25 May, 2013

Just step off the platform!

 "This is deadly, thank god my arse fits!"
 "ah Jaysus, would you look at the state of her!"
 "Come on Mam, it's grand"
"Mammmmmm!!!  I want to go back!!!"

It's officially summer, well for today anyway, so I decided we Geraghtys should go on a day trip somewhere nice, nice walk, nice view, get some fresh air and . . have fun.  No. 1 said 'Nuh-uh I have plans, I'm going to the Pav with the boys".  Undeterred Myself, Himself, the younger fellas and the dog set off for Pine Forest or Tribadden Wood or anywhere high over Dublin city.  
Himself got us lost and I stuck to my fail safe way of travelling . . . aim at something (the mountains) and drive towards them.  We found Tribadden alright and were thrilled to notice they had a Zipit thing going.  You know, ziplines, bridges high in the trees, people to rescue you from said trees and so on.  Lovely picnic areas (if you are that organised). It was brilliant.  We paid up for myself and the boys to do it, Himself said 'nah, you're grand' and Billy just howled because he couldn't get near to us.  
I was so chuffed with myself when I completed green course.  I zipped and hooked and unhooked myself, I crawled through tunnels and managed to not fall off anything.  Which was fine as we were barely three feet off the ground.  Flushed with success we moved onto the Orange course.  Okay, so that was higher but still not kill-yourself-if-you-fall-high and off we went.  Arthur nearly pissed himself when we had to go across these log things.  Log swings??  Either way . . yeah, wasn't my favourite either.  
Then we got to The Net.  You swung over on a rope and, when you hit the net, you climbed it whereupon reaching the platform you would unhook yourself, rehook yourself and continue on your merry way.  That was the plan anyway.  Oscar swung over, Tarzan style, and gave himself an almighty wedgie by getting one of the ropes jammed between his legs.  Hard to climb up when there are tears in your eyes and a rope cutting into  your nuts.  
Arthur swung over and . . . hit the net, getting tangled into it.  This is the lad who once spent 15 minutes trying to get over a railing at Bray head.  He hooked his leg through the net, got his arms knotted and even managed to get his head through to the other side.  
Me?  Hmmm, less graceful, hit the net, got the giggles and remembered how shite I am at climbing.  But I did it!!!!  I got to the platform and nearly wet myself when I saw we had to tightrope wire it across to ANOTHER rope bridge thing.  Shudder.  But, again, I.  Did.  It.  I know, I know, I'm shouting my own praises but of course the kids did it.  Kids have no fear.  None, I tell ya. 
So that was the Orange course finished.  . . . . .   Onto the White Course.  
Hmmmmmm.  Arthur was too small, Billy was a dog, Darren wasn't playing and Oscar was living for it so I had no choice but to climb that ladder.  That long, tall, shaky ladder to the platform.  Yeah, wasn't feeling so happy now.  In fact I thought I might cry but there was no time, Oscar was already gone.  Off over at the 'X's' bit.  Well Jesus wept and so did I.  It was a plank type bridge with a rope hanging over your head for you to hold onto as you walked, calmly (not) across the void that was the really far away ground way, way, way, down there.
I got across and Oscar was panicking.  He couldn't do the 'X's.  What are they?  Okay, picture a load of wooden x's suspended high in the air like swings. You got that?  Okay, now walk across them.  Holding onto their ropes or clinging to your harness and wondering 'how the hell did I  end up here?  I only wanted to go for a walk?!'  Of course the boy managed to calm himself down and he skipped across but as for me, Jesus Christ.  I stood there for about an hour, 2 minutes, and prayed to a God I don't really believe in and then took that first step.  I really, really wish I hadn't taken that first step as you can only go forward then.  I got a bad case of the Elvis leg shakes.  You know the ones?  The one where he is standing on stage and his right leg is hopping up and down?  Yeah, well that's what I had.  A gazillion feet up in the air I had a bad case of Elvis leg on wooden x's that were hung likes swings.  Swings bloody move!!!!  Backwards and sodding forwards, sideways too if you're a chicken like me and are desperately hanging onto the ropes.  
I started breathing again when I got to the platform.  Who knew I could hold my breath for so long.  Who knew that you could actually walk whilst shaking like a . . jelly?
Then the pair of us were rightly donald ducked.  A standing zipline.  One where you hooked on and held on to a bar.  Held onto a bar and stepped off a platform.  Hold onto a bar and stepped off a platform before swinging into a net.  
Oscar bottled it.  "I can't do it" he cried, actual crying.  The tears literally hopping off his face.  
Darren said "Your ma will go first and you can see how easy it is".
I thought "Are you frickin' crazy?????  Have you seen how high up we are????"
So, being a good mammy, I unhooked Oscar, hooked myself in and stood on the edge of the platform.  Looked down at the ground which, I'm now reliably told was only 8m away, seemed a long, long way down.  
