My visitors today

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Yet another role for a conductor.

A House, by Susie Mallett, 1962

Flat hunting

I have had a very interesting day. It felt a little bit like I had a new job, although I am unsure of what my new job was. It could have been estate agent, interior designer, advisor, or perhaps it was just another ordinary day for a conductor. Whatever it was I enjoyed it.

I was viewing a flat but all the time with the image of a completely different flat in my mind’s eye, creating and constantly changing the picture in my head as I thought of all the different aspects of life in a wheelchair.

The charity that I often work for have steadily been buying up flats in the city centre, most of them actually in the property where they have their head office. The flats are gradually converted so to be suitable for wheelchair-users, and are offered to people who wish to remain as independent as they can be for as long as they can, but with the option of being able to pick up the phone to ask for help whenever they may need it. Whether the help is needed to carry in a crate of beer, shop for a new wardrobe, or assist in getting to an appointment with a doctor, there is always someone there to lend a hand.

Today I was looking at a flat on behalf of one of my MS clients who lives alone and wishes to move into this more secure, less isolating community.


I was actually surprised at how while walking from room to room I immediately began to imagine myself in my client's wheelchair. I began to consider now it would be trying to negotiate all the narrow doorways and in between spaces and I started redesigning it, open plan!
My client is over two metres tall so his wheelchair is slightly bigger and longer than most! He needs more space than he can actually afford, so we need to use every centimetre available to us.

I can visualise the converted flat and I assume that the architect can too, but I am not going to rely on this assumption. In the morning I will pick up the phone and suggest that the architect sits himself in the wheelchair made for the two-metre-tall man, and take a drives around the flat. By doing so he may also be able to visualise better where a centimetre here and there can be gained, hopefully without taking too many chunks out of the skirting board.

As usual I am begeistert by my work


Begeistert – enthusiastic, ardent, zealous, rapt, excited, thrilled, glowing, avid, zesty, wowed

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