My weekend trip to the Retinal Awareness Group annual shindig in Blackpool last weekend got off to what can only be described as a bit of a shocker.
I was keen to show Mrs B, who was accompanying me, how well I could manage on the train. So I confidently headed towards the toilet on the York to Blackpool train. I knew from previous experience that closing and locking the loo door was going to be the hardest part of the task, but surely I’d come across all the various types by now. Or so I thought. An initial scout of the usual places where the buttons are located found nowt. And, to be honest, there is a limit to how thoroughly you want to run your hands around a public lav. But I had checked the place out several times to no avail, apart from finding a small metal lever, which felt too sturdy to be what I was looking for, but it was all I could find. The door then closed by itself, and I found myself trapped, so I decided to give the lever a pull – after all, what else do you do with small metal levers?
I reckon it can only have taken around 8 seconds for the train to stop, followed by a pause and the rush of feet towards the door and then a knock.
After checking I was ok and showing me politely where the damned door buttons were – the smallest I’ve ever not found in a train loo, I have to say – they left me to get on with it.
Thankfully, they did not bother to announce to all the passengers the reason for the extra stop. That train stops so many times anyway; I don’t think they’d have noticed.
Mrs B had, of course, seen the drama unfolding. But I think she was enjoying seeing how well I coped on the train. She’ll feel so reassured about me travelling on my own.
Blackpool itself was kind of what I expected, but it stretched further along the coast than I had realised. It was full of the usual tat, but we were fortunate enough to enjoy glorious weather. It was just like Blackpool, but with sun.
The conference was interesting. It’s good to hear a lot of positive optimism about the future of genetic testing and potential treatments. Who knows, one day I might actually be able to find those buttons in the train loo without incident.