Friday, October 30, 2009

A biiiiiig "W"


On Friday afternoons, Hayley and I sometimes try to spend time with the kids one-to-one. I think this is valuable to both children, but perhaps especially to Oliver, as it allows him to have some time where he is not hindered in any way by his younger, often adoring, but also less restrained sibling.

So this afternoon I took Oliver to ride on the Manchester wheel.

But before I tell you about that, let me mention that to get there we took a train, which Oliver was looking forward to almost as much as (or perhaps even more than) the wheel, which admittedly he hadn't seen.


In fact, though he enjoyed the ride on the little Sprinter train, he complained that it wasn't really going fast. No longer is simply a train ride an entertainment it seems. My little boy is growing up into a big boy!

Arriving at Piccadilly Station, Oliver declared he was hungry and asked for a sandwich. A tuna mayo baguette with cucumber and lettuce was his selection, to be precise. We had half each and to my surprise he ate every last crumb of his half, despite already having had lunch not long before. A growing boy indeed.


My plan to then catch a tram was thwarted by the fact that no trams are running through Piccadilly at the moment due to maintenance works. So we walked across town, Oliver being periodically carried on my shoulders through what must have seemed like big crowds compared to what he's used to.

And so we finally arrived at our destination: the wheel! I've seen it many times and often thought of it as just a big ferris wheel. In fact it is two-thirds the height of the London Eye. But unlike the Capitol's wheel (which Hayley and I rode on back in 2003) it has much smaller capsules, meaning you can't hide in the middle trying to keep your distance from the drop. And it also takes you up much more quickly, rotating three or four times before your ride is over.

Did I mention yet that I am not great with heights?

I sat rather stiffly on the seat, trying to look out at the horizon and not down at the pavement below, while not conveying the slightest hint of my tension to Oliver.

Oliver on the other hand was totally un-phased by this sudden adjustment in altitude.


He even stood leaning against the doors which were curved so you could see vertically down to the street below.


It has to be said the views were great. And I did enjoy the ride, though at about 13 minutes I was probably just about coping with the height by the time we had to get out. (Who am I kidding! My sigh of relief probably caused gales in the Atlantic this evening.)

And just for the record I took a little video of part of our ride.


Anonymous said...

Like you, I am terrified of heights. I have taken my two on the London Eye a few times, The boy leans on the glass quite happily, the girl doesn't believe the glass is there and won't go anywhere near! I think she takes after me!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Now that looks like a cool father son trip!

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