Monday, January 28, 2013


London Eye

Heights. That is one of my big fears. This photo was taken from the Thames Clipper service when we left the London Marathon last year. About 10 years ago, I was persuaded to go on the London eye. That was when it was £7.80 (it's now £31.50) a ride and fairly new, a staff member travelled with us and I  had to sit down as we climbed higher and higher. The boats on the Thames below looked about 6 inches long. I asked the guy how we would get out if we got stuck up there as I eyed a trap door in the floor suspiciously. He told me I didn't want to know, but actually I did, I had to know, he told me and then I hoped we wouldn't get stuck. While all my friends oohed and ahhhed at the view of London from god knows what height, I sat on the bench in the middle, struggling off an impending panic attack. My legs felt like jelly and I was breathing rapidly, but as we reached the top and started the slow descent I began to relax and stood up to look out. Slowly slowly the ground came towards us and it was with a huge sigh of relief, I stepped off onto terra firma. I have never been on it since.

Fast forward a few years, and a conference at the BT Tower in Euston. The conference lasted all day, and was really quite interesting. Afterwards, 'a treat'. A buffet supper up in the revolving restaurant. Waiting for the lift was agony. As it came down the shaft to the ground floor, it was like a tube train coming into the station. The doors rattled and a loud whooshing noise came from under the doors. On the way up I had to grip my managers hand. At the top it took all my will to step out into the restaurant with it's floor to ceiling windows. It felt unnatural, I was standing in a revolving room that dangled at the top of a stick. Supper went untouched as I felt too sick to eat. I drank water, although, on reflexion, I shoud have drunk wine. I was very happy when the manager suggested we leave. Stepping into the lift, which, surprisingly, didn't flip your stomach, I was sure the brakes would fail and we would plunge to the ground.  We didn't.

Fast forward a year, to Jamaica. I was determined I was going to go parasailing. Everyday I asked the parasailing man a question. How high being the most important. He promised me that as I was so scared he would get them to winch me out half way. Finally, after a lot of goading, me and my friends sister went out on the parasailing boat. I had to go first or I would never have done it. I was harnessed in and winched out, below me was sea, it held no fear for me and it was so quiet up in the sky. They winched me out the full amount and the boat below looked 2 inches long!! I really loved it and when I landed back on the boat was very proud of myself for doing it. Sadly it didn't cure my fear of heights. I will walk across a high lock gate, but I don't like it.

My next challenge is the cable car across the Thames. My grandchildren want to go, so, so must I

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