Until today I had never been on a rollercoaster.
And now I know why...
Along with Steph, Nik and Jen from work, and Jen’s ridiculously handsome younger son Tai, I went to the annual “Hoppings” fair on Newcastle’s Town Moor – also for the first time – to complete the twenty-third of my forty challenges.
Amongst the seemingly never-ending array of rides and stalls was “The Wild Mouse”, part rollercoaster, part (as I was soon to discover) waltzer. I was slightly surprised that the ride took its name from a cute little furry rodent. If you were going to go down the animal route, wouldn’t you have chosen something bigger, something with a bit of a presence?
Actually the mouse reference probably had something to do with the regular squeaking sounds that could be heard during the ride’s warm-up run...
Not a great sign, but undeterred, I paid my £3 and took my seat. A padded metal bar was raised up over my lap. It didn’t feel very stable – and I didn’t feel very safe.
Anyway, the roller bit soon got underway, and any prospect of fun disappeared straight after the first ninety degree turn was followed by a fairly rapid descent (which I presume was the coaster part). I genuinely thought I was going to be thrown from my seat, and spent the rest of the ride clinging on to the safety bar for dear life, with Nik and Steph’s laughter and screams ringing in my ears... well, my good ear.
If I’d have kept my eyes open, I might have spotted the next right-angled turn, but I would never have been prepared for my seat starting to spin round and round at the same bloody time. Had I eaten a substantial dinner, this was the moment when it would have been projected far and wide across the Town Moor, but thankfully the contents of my stomach remained in their proper place until the ordeal... sorry the ride... was over.
The girls were fine, but I was decidedly dizzy and struggling to walk in a straight line. I have to say that most of the challenges thus far had been enjoyable (whether all, or in part); this was the exception.
I suppose the whole idea of a “challenge” is that it’s not supposed to be easy, and not necessarily fun either, but if I ever embark on a similar venture, I’ll make sure there is nothing even remotely fairground related on the list.