Monday, 25 July 2022

Looking down from high places

is not something with which I cope well. To be really honest I don't cope with it at all sometimes.

The author Matthew Frank (If I Should Die) posted a photograph on Twitter yesterday of his smug face as he ascended the Calgary Tower.  He was 160m up and there was a glass floor underneath him. (I do like you Matthew but how could you do this to me! If you want to torture someone in your next book - force them to do something like this.) 

Even looking at the picture made me feel dizzy. I never want to go up to the top of that or the top of the Empire State building or any of the other tall buildings of the world.

I could so NOT do this. My rear paws would simply give way beneath me. I would not be able to stay upright. I would feel so dizzy I would fall over. Believe me. I do not do heights. I just can't.

This is not simply fear on my part. I do have some issues with balance. I don't travel well. Ascending and descending in a plane and being on open water are also things I find very difficult. The latter infuriates me as I love the sea. As a kitten I did not like the playground or fun fairs for similar reasons. If you wanted to punish me put me on a swing and push it.

I remember the Calgary Tower however with some pleasure for other reasons entirely. I spent three days in Calgary just as school went back one year. When there I stayed with my late friend E... She was a school principal. 

The plan was that I would arrive on that E... and I would have time to catch up and one of her just retired friends was going to give me a guided tour of the area over the area the day after school started. It could not be the day school started because the newly retired school principal was joining some others in what was apparently a traditional breakfast in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Calgary Tower. E...had pointed this out to me on our way to her home from the airport. 

"Not something you want to do Cat?" she asked and I shuddered. She just laughed and told me more about what they had planned for me.

In the end though none of it happened. The following morning I was getting ready to do what E... had suggested I do when the phone rang in the house. E... was already at her first day at school so I answered it. It was E... herself. One of her teachers had been rushed to hospital with appendicitis.  Was I willing to come over and mind her class until a substitute could be found?

I spent the rest of my stay in Calgary in school. It was interesting because things were done differently there. It meant I never saw any of the tourist sites. I didn't manage to look up or down the promised mountains - and I think I could have coped with that. It also meant E...'s friend could not, as she had kindly planned without consulting us, take me up the Calgary Tower.  It was a close thing. I really don't care for looking down from high places.


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