Friday, 25 September 2009

For whom the bells toll

Well howdy do everyone! Big fella had a surprise planned for me this week. I came home from work tired and looking forward to sitting on my arse for a while quite frankly.

Big fella put an end to that. Coat on, in a big yellow van (Big fella best mate came with us and drove us down, looks like a surfer, acts like a surfer but he isn't a surfer, he is a electrician. He even has a necklace of sharks teeth, he is well cool.)
And off we went. To the Cathedral in town who had opened the tower at the very top of this magnificent building for one night only and the views were said to be jaw dropping.

I was up for that. We got inside we were to be faced with a enormous queue, worst than a theme park. So,I placed the boys firmly in the queue to chat about whether Star Wars was better than Transformers movie.

(I have been warned it is best not to be involved in these conversations as I ruin it when they wonder aloud what princess Layla would look like with her hair down, I say, "It's Carrie Fisher! Just google her! Gawd's sake!")

I began to explore the cathedral.

It is H.U.G.E. This is me taking the picture at the centre of the cathedral. (The number of times I cracked the back of head on the floor trying to look at the ceiling, I could not tell you.)

Beautiful wood work and carvings. Looks like something out of Harry Potter.
I went to ear wig on Big fella and best mate's latest conversation when a guide came over and said " If you do not wish to wait any longer, you can go up this stair case, but be warned, it is rarely used is quite dark, and has 4000 steps...." He had even finished the sentence as people bulldozed him over to the stairway.

So it began. The first 2 - 3 minutes was fine, chuckling to strangers about "how many stairs can 4000 be anyway?" bravado. Let me tell you, these stairs were a stone way spiral and really quite steep and very narrow, and was making me a wee bit dizzy and jelly legged. but soon we piled into the amazing space with this in the middle:

The bell tower! So Rose, of living on the wiccy side, come on down! You were right! It was amazing, and we got a idea of how to toll the bells shown by this gentleman.

H said that due to the noise of the bells he was pulling one without the Mmmmmm.......dong. Anyway, I was listening the gentleman explain when I noticed Big fella and his best mate sneaking around the back. What are they up to?

I knew what they were going to do, I saw the two of them go to this bell, mouthed to each other "I DARE you!"

They swung the tail of the bell and covered their ears and squeezed the eyes shut tight. The noise was bone shaking and shook the very foundations. The gentleman ringing the dead dong did not flinch but I think his face says it all.

I quickly ran over and suggested that it was lovely night, I had a great time, now make a sharp exit, I am lip syncing reading mouths and everyone is swearing in a place of worship as we were all deaf with ringing, it's time to go.They pointed upwards. We had even got to the top yet! We were only half way there! More stairs. Cripes!

Into the spiral stone staircase tunnel and up we go. This was beginning to freak me out. We were packed like sardines with nothing but wall and stairs circling upwards. I felt a bit weak. Soon I noticed a well deserved window. Of course after this long windowless trek, I felt compiled to look out. Or down if you like.
I am sorry I did. Have I ever told you about my fear of heights? I have forgotten how high we were going.I began low wail like banshee moan, while desperately trying to turn around to go own them stairs quick as lightening (The Monkee's show style) only to be faced with a downward spiral of faces shaking their heads at me. The stairs were rammed tight with people and unless I asked the three hundred odd people below just to spread the legs so I could crawl under them. No uncomfortable shifting abut required.

The only way is up.
Short of crawling on all fours I finally make it into the open air and the city unveiled itself in a flurry of lights and colour on the roof top. Breathtaking. I bravely stepped out to the view, only to find the ground was covered in a slight foamy astro turf. This made walking to the edge a bit wobbly. This was like walking on a water bed to me. Every five seconds as I edged gingerly towards the stunning view I let out a piercing yelp, or a wah, holding my arms out wobbling like I was on a tight rope. Big fella and co, no where in sight. Not at all surprising, the state of me.

After analysing in my head that the weird stares and muffled giggling from people were aimed at me, I plucked up the courage hearing Sarah's words, "let fly" going through my mind. Here are some of the pictures I have imagined to take.
This is as far as I got before I slammed myself to the nearest wall, sticking to it like Velcro. Big fella was so on hand to take these:

As someone walked past me, I heard them say, "I think the stairs have done me in, I think i am going to take the evaluator down." There is an evaluator? Well, thanks for telling me.I knew where my next stop was. Alas no one would take the evaluator with me as they had thought given my fear of heights, I would freaking out in the evaluator. Of course I wouldn't. Unless it was made of glass, or if it went really fast.
So to sum up, I saw the skyline through the photographs. I still get sweaty when I think of the view below though.


Michelle Jackson said...

You did better than I would have. I have a horrible habit of falling down stairs! I'd have been wanting the elevator too! And I share your fear of heights,so while I'm sure the view is lovely, I'd have been looking from as far back as I could get!

Thanks for sharing the pics!!


Dede said...

Oh Claire you did so much better than I would have! I would have made my way back down through that crowd of 300, no doubt about it. The pictures are gorgeous. How are your legs doing?

Barbara said...

Wonderful post! I really felt I was there right beside you! Good for you making it all the way up. I'm not sure I could have!

Rue said...

Great photos - what a night you had! I'm afraid of heights, so this would be interesting....

Rose said...

What a view! I love all the photos but I love the wobbly lights best... I bet you really did have your ears ringing after that!

Michelle Jackson said...

P.S. Stop by my blog. I've got an award for you! :)

Holly said...

Big Fella rocks the God House! LOL

Bridgett said...

Okay, I had to laugh looking at your pictures and Big Fellas pictures. LOL

You ALWAYS manage to make me smile. It's why your blog is one of my favorites.

I can even imagine you crawling down the stairs through people's legs. :D

Regardless, how beautiful everything was!


Pamela said...

Wow! What a great evening! Love that you took us on the tour with you.

I would have had a heart attack trying to climb 4,000 steps! :)