lifestyle, Musings, Norfolk

Another Level Of Planning

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!

Photo of the cinema screen with rows of empty red fabric seats in front.

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.

An image to pin. Empty cinema screen photo as above, with cream background underneath and title text Another Level Of Planning in grey font.

20 thoughts on “Another Level Of Planning”

  1. I’m starting to wonder if we will ever get back to pre-covid normality. Life has changed so much and we’ve learned that some people don’t really care about looking out for vulnerable members of society. Wearing a mask is surely not that difficult, but so many objected.

    Oh, I could rant non-stop about that.

    I’m glad you went to the cinema to see The Batman. I don’t even remember when I was last at the cinema. Titanic, I think!!! Wow, an empty cinema though. I’d enjoy that but how on earth can they operate like that financially.

    I’m sorry that Derren Brown had to cancel his show. So many people are still getting very sick with Covid. So hopefully when he rearranges, it will also be safer for you to go and enjoy it.

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  2. Numbers are up here. Yes to people realizing this isn’t over no matter how much they wanted to be or are inconvenienced. Agree just mask, distance and stay home if sick. This could be the new “normal”. I want people to think community not individual. My rant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve nailed the issue with not being able to go back to “normal” – “…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.” Well said.

    Oooo yes, I miss the cinema. I haven’t been much over the last 7 odd years because of pain sitting in the seats, and people frown at someone having their legs out so I can’t get away with that. The odd times I’ve been, I’ve loved it and it made me think of the times I used to go when I was younger, the good days and times I had. It’s just special, isn’t it? All the more special these days when you have to sell a body part to cover the cost of a ticket.

    I had the same concerns with Pattinson in Batman. However, my ex watched it on opening weekend, promptly called me afterwards and told me how amazing it was. Go figure. Judgemental me.

    Only one other person, for the whole film? Holy moly, I like the sound of that! My bugbear is that you have no way of knowing. I guess you could skip booking online and just turn up to get tickets a few minutes before it starts, and ask if they can (at places like Cineworld where seating is digitally mapped) how many other humans are set to but their bums in seats.

    When Derren gets rescheduled, do you think you might go? I tend to find with situations like this, where I’m not sure whether to go/do something, if the decision is taken out of my hands and it gets vetoed, that I suddenly feel relief and know that was the right thing. But then again, this is different. This is Derren-bloody-Brown. Annoyingly my arsehole brother saw him recently. Perhaps before he caught Covid? I imagine he saw him in Oxford as that’s where the asshole lives. He said it was great. State the obvious, of course it was great. It’s Derren-bloody-Brown.

    It really pees me off that all the things people can do to keep themselves and others safe are small, simple and not going to kill them (the way Covid could to someone else). Why moan about a little mask, why rage that you can’t stand so close to someone that you could lick their nose, why get arsey that you can’t shout to your mate across someone else’s face in Tesco (this happens a lot to me, I don’t know why). Anyway, that’s a never-ending rant.

    I’m really glad you got to enjoy the cinema, your delicious Nero coffee and stay safe, that’s awesome. xx

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    1. I’ve seen that some cinemas do the premier seats with extra leg room, maybe those would be more comfy for you? I also noticed (quite a while ago, and I don’t know if it’s still a thing) that our local Vue cinema had some beanbags at the from you could lounge on. I don’t think I’m imagining it anyway!

      I was very close to deciding yes for Derren Brown before he was unwell, so I think if it gets rescheduled I will go. Just mask up thoroughly.

      I also have tickets to see The Killers, and Green Day’s Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer this June. In massive stadiums. Being left behind is getting harder by the day. So I may go to those. Oh I don’t know!!

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      1. Good idea with the extra leg room seats or beanbags. Sounds like you made that last one up but I really hope not because that would be very cool! Well, if as long as they can be Dettol-ed… 😉

        Wow, those are quite some tickets you have! Ooh-waay-ooh, I look just like Buddy Holly 😁 The Killers make me think of some good times when I was a teenager. I still get the feelies when I put it on in the car and sing along. Yeah, missing all those would be tough. x

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  4. I’m so pleased you got to see The Batman. I’ve wanted to see that film, but like you, I’m a little unnerved about sitting with bunches of other people. How nice that the 11 am showing only had one other person! 😀 That’s the way to do it. lol 😀 Your coffee sounds amazing. That’s what I need… coffee. 😀

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  5. I’ve only started going back to live music events fairly recently. It does get easier ( though I haven’t needed to shield I am pretty cautious) . Wearing a mask made me feel safer. I’d never really considered ventilation before but a vent directly overhead was reassuring too…and the accessible seating area was far less crowded than the mosh pit!

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      1. That’s very true….and there’s never the problem of a tall person immediately in front. The arena is pretty good with loads of accessible platform seating.

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  6. Getting back out there is a challenge on many levels. I’m very glad you got to enjoy your cinema outing without fear. A bit of pandemic- agoraphobia has taken its toll on we the conscientious. Best of health. And cheers for those who still mask up.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am also holding off on seeing live theater, concerts and events for now…we are so close to getting past this, or at least being able to live in a pandemic-turned-endemic world, that I will wait it out. Glad you had a safe and spacious experience and that you are staying healthy! Great to hear your voice!

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      1. I live in Los Angeles, and currently all restrictions are listed…we have an 80%+ vaccination rate here, so as long as you have a bit of caution, all is back to normal. Some businesses still ask for masks, but most are making it your choice…

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