So we went to Glyndebourne and it was magnificent. And I had to behave like a good disabled person for the day and sit in my wheelchair. I don’t use my wheelchair ordinarily anymore as I am well aware of my limits (long but gentle coastal walks) and I don’t like to stray beyond them.
At Glyndebourne however the wheelchair turned out to be a welcome addition to our party as I was able to sit in the wheelchair throughout the performance and it was much comfier than the opera seats. It is also very useful for alerting people to the fact that I’m actually ill!
Also, since Mark had very kindly been gifted a complimentary ‘carers’ ticket to the performance it might have looked slightly odd if there was no one for him to visibly care for.
We saw La finta giardiniera, an early Mozart, and I very much enjoyed the lovely music. Leaving after the first half I was confident that I knew what was going on. Listening to Mark and Hetti discuss the plot it seems that I had no idea – ah the joys of chemo brain!
We wined and dined in a splendid fashion in Middle & Over Wallop during the interval. As a note to all other ‘wheelies’ out there, make sure your ‘carer’ is up for a push as the slope up to the disabled access was pretty steep and there were a few interesting moments; particularly on the way down. Anyway after all this sitting and eating I was feeling more than ready for a little nap.
So the second half was mainly spent lightly dozing while listening to still very pleasant music and having increasingly less understanding of what was going on. This would have all been fine and I wouldn’t have bothered anyone but then right at the most silent bit of the piece, when there was a dramatic pause to allow the audience to savour the singers great song, I did a bit of a wiggle in the wheelchair to get more comfortable. This wiggle caused the empty water bottle in the back of the wheelchair to leap out of the wheelchair onto the hard wooden floor and bounce around making a noise that reverberated around the entire auditorium. The audience all turned to stare, the performers turned to stare, thankfully Mark and I managed not to giggle and just hung our heads in shame instead!
So ladies and gentlemen if you want to make an impression at the opera, that is how.