I recently travelled with an acquaintance into London’s Victoria’s mainline station. On arrival I proceeded merrily and with some rapidity towards the ticket barriers.
“Trigger (my guide dog) is pushing in front of the queue” said my acquaintance. Oops!
Being a guide dog Trigger is taught to find a safe way through or around obstacles, including crowds. If my four-legged friend sees a gap, he goes for it with a will. I had no idea Trigger was skirting the queue and everyone queuing was too polite/embarrassed to say anything!
The above incident caused me to ponder on the advantages of being blind (other than the ability to jump queues without being lynched). After some consideration I came up with the below list:
- Having learned Braille from a young age I am able to read in the dark. This was particularly useful during my time at boarding school as I continued to read after the dormitory lights had been switched off and we children where supposed to be in the land of nod!
- Many tourist attractions and places of entertainment offer either a reduced fee or no payment to disabled people. This often extends to a person accompanying the disabled person. The result – I have lots of friends …!
- Any items designed for the blind (E.G. Braille books, magazines and talking books) are sent free of charge using articles for the blind labels meaning I save a fortune on postage!
- I get to take my wonderful guide dog, Trigger into places which do not permit other dogs to enter. So I can enjoy a nice hot curry while trigger snoozes at my feet or looks up at me appealingly hoping that a scrap of food will fall from my plate!
- The screen on my mobile phone recently developed a crack. As I rely on the phone’s talking software this does not bother me in the least although I am, as it happens probably in need of a new phone for reasons unrelated to the device’s broken screen.
I’m off now to queue jump, purely unintentionally you understand …