Posts Tagged ‘skydiving’

I’ve got a confession to make

I should have spoken about this years ago. It’s been weighing on my mind and it’s time to finally just say it.

When I was 19, I went to university in Glasgow for a year. I was one of those excitable students who joined every club and society going and spent many evenings practising strange sports or discussing books no-one had heard of. I was a member of the Ultimate Frisbee club, the Glasgow University Skydive Club, etc etc etc.

Oddly enough, though, I wasn’t that close to the three girls I lived with. In between all the societies and fun, I was quite studious so didn’t invite interaction when I was in the flat because I was mostly in my room, writing essays and what have you. This confession hinges on that fact.

Now I don’t remember exactly how it went but I was cooking something in a saucepan one evening when no-one else was home and didn’t have a lid so I looked into the big drawer where two of the other girls kept their stuff together. Bingo! They had a lid! I whipped it off, put it on my pan and proceeded to make dinner. Afterwards, I washed up the saucepan and lid and must have forgotten it wasn’t mine and put it away in my drawer.

When the two girls who shared the big drawer next went to cook something in a saucepan, they obviously noticed the missing lid. There was a big hunt for the lid and if they ever looked in my cupboard, they will have just seen my saucepan and a lid and not realised it was their lid.

I didn’t realise any of this was going on (because I was busy being antisocial, remember?) and had long forgotten about the lid. About a week later, I heard them talking about it but it had gone too far by that point. It had turned into an apartment-block-wide search for the lid and conspiracy theories abounded. Because of my antisocialness, I also didn’t feel relaxed and friendly enough to go, “O, I’m so sorry. That was me last week. Here you go, have it back. My bad!”

So I listened to them talk about The Missing Lid and went, “Hmm, yeh. That is wierd. Where can it be?” All the while The Missing Lid burned a hole in my cupboard and I dreaded being found out.

All that week, I listened at my door until I finally found a moment when they were all out. I scurried into the kitchen, took the lid from my pan and put it back in it’s rightful place in their drawer.

A few nights later, the next time they were using a saucepan, they discovered the lid and were astounded. How had it found it’s way back in to the drawer? As no-one else apart from us four could get in the flat, and we all appeared to be as confused as anyone by the returned lid, there was only one other person with access to the flats. In each block, there was one student representative, who was there for emergencies, etc, and had keys to all the flats. His name was Anand.

It had to be Anand. It had to be. There was no other explanation. None.

By total coincidence, a few days later, the cleaner must have left the hoover in the end cupboard in our flat then come and got it a few days later. Because the girls had checked the end cupboard when looking for The Missing Lid and seen the hoover, then went to cupboard for something else a few days later and noticed it had gone, they concluded it was the same person who had stolen, then replaced, The Missing Lid.

This coincidence saved me. It looked like the work of Anand yet again – sneaking in without a trace and simply taking or replacing things to confuse us. Or, we concluded, to use for himself. He borrowed the saucepan lid to make his dinner and then hoovered up after making a bit of a mess.

This went on for the whole year. They’d joke about Anand. If someone left a book or their cutlery out in the kitchen, we’d say “Oo, you’d better put that away in case Anand comes round tonight to borrow them!”

And I played along. I laughed and joked and made up a few of my own. In fact, considering I have lots of memories of being alone in my room writing essays or studying, joking about the Anand thing is one of the few memories I have of actually coming out of my room to socialise with the other girls.

But it was all lies, readers! All lies! It was me! I took the lid! Me! It was my fault! I took the lid and put it in my cupboard by accident and then it was too late! It wasn’t Anand. Poor Anand was just a good guy doing his student rep thing.

I’ve carried that secret with me for 9 years and never told a soul.

It was time.

Quick one

There has been a work related emergency so I don’t have time to write a proper post. So I will just tell you quickly about something I did recently.

A friend gave me tickets to a CocoRosie gig he couldn’t go to at the Royal Festival Hall….

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It was so good and the seats were right at the front. There was a guy beatboxing and he was phenomenal.

