Monday, May 08, 2006

Cor blimey. Apples and pears. Etc.

It seems like a lovely way to spend half an hour, doesn’t it? The London Eye, I mean.

Well, take it from me: it isn’t. It is arse-clenchingly frightening, in a very sedate way. It’s like one of those dreamy unnerving arty films where on the surface it’s all calm but suddenly you become aware that all the angles are wrong and there are faces in the trees….

Anyway. It became apparent this weekend that I am comprehensively afraid of Transport. I was frightened on the train, on the Tube, on the Millenium Bridge (I know it’s technically not transport but it’s a way of getting from somewhere to somewhere else so it counts), on the Eye. Everywhere, really. I don’t even know specifically what I’m afraid of*, it’s just general fear. I am a wuss. As we rose majestically above the London skyline, small children leaned on the sides of the capsule, people wandered around pointing out landmarks and I sat frozen with fear and gripped the bench with whitened fingers. Look! Said the Other Half. There’s Buckingham Palace! Oh, said I, in a Very Small Voice that I could barely hear above my internal monologue of getmedowngetmedowngetmedowniwantogetOFFNOW. It was fascinating, and an experience and all that, but I really, really hated every single terrifying second of it. In fact, it was the most frightened I’d been since refusing to go in the live bit of the Chamber of Horrors on Saturday afternoon. Wuss.

Sheer terror notwithstanding, the whole weekend was just plain fabulous. We’d planned to go to Camden on Saturday night but since we picked a weekend when pretty much the entire Tube network was closed, it didn’t happen. So we went to Covent Garden instead, and stumbled across the wonderful Boulevard Brasserie on Wellington Street, which is very highly recommended indeed. Really. And then yesterday it was all sunny and we walked from Tower Bridge to the London Eye and back again (we didn’t mean to go all the way back again but it all went a bit wrong and we ended up trying to get on the Central line from Monument (because we are from the country and didn’t know any better) and consequently paid £4.90 to pretty much walk to where we were trying to get to on the tube, via an endless maze of corridors and escalators – what’s that all about?) and it was lovely. Apart from the Budgie Man. Who I was also a little scared of. And last night’s Me First and the Gimme Gimmes show at the Astoria was excellent, and we didn’t get home until 2am, and I had to get up at 6.45am, and so now I am tired, grumpy and tired. It was worth it though.

It’s official. Fancy London rules.

*This is a lie. There are lots of things that I am specifically afraid of, including but not limited to:
Mechanical or structural failure (including bits falling off/breaking/catching fire/crashing. Etc. My mind treats me to endless detailed cutaway shots** like on disaster movies about cable cars (I am deeply afraid of cable cars) where you get to see the cable unravelling a wire at a time even as happy skiers laugh blithely in the face of impending doom in the car below), terrorism, random acts of violence (what if that man stabs me to death for no reason?), sinking boats/ships (I am rubbish on ships and must continually go out on deck to make sure we are not sinking. It is only me checking like this that stops us from sinking***), and, you know, just general worst-case-scenario stuff. Honestly. It’s exhausting.

** I am mental.

*** See?

15 Comments:

Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

SO glad you had a lovely time in London, if not its eye.

Partner refused to go on the London Eye with me when we were there, and I didn't want to go by myself as it's no fun to say, "Lookit!" to strangers. It was really just you being nice to OH.

08 May, 2006 19:26  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

Everything's just wasted on you isn't it? (Sigh)

Hasn't OH learnt any of the distraction techniques required to get you through these things without you noticing they're scary?

08 May, 2006 19:41  
Blogger Mike chimed in with...

Rowing boats are terrifying. An inch from a watery death.

08 May, 2006 19:57  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

Not to make you fear cable cars any more than you do..
But here in New York City there WAS, in fact, a problem on one of the tramways that goes to Roosevelt Island, where the Statue of Liberty lives.
The thing just STOPPED in midair over the East River for TWELVE HOURS.

How about that?
Natch. Silly London Eye...

Other than the fear and public transport system - sounds like a great weekend.

08 May, 2006 20:44  
Anonymous Homer chimed in with...

You funny old thing. Rather the London Eye than the escalators in the Buttermarket any day!

Hello btw, I'm still lurking.

08 May, 2006 22:13  
Blogger belladona chimed in with...

I do that cutaway scene thing in my head. More scarily, not only do I worry that someone might randomly stab me but I also worry that I might suddenly randomly stab someone. It could happen - I might not stop myself in time if there were someone with a particularly annoying moustache for instance.

Don't worry. I have no idea where you live.

08 May, 2006 22:14  
Blogger The Boy chimed in with...

When number one son was a toddler we took him on the eye. He, of course, didn't know any better and leaned out against the window to look straght down. I tried standing in the middle and pulling him back by his trousers nonchalontly so no one noticed.

Sounds like you had a lovely time.

08 May, 2006 22:31  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

***Yes

08 May, 2006 22:54  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

I meant ...

**Yes



D'Oh!

08 May, 2006 22:56  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

sounds pretty sensible to me. better that then just doing things all willy nilly and then having the true horror of your actions hit you all at once days later. like me.
you survived and you had fun! YAY!

09 May, 2006 02:53  
Blogger shoppersaurus rex chimed in with...

could have been worse on the Eye. For example you could have been with someone who was so drunk out of his head that he spent the entire 30 mins trying to dry hump you in front of shocked families, while telling you all about the time he actually shagged someone on a Ferris wheel in Tokyo.

GSE here btw, can't be arsed to log out and in again

09 May, 2006 11:57  
Anonymous Stu Savory chimed in with...

What do you mean "***See" ?

Shouldn't that be spelt "****Sea" ;-) ?

09 May, 2006 11:58  
Blogger zanna chimed in with...

I'm with you on Budgie man. Never done the eye, and am thinking probably never will now............

09 May, 2006 12:16  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

glad you had fun surly. Yes, you're a bit of a disaster with the phobias and such but we love you anyway.

09 May, 2006 17:44  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

Honey, you're not mental. Well, only a bit; it's called magical thinking and can be treated one of two ways: a)spend lots of money on an analyst for about two years b)skip the two years and all the money bit, blame your mom, forgive her, forgive yourself then enjoy life.
Oh, the church towers/lighthouses I've been stuck in, when my determination to conquer the fear of heights deserted me - at the top.
Glad you had a fab time anyway.

09 May, 2006 18:41  

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