, the week I made the decision there wasn’t all that much that took my fancy. I did notice that The Batman was on. Although I was slightly apprehensive about Robert Pattinson as title character, I’ve always been quite fond of the caped crusader, since the days of Adam West and ‘Kapow’. No, I wasn’t around then.
He’s just a regular guy is Batman, but with loads of kit. A bit like me only I haven’t got Lucius Fox to design my gadgets. And most of mine are there to keep me alive rather than to rid the world of evil.
Planning is something I’ve always had to do. It’s not as simple as just rocking up when you’re a wheelchair user.
But this day I took planning to another level.
I went to my favourite little cinema because it attracts a slightly different audience to the bigger chains. It’s also a tad more pricy and not often crowded on my pre pandemic visits.
I also went at 11am, because that’s when the cool kids go right?
I stopped by at Nero for a takeaway coffee, another first for this decade. Although I have a love hate relationship with Starbucks, Nero really do make the best coffee.
I was hoping to get there early and drink my coffee before the screen got busier and I’d not want to remove my mask. Well I could savour that beverage, because only one other audience member turned up for the film!
I enjoyed the The Batman. Even if he was previously a vampire and still had the same moody vibe. But what I really enjoyed was drinking my large-skinny-decaf-latte while watching the trailers of films I hope to one day see, almost alone, and without worrying if anyone was too close.
The following week I had tickets to see Derren Brown. Tickets that I purchased way before the pandemic, and had been postponed multiple times. I was in two minds about whether to go. I’d already decided not to attend two rescheduled theatre shows in the past six months, because I didn’t feel like it was the right time.
When I received an email a few days before the show saying that Derren had Covid and therefore the show would be rescheduled again, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not because poor Derren had Covid. But because the decision was taken out of my hands. I didn’t have to worry about being left behind in life yet again.
I know quite a few people that are unwell with Covid right now. The kind of unwell that would likely land me in hospital. I want to get out there again, be too busy living it up, to write. Just a few protections, like wearing a mask, staying home when your positive, keeping that little bit of distance, and doing regular tests, would mean that those of us being left behind, could join back in a little bit more safely.