As it’s M’s birthday this week, I travelled to Scarborough on Saturday to spend most of the day with her. As it happened, it turned out to be a day of disabled toilet mishaps!
I was met from my train at 9:30 am by M and whisked straight off to Wethersppons for breakfast, and I was allowed the privilege of paying! The sausage sandwich I had was one of the best I’ve had for a long time, and one of the cheapest as well – I’ll definitely be going back there!
M informed me that the disabled toilet was a few metres away from my left shoulder if I needed to use it, so I thought I would. I opened the door, and locked it behind me. I searched for the toilet; after two minutes I still hadn’t found it! Eventually, I found a second door the had to be pulled open, and therein was the toilet – nothing like overly complicating things!!
After a few more purchases, interspersed with coffee, we lunched on the seafront – what lovely views over the harbour!
Our final stop before my train back was at Costa. In preparation for my 2 hour journey home, I asked M if there was a disabled toilet.
“Yes there is dad, do you want me to come in with you, or will you be alright this time?” she kindly asked.
My response was short and to the point … However, I soon regretted this decision!
As most disabled people will be aware, and a reasonable percentage of non-disabled people who either can’t be bothered to queue or who prefer to do no. 2s in private, the loos in disabled toilets are often (but not always) slightly higher than non-disabled toilets, whereas sinks are often (but not always) considerably lower than sinks in mainstream toilets. Given my aversion to touching toilets – you never know what you’ll find on the seats – I tend to rely on height and the crack of porcelain on my stik as I search. Therefore, I put it to you that it would be perfectly explicable and definitely excuseable should one ever mistake one for the other …. I choose at this point to say no more other than I did realise my mistake – the more observant of you will note that I have not said at what point I realised my mistake though!!
After an interesting journey home from Scarborough to Leeds, the highlight of which was undoubtedly listening to a group of thirty/fortysomethings women travelling from Malton to York who were drinking cans of cider and collectively trying to think of all the alternative words they knew for both male and female genitalia (in between extolling the virtues of each others boobs!), I once again needed the toilet – definitely too much coffee!
The passenger assistance guy who was helping me to change onto the Wakefield train informed me that we had 15 minutes between trains; plenty of time for yet another disabled toilet stop!
After battling through a large group of passengers who were all congregated outside the disabled toilet on the platformside, the guy told me we had reached our destination; I took out my Rader key and opened the door. After shutting the door behind me, I once again found myself looking for the toilet (not the sink! But it was easier said than done, as this was a massive room. The first thing I found was definitely a sink, and I smirked when I realised that it was much higher than usual, then a bin, then baby changing station, etc, etc. After painstakingly exploring this living room size space, I found the loo – bingo! Suitably relieved, I returned to the door, or at least where I thought it was … trouble is, it wasn’t! The minutes or so it took to find the way out seemed like a lot longer, I can tell you, and after the anxiety sweatfest engendered by a feeling of being lost/trapped, I definitely didn’t need to go again before I got home, thankfully!