I am loving that it is the summer holidays, being able to spend time with both of my girls before baby comes. As much as I am completely exhausted, I am trying my best to do as much with them over the weeks to create happy memories before school starts in September. Not that they would mind being home every single day but I don’t want to do that, I want to get out and about and give them fun experiences.
We are half way through the holidays now (where is the time going?) and have already had lots of fun, going to the beach, to the splash park and to Longleat Safari Park plus lots of other things. One thing that was on Little G’s list was to go to the cinema, so this week we went into town to have a girlie day out.
I actually had another reason to get out of the house as I had been asked by Fenetic Wellbeing to do an audit of a selection of places in and around my town, to see if they were wheelchair friendly. As someone who uses a pushchair I am well aware that there are plenty of places that do not cater for any wheels, whether they be for a pushchair or a wheelchair. I was immediately interested in the campaign as I am always infuriated when I can’t get upstairs in a shop or when aisles are far too narrow!
We set off just after lunch and I had to run a few errands in town. I bought myself some new makeup the other day but either left it on the counter or lost it somewhere as I have no idea where it is. So, we popped into Boots to get some more. I am determined to look after myself once baby comes and makeup always makes me feel better. The girls love looking at makeup and you may have seen them if you watch me on IG stories, choosing the bits they would like when they are older. Bless them.
It was really interesting looking through the eyes of a wheelchair user, looking for wide aisles and other issues that they face. I have quite a wide buggy so I do meet a lot of obstacles but things like the height of the counter when I went to pay – I had never even considered that.
After buying a few bits and bobs on my list, it was time to go to the cinema. I have avoided going for a while as sitting for lengths of time leaves me aching. But like I said, I don’t want this pregnancy getting in the way, so off we went! The girls have been wanting to watch The Secret Life Of Pets for a while now (we’ve been to McDonalds enough times recently that they have all of the toys!). I am not sure I would recommend it, but the girls seemed to enjoy it so I guess that is all that matters.
Looking around the cinema was really interesting. Our local Cineworld is actually really good and have put lots of wheelchair friendly features into their design. The only thing I noticed was the fact that there were no automatic doors and should I have had the buggy I would have struggled to get into the cinema, so I don’t even know how a wheelchair user would manage.
Last but not least was a meal out! Can’t go to the cinema without going for a meal afterwards can you? We had a voucher which could be used at AskItalian, I’ve not been before have you? On the whole it was wheelchair accessible, but again no automatic door. I wouldn’t have even considered it more than a little bit of a hassle with a buggy but to someone in a wheelchair, having to knock to be let in would drive me bonkers!
All in all, our local town is pretty good and is very accessible. The main thing I noticed was the lack of signage for disabled spaces. You know at the supermarket to head to the front but at the cinema I had to really search for them – not what you want to be doing when all you want to do is park and get on with your day.
Thankfully we don’t have to think about this on a day to day basis, although as a mum I do notice when places don’t cater for pushchairs. As a wheelchair user there is no getting around it though, so more awareness is needed for sure.
It was a lovely day out and the girls enjoyed helping me tick off the various bits and bobs. I just enjoyed being with them, out and about rather than being stuck indoors. Since having a car we are able to go wherever we like, whenever we like and it is great! We don’t have many more days out planned now, just in case baby decides to come early, so we will be doing fun activities at home I think!