Despite military level planning on time to arrive, time to eat, time to nap it all went a bit wrong once we got to Manchester. Diversions, directions & protestors everywhere. Multiple sets of directions from traffic police later Lovely PA and I realised there was no way to drive to the hotel. Decided only answer was pile me in a taxi and get to hotel that way. Taxi driver's grasp of the English language was better than my grasp of Arabic...but frankly probably a close call. Still despite all that he got me where I needed to be and was kind and helpful.
Got more stressful when arrived in hotel to be put on the 12th floor,
furthest from lift, no idea where the stairs were or if the hotel even had an evacuation plan. If they did they weren't communicating that to their guests. Became slightly hysterical. Hotel
moved me to 6th floor. Neither room accessible. Still no evac plan. Hotel staff really puzzled by my distress as after all "the accessible room is available for you tomorrow night"
Became completely hysterical & fled to rescue by lovely Beth Gerg to share her room in accessible Travelodge. Yeay Travelodge.
Boo stupid posh inaccessible, 'burn to death PTSD' hotel.
Disability and Employment fringe went well, very good attendance, quite a few delegates there along with the usual charity representatives. Brilliantly chaired by Isabel Hardman from the Spectator and Telegraph and the panel was Jaspal Dhani, Stef Benstead, Esther McVey, Ralph and myself.
Slight disagreement with minister over 10 points PIP issue. No-one in
room any the wiser after endless 'but is that what you intended or not', 'well is it a typo then?'
Cripcarded Anne widdicome on way out of the fringe. I feel confident sharing with you that she is not a scrounger fan. She
did agree to put in a good word for disableds though.
Finally got to restaurant at nearly 10pm. Fled restaurant as
food arrived coinciding with onset of sweating/shaking. Its generally best to avoid embarrassing puke in public moment. So, a
typically uneventful conference day 1 then. Can't wait for Osborne's
'stand up to the weak' speech tomorrow...