Monday, 8 August 2016

A nice day out

It was a lovely sunny day and we went for a drive to a small town some miles away for a nice day out. It will be great, I was told. They have a fun fair there, with a small gauge miniature train, and there'll be ice creams, and candy floss, and a garden center where you can buy plants and flowers and ... and ... and ...

Now I don't know about you ... why should I ... I hardly know you. Anyway, as I was saying ... I don't know about you, but my idea of a nice day out is staying in the back garden with a crate of cool cans or bottles of Guinness.
 But I was out-numbered. I was told I was a spoil-sport, an old fuddy-duddy who does not know how to enjoy himself, and anyway, there's bound to be a pub there which serves Guinness.

And indeed there was such a pub, but there also was a lot of walking. As soon as we parked the car everyone wanted to go there, and then there, and over there, not missing out also over there. What is the point of going for a nice day out if we're going to walk miles and miles seeing all sorts of boring things which we could have seen in a book at home in the comfort of one's garden with a bottle or two of Guinness?

We saw an arts exhibition, we saw a craft fare where people did all sorts of "interesting" things like glass engraving, metal jewellery, wooden sculptures and tapestries. Then it was decided, not by me, to have a nice walk by the canal to see the boats.
To be honest, they all looked the same. Granted, they were painted differently but all the long boats looked the same to me. But we walked ... and walked ... and walked by that never ending canal full of boats. Did you know that back in the day canals were built in Britain linking towns to each other and they were used to transport goods like coal, and wheat, and cotton or wool. Now they are used as an instrument of torture for people like me to walk aimlessly for miles admiring boats sailing up and down for no purpose whatsoever.

Then there was a sign post saying: "Ancient forge only 5 minutes walk. Just by entrance of the caves"

Why is it that people who advertise their wares or their trades are such a bunch of liars? After walking at least a million miles, and having worn out at least three pairs of shoes, we arrived at this long awaited forge of disappointment. All it was is a small warehouse where a man made things out of metal. Things like metal gates ... can you imagine me buying a metal gate from him and carry it all the way back to the car? Things like metal ornaments for the garden, or statuettes for the home, or anything else you could think of made of metal except a bottle of cold Guinness.

Anyway, having finished with the forge, (does that word derive from forgery, I wonder), they wanted to visit the cave. And NO ... I could not sit there and wait for them. I had to go too.
Well, for a start it was rather dark in that cave; and I do not like darkness. So much so that I was once fired from a job at a photographers' because I wanted the lights on in the dark room. I also don't like the darkness of the old style confessionals made of wood. And I don't mean the darkness of sin, (because I don't sin much, really - not like the other people in church), I mean the real darkness of the confessional booth you have to enter and confess to the priest. It's all right for him, I suppose. No doubt he has a bright light on and perhaps a TV watching the Sports Channel. But I'm in total darkness in my side of the confessional. Anyway; suffice it to say, I don't like the dark.

The cave was also damp and slippery. And I also don't like dampness. So much so that I now sit in the bath and vacuum clean myself.

We were guided by this tour guide fellow explaining all about this cave. He had a dull monotonous slow talking voice. My heart was all a flutter with boredom. He gave us brochures describing all there is to know about this particular cave. I couldn’t help but wonder why not give us the brochures and we could read all about it instead of entering this dark and damp adventure to nowhere.The guide started talking as soon as I lost interest in what he was saying. All I could think of is being in the comfort of back home.

Not so for the other visitors to the cave. They just had to ask inane questions to make themselves sound interesting and knowledgeable.

"What stone is the cave made of?" asked one.

"Who cares?" I thought.

"It is made of granite," said the guide, "this is all granite!"

"How long have these stones been here?" asked another visiting idiot prolonging this never-ending tour.

"He's probably brought these stones here last week," I whispered and was rewarded with a sharp elbow in my ribs.

The guide explained that the granite stones had been here for two million years. So I asked him whether he adds extra days and weeks if he is asked the same question tomorrow, the day after, or in a week's or a month's time. Surely their age increases every day. It's not always two million years. One or two visitors giggled at my comment.

I now had to appear serious and I asked a serious question. I asked him why are all the stones different sizes.

Aha ... I got him. He had no answer to that. He said stones are always different shapes and sizes. Not a clever response, do you think? He continued sheepishly, and boringly touring us round this cave for at least another half-hour.

Eventually we were out ... fresh air ... and a long million miles walk back to the car and a long drive home.

Good fun was had by everyone ... except me!

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