After the gig, I went on a ridiculously high chairoplane. It was 67 metres high!

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Fabulous views over the Thames and of the London Eye. I was totally up for it when I saw it. It looked like great fun! We were going up and up and I was loving it! Unexpectedly, when it reached the top, I froze. I just held onto the seat very tightly and stayed very still.

Wierd. I’ve skydived, bungee jumped, etc etc. Heights don’t bother me. So I don’t know what happened there.

Anyway, that’s what I did the other night.

Told you it’d be brief.

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These are things that people have searched for on the internet and ended up at my blog. Some of them must have been gutted as they were clearly looking for some important information and got me instead…

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Bungee jumping in Africa

When I was younger I was, as most people are, a lot more hyperactive. I was constantly excited by something, looking for an adventure. My first big adventure was my gap year. I had been saying for ages before that, in a nonchalent ‘yeh-I’m-crazy-and-wacky-what-of-it’ type of way that I wanted to do all these extreme sports. White water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping, anything, you name it, I’d rave with enthusiasm about how ‘cool’ that sounded and I’d definitely do it given half a chance.

So I’m on my gap year. It’s the last month or so and we decide to do a bit of travelling before heading home. We were in Namibia and had already been to South Africa for our previous break so decided to head north this time, up to Zambia. I couldn’t wait, Victoria Falls, it was going to be amazing. Amazing! I was so excited! Always excited! Yeh! Woo! (I must have actually been quite insufferable.)

We got there and we had about six days, I think, to spend in Livingstone. We started looking around for exciting things to do. We went to music performances, ate Zambian food and marvelled at their money, which consisted entirely of notes, and tons of them! Getting a fiver out of the cash machine gave you a handful! There was even a note which was equivalent to 0.2 of a penny! I think I still have one somewhere.

Then we noticed a few leaflets for extreme sports type of things on the Zambezi River and around the Victoria Falls bridge. And then it was time for me to do some of the things I’d been going on about, when they didn’t seem like a possibility. We white water rafted the Zambezi one day, which wasn’t too scary as it’s not really turbulent the whole way, a lot of the time you spend just paddling along the still waters singing aloud and looking at the crocodiles lounging around on the rocks, eyeing you up.

Then came the big one. We went to the Victoria Falls bridge to sight-see… and there were people jumping off it! That’s right, there was a bungee jump off the bridge. It claimed to be the highest from a bridge in the world! And Lucy reminded me that I’d always said I wanted to do one… hadn’t I? Yes indeed, I had, yes, that’s right. Well let’s go and do it then, I can’t wait.

Before I knew it I’d paid my £40ish and been stood in a queue on the bridge. And then there I was, toddling onto this little platform and getting my ankles tied together. And I thought, damn me and my big mouth. So now they’re tied together and I’m shuffling to the edge of the platform and I’m looking down and I can see the Zambezi underneath me with teeny tiny little people white water rafting, in boats that I knew were quite big, so their smallness from up here just confirmed how high up I was.

I got ready for the pep talk, you know, you think they’re gonna give you the low down, let you psyche yourself up then say, jump when you’re ready. But no! As I got to the edge and looked out, I heard a voice behind me say “Hold your arms out straight when you jump. Ok! THREE! TWO! ONE!” And I just had to go….

I remember thinking, “I’ve just paid £40 to die.” If I could have stopped time and gently stepped back onto the platform, I would have.

But I couldn’t! And I was just hurtling down and down, turning upside down, arms out, screaming in terror. About half way down, the scream caught in my throat and my mouth stayed open, silently, in horror. I got to the bottom and bounced up and down wildly, my heart beating frantically when suddenly someone appeared on a rope thingy, grabbed me and we were both hauled back up.

I remember later in the day, reliving the experience and having the fear all over again! Every so often, though, I think, well that was over eight years ago, I’d probably be fine to do one again. The fear has been forgotten now, surely? I’ve not tested my theory but I certainly think carefully before saying I really want to do something! Although I have also skydived a few times so I didn’t learn my lesson that well!