True confessions: I am an acrophobic. That is to say, I have an extremely well entrenched fear of heights. Ever since my much younger days, whenever other people went on Luna Park rides that took them somewhere beyond ground level, I waited on the ground. More recently, when grandchildren have tried to urge me to go with them on the Ferris Wheel, I have wished I could say “yes’, but could only say “no”. So embarrassing: littlies able to do what I, as a grown-up, couldn’t.
I have sometimes said, jokingly, that maybe I’ll face that fear when I turn 90, by perhaps then having a go at sky diving. But 90 is still a long way off. And that has sounded very much like a pipe dream anyway, when I imagine myself trying to fight hysteria while falling down through the sky. It was exactly that sort of imagining that had me white knuckled and muttering “never again” on my last ride on a chair lift, many decades ago.
So I don’t quite know what got into me earlier this year, when I read about a Luna Park restaurant teaming with the Ferris Wheel folk to offer warm weather dinners on the Ferris Wheel. And the idea popped into my head that maybe, just maybe, if I was facing my husband and focused on food, and with a soothing glass of wine in my hand……just maybe, I could do that. And maybe not in some nebulous future, but as a 75th birthday present to myself, a birthday that was coming up before the offer ended for the season.
With husband on board, it all sounded just possible enough for me to make a booking. Which I did. And then, as the time for that dinner approached, bizarrely, I was curious enough about what it might be like to hope for good weather, as the ride part would be cancelled in inclement conditions. With the way Sydney weather had gone feral, the latter was a definite possibility. And the long range forecasts weren’t very reassuring. Meanwhile, the venture was the subject of much debate and differences of opinion, between older family and friends who thought I was mad, and wouldn’t do it themselves, and the children and grandchildren, who all thought it was a terrific idea (and with grandson Max being highly approving that I was “facing my fears”).
And finally, when the day arrived, it broke fair, and stayed that way. We arrived at the restaurant in the early evening, and enjoyed a pre-ride champagne while