Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 69: Flying Trapeze
I’m up for a are challenge, wanna do something different. Two of my friends are in town for the weekend and to make it unforgettable we’ve booked ourselves in for an unusual activity. On Sunday at 1 in Kensington Gardens the three of us will join a flying trapeze class.
We’ve not done it before but the instructors are great: they talk us through each step, they make us feel safe. We do the exercises on the ground first then they tell us that it’s time to go up and fly.
The hardest part, strangely, is to go up the ladder: it’s unsteady and terrifying. As soon as you’re up on the platform, though, it’s all fine: someone else is taking charge. A friendly face stands next to you to make sure you do everything as you’re told. An instructor holds you whilst you grab the trapeze and reminds you to keep your arms absolutely straight.
This is it. From the ground, a second instructor shouts out all the steps. Now is not the time to to be scared anymore. You just turn your brain off for a second follow the instructions:
Bend your knees…ready…jump!“
I’m up in the air in Kensington Gardens, my trapeze swings towards Prince Albert. I keep following the instructions and before I know it, I’m off my perch. For a split second, I am literally flying… will the third instructor catch me?