One of the things about being disabled is that you want people to draw a balance.
You’d like to be treated exactly the same as everybody else – but obviously you also need people to make allowances when needed.
That was Granddad’s view anyway (he had fewer than the usual amount of legs). Although on reflection he was really quite happy just with the ‘making allowances’ bit – demanding to be wheeled to the pub at opening time with instructions to pick him up on the sound of ‘last orders’. He didn’t even bother having one of those turquoise three-wheelers that disabled people used to use to get from A to B whilst flaunting their status.
But I thought of him – and more relevantly this balance of treatment – as I contemplated the pile of tiles. The LTLP and I had spent ages choosing a mix of subtle green hues, in order to create an intricate and tasteful pattern in the shower.
“What do you mean you’re fucking colourblind???” I screamed at the Tiler, losing my rag like I’ve done with the other builders and thus treating him with the dignity and respect he deserved as a less abled person.
He shrugged. “I just can’t distinguish some colours very well.”
I grit my teeth and go through each box with him, explaining which is which.
The Methodical Builder has promised me that his men will be gone in three weeks. But, like space travel, he has promised so much. Conditions here are, in fact, a bit like on the Mir Space Station, and I feel it is time to get tough.