I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it.
Long term readers of these occasionally-entertaining ramblings will recall Lady Bracknell's great pleasure at learning that Willard Wigan had received an MBE. Not to mention the Ouch blog entry I had written slightly earlier in an attempt to alert the wider crip community to Willard's genius. (In looking at that again, I recall that the title I gave it was replaced with one of his Damonship's choosing. Not that I'm resentful about that in any way, you understand.)
Well, I was alerted by Chris Osteopath during his manipulations of me on Tuesday afternoon to the fact that the Willard Wigan exhibition at the Hard Day's Night gallery had been extended until the end of his month. (I had missed it earlier because I was not at that point fit enough to fight my way through the crowds of pedestrians.)
I fancied nothing more than a little snooze this afternoon, but Pop wisely insisted that I ought to go out instead. (Please don't assume Pop is prescient - I'd never hear the end of it if he got the idea of that sort of talent into his head. Indeed, when I asked him yesterday why he feels the need to wind me up quite so much, he explained that it is because I am clockwork: I have to be wound up if I am not to run down completely.)
So, off I headed to the bus stop. Once in town, I threaded my way carefully through the mass of pedestrians thronging Liverpool One in a not-looking-where-they-were-going sort of way, and emerged at the other side, slightly dishevelled, but not really any the worse for wear. From there, it was but a short hobble to the gallery. As I paid for my ticket to the exhibit, the nice young woman who took my money explained that Willard just happened to be visiting to spruce up a couple of the exhibits, and was answering questions upstairs.
Hurtling up flights of stairs is not generally one of my strongest suits, but I made a creditable stab at it. And, lo! There he was. Willard Wigan. Crip royalty. In the flesh. Handsome, charming, impeccably-dressed, and absolutely delightful. So delightful, in fact, that he was happy to be photographed next to one of his sculptures.
(No, he doesn't sculpt plexi-domes. That would be silly. He sculpts pieces which are so incredibly tiny that many are actually invisible to the naked eye. Hence the dome and the microscope eye-piece. His work is astonishing.)
I am largely unmoved by the modern cult of celebrity. But I consider it a genuine honour and a privilege to have shaken Willard Wigan's hand, and to have had the opportunity to tell him how much I admire his work.
When I got home and attempted to convey my excitement to Pop, he was quite grumpy. I can't imagine why...