Saturday, January 3, 2015

No. 1 completed on my to-do list.

I'm a scaredy cat.
I'll easily swat a spider and have been known to tackle a mouse. But I am terrified of birds......and fairground rides.
If I went to a therapist and she asked me
"Now Noeleen, when did you first notice this fear?"
 I would reply.
"Well I was about 9 years of age. My best friend Marie and I cycled to Killucan where a funfair had come to the village.
This was back in the day when you could leave the house at 11 in the morning and as long as you arrived back for dinner at 6 o'clock in the evening no one panicked.
Maria and I sat into a swingboat, which was no higher than a normal swing, and off we started. Maria grabbed the rope in the middle and tugged for all she was worth. I sat rigid, clinging for dear life onto the two bars that were holding us up, refusing to let go. Maria got fed up doing all the work and tried to coax me to grab the rope, but she was wasting her time. My logical mind was telling me that if I let the bars go, then I had nothing fixed to hold onto and I would tip back and fall out.
And so began my hatred of "fun" fairs.
I have a list of things I want to do in my 50th year.
Go on a scary funfair ride.
I didn't realise how soon I would have to do it!

Sinead and I headed over to meet our friend Jennifer in Scotland, for the New Year. We landed into Edinburgh and were shown the sights. In the distance we spotted this.

"Oh that looks fun", said Jennifer. "Let's do that!"
"Visit the Scot's Monument? Sure", I replied.
"No", retorted Jennifer. "I mean the big wheel beside it!"

I gulped in fear and then thought
Now Noeleen, you said you'd do something like this. You can't chicken out on the first challenge.
"Ye're mad if you think I'm going up on that!" announced Sinéad.

And so I found myself queuing up with Jen. As we got closer to the top of the queue our bravery began to wane.

However as we were surrounded by enthusiastic 10 year olds, all very eager to get on board, we decided we couldn't lose face.
Especially in front of Sinéad.
We sat on our chair and were barred in. I rattled the bar a few times to ascertain just how secure it was. Erm!
It whirred into life and we were lifted a few feet off the ground. Not so bad.

Then it began to revolve and slowly but surely our chair edged further and further out to the side. We began to ascend. Faster and faster, higher and higher. the people on the ground began to disappear  from sight.
Though I'm quite sure I could still hear Sinéad laughing.
I didn't know whether to look up......
No, not a good idea, I could see how far we still had to go.
Close my eyes.......
Nope, it was worse not knowing what was happening.
Look down.........
Actually that wasn't too bad.
Famous last words.
The faster we went, the further out we spread. It seemed as if we were going to hurtle into the steeple of Scot's Monument.

Once again my logical mind came into play.
Cop on Noeleen. This has been set up for years. It has never struck the monument. What are the chances of it happening just now?
We reached the tip top of the steeple and kept spinning and spinning around.
Okay, I get the picture. Its exhilarating. NOW LET ME DOWN NOW!!!
After what seemed like forever the sound changed and we began to descend.  When we eventually reached terra firma I could have kissed it.
Now I realise why Pope John Paul 2 kept doing that every time he landed.
With wobbly legs we made it over to where Sinéad was waiting.
"Well how did that go,girls?" she asked.
"It was brilliant", we managed. "You should do it."
"Would you look at the faces on you. You're GREEN."

As we were leaving, I spotted a sedate merry-go-round.

"Why couldn't I have seen that earlier? I would have gone on that, and still have been able to tick the "Done that" box."
Here's hoping the rest of my goals aren't as stomach curdling!


  1. You were very brave Nols am sure that has to be the worst scenario.

    1. It was exhilarating for a few minutes. Then it was downright terrifying. Glad that's done :)

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