Birthday celebrations Part 1

For Joshua’s birthday, I had booked tickets for 6 of us to see Abba Mania – an Abba tribute band and that was last night and we had such good fun : I had suggested that we dress up in 1970s costumes, so that was fun pulling together the outfits, blue eye shadow etc. Joshua did not dress up, but we did, both of his aunts did and our friend did. There were not many in fancy dress when we arrived at the theatre but we made a lot of people smile and the young girls sitting behind us had also made the effort so we were a cluster of gaudy colours , flares and sparkles.

We started our big night out with a meal together. Joshua was sulking at first as we had passed his beloved¬† Donalds, just unfortunately as I asked ‘where are we going Joshua?’ so he began pointing and when we drove passed, he was not amused and started to smack the car window and kick the floor in protest! But I had chosen a good restaurant and once his fish and chips arrived, he settled down to enjoy them.

We then walked through the city to the theatre, arm in arm, where a really helpful lady showed us to the lift as we were right upstairs in the gallery. The view was great and the show began almost immediately, so that was good as Joshua is not a great waiter. His eyes light up as the music and lights began and he was fully absorbed immediately. He would shout ‘thank you’ after the songs that he enjoyed most. The performance was really good, they sang well and we all sang along to the familiar tunes. Joshua enjoyed stroking his aunt’s hair next to him but Just towards the interval, Joshua was too tempted by the range of ladies’ long hair in front of him and so I had to be fast to catch him before he stroked it! A few times he was too fast for me and I had to apologise for him making them jump.

After the interval , Joshua¬† began to tire as it was his bedtime by then. He rested his head on my shoulder a few times but did not sleep and we all stood up and danced for the last couple of songs. Joshua joined in much better than I expected him to and he really seemed to enjoy it.It felt like a grown up Saturday night out rather than his more recent theatre outings to children’s musicals, which we have also loved but this was especially appropriate for his 18th birthday.

So Abba, thank you for the music, the songs you were singing, thanks for all the joy they’re bringing…..


Joshua appeared yesterday morning in a lively mood at 7.30, despite my telling him that he could enjoy lie ins during the school holidays. We were dressed and out of the house by 9.30 ready to begin the day’s adventure.We drove to my friend’s house where we swapped cars, I was keen to have a cup of tea before we set off and Joshua made the most of the break by playing their guitar and banging their kitchen door, so I thought we might have had some trouble ahead. But he sat nicely in the back of the car, apart from trying to remove his companion’s glasses and stroking the driver’s hair!

We parked easily close to the theatre so went to have some lunch before the matinee. We found a great student bar which sold pizza by the slice and amazing chips, so we were all happy and tucked in. We bought some chocolate for pudding and waited in the foyer of the theatre for the lady with out tickets. Joshua does not wait well and he was kicking his leg out, while in his wheelchair, kicking ta the wall and at passersby. He has such long legs that he has got a surprising reach. So I feared that he might be too lively to sit still for a couple of hours in the theatre. But we got our tickets and found our seats, which had a great view of the Shrek stage. The orchestra soon started up and Joshua was immediately mesmorised by a live Shrek, Fiona and Donkey. My busy boy sat beautifully and enjoyed the show. Towards the interval he tried to grab a nap but could not decide where he was most comfortable. He took great please in poking and kissing my friend awake, as she nodded off several times but took the rude awakening in good cheer.

I thought that I might have needed to walk a pacing Joshua around at he interval but he was so comfortable that we stayed in our seats. There were just a few occasions when he tried to stroke the lady in front of him’s hair and when he tried to grab a lady who squeezed past him in his seat, but luckily he was intercepted both times. But all in all I would say that he really enjoyed it and that he behaved pretty well. We were sitting with a group of children with special needs and their families and there was surprisingly little noise or disruption from our rows. I received a pat on my arm and was wished Happy Christmas by a lady in front of us, who may well have been listening into our conversation during the show. We were happy and full of Christmas cheer so there was no need for any sympathy from anyone, we were much better off inside the theatre being entertained rather than pounding the streets for last minute shopping – then Joshua would have objected spectacularly and I would have needed more than a reassuring pat to my arm. It was the best way to begin Joshua’s Christmas holidays, with a present that he enjoyed and did not have to unwrap.