Monday, September 08, 2003

Watty wanders in:

I did get in, in case you were wondering. Reviews will follow, when I get the energy back.

In the meantime, I want to know this: when did I start to suffer from vertigo?

Last weekend, I happened to be passing the Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner, and discovered that you can go in it, and climb (well, go up in a lift) to the top, and gaze over parts of London. And spectacular it is, too. There are also a couple of intriguing galleries inside, detailing - among other things - the history of the blue plaque scheme. Now, I have always been a fearless climber of things; I've been up Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the CN tower, the Duomo in Milan; you name it, I've climbed it and peered over the edge. So I was slightly surprised to find that on reaching the top of the lift, I was overcome by a powerful feeling that I didn't want to be there. It's hard to describe, just a definite reluctance to go outside, and a feeling that I needed to hang on to something solid at all times. I'm sure this is not unusual for many people, but it took me by surprise. Perhaps, I thought, it's because the parapet is not much above waist height, and it's a bit windy. I made myself go out there, and I tried to look convincingly unworried, but I was a bit spooked.

So yesterday, on discovering that our local monument was open, I resolved to try again. It has (as may be seen) a relatively high railing - surely I'd be OK up there. But no; the same odd sensation of needing to hold on to something. I enjoyed the view, and the boys came with me, much to their excitement - they were unaffected by the height - but I still felt odder than I expected to. Perhaps it's age. *shrugs*

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