Then, holding, on tightly to the bar, I stepped off the platform and zipped down to the net.  The net that I hit and grabbed at and stuck to like a fly.  Stuck.  Couldn't go up.  Couldn't go down.  Apparently, when I stropped struggling, I was only 6m off the ground - good to know, huh?  
Yup, I remembered, just at the worst possible moment i.e. when I stepped off the platform, that I am frickin' brutal at climbing ropes and other such things that move.  Jesus, who am I kidding, I'm crap at climbing full stop.    So, I just kind've hung there.  Occasionally I would try and get a foothold and stand up (on a sodding piece of string??) before falling backwards and fielding thoughts of 'I'm going to die up here'.  Your man on the ground, Darren, was no bloody use with his 'climb up, would  you?' shouts of er, encouragement.  I tried explaining, in the calmest fashion I could, that I was trying to climb the freaking thing.  
Bastard.  That's when he remembered he had a camera.  And a phone.  And access to Twitter.
That's also roughly when I accepted my fate and hoped someone would come to rescue me.
My arse looked huge.
Like really HUGE.
I think it may have been less embarrassing if I had a less distinctive laugh and wasn't airing said laugh so wildly and hysterically.  "Yeah, look at me, I'm having so much fun!  Not".
Rescue me they did.  Two lovely boys (yes I was rescued by boys) who upped their ladder and shimmied across the wires like the monkeys I think they really are.  "Have you pins and needles?" they asked.  "What are you feeling?"  Really????  What am I feeling??? I'm fucking mortified.  My arse is huge and I'm stuck.  In a net!!!!  I had nightmares about this a couple of months back.  Jesus, who knew I would eventually be caught in a net on land and not in Bundoran (by a Japanese whaling vessel).  The shame.
The horror.
I was winched up.  I was told not to struggle.  
You know, it's very hand not to struggle when you know your arse is that huge and you are stuck up a tree and dying from embarrassment and the fact that your hysterical laughing is drawing an awful lot of attention to yourself.  Yourself and your fat arse that is.
The boys got me onto the platform and asked if I wanted to continue . .  I said "hmm, what's left?'  "A climbing wall" they said.  "Please get me out of this sodding tree" I said.  So they did.  Get me out of the tree.  
Holy shit but if I thought being stuck in a net (did I tell you it was 8m off the ground?) was embarrassing being slowly lowered to the ground .. .. oh God. 
Whilst they were working out what to do with me Oscar had only hooked himself up and swung over all by himself.  Little shit.  It was his fault I was in this sodding mess.
The lads were hooking up their thingie that lowers nervous people to the ground when they mentioned "you know there is a €30 charge for this", "you know I don't give a shit how much it costs, just get me out of this fucking tree ,don't you??" I countered.  "Ahh, only messing" they said.  
So one of them, Stephen I think, went first and then the line came back up for me.  I was told to sit on the edge of the platform (no problem) whereupon I was attached to new line and told "okay, just slide off now"
"Just slide off???  Are you fucking crazy????  Just step off.  Onto nothing?!?!?!  Just what?  WHAT????"
Yeah, I didn't take that well.  I sat there for a moment or two, enjoying the view and wondering 'why me?' and took hold off the wire over my head, with my wet string arms, and slid off the platform, upon which I was gently lowered to the ground.  Christ.  When I got to be a metre off the ground Stephen told me to put my weight on my legs . . yeah, as if!!!  I was lowered and lowered and lowered and eventually was lying on my back on the ground.  Legs hadn't a notion of holding me up.  
Eventually I did stand up, was unhooked and off the lads went to rescue somebody else.  Super monkey style.  Oscar?  Yeah, he finished the course without a problem and then we went home.
Where I am sitting.  Typing with sore arms and mental hair!  The only thing going in my favour about the whole getting stuck and being rescued thing was that at least I didn't piss myself.  Other, less brave, people (kids) did.  Have they no dignity?  Cackle.
Thank God, the one I now believe in, that Darren didn't turn on the flash or you'd really be able to appreciate the state of me.

 Yup, that's me.  Doing my best fly-caught-in-a-web look, I think it quite suits me.
 "You alright there?"  "What?  Me?  Yeah, dandy, just dandy.  Great view"
 "Hang on, you're doing great"  Me: "No fecking choice but to hang on . .  Oi!!!  You tweeting this Geraghty??"
 Sodding Oscar, look at him.  Just swung over when no one was looking.  This is all his fault!
 "Okay, so you just swing yourself off the platform".  Me:  "You know what?  Let's just sit here for a minute, sure the view is lovely"  Me: In my head "Just swing off?  Are you frickin' crazy????"
 Sure no bother at all.  Jesus but my arse is huge
"There you go Niamh, just stand up".  Me.  "No"

p.s  If ever I needed an incentive to lose weight . .  yeah, these pictures will do it.

p.p.s Go to this place.  Go and have great fun.  It's worth the money (cheap too) and should you er, get stuck, you will be rescued by very lovely, funny young men.  The fact that you may die from embarrassment . .well.......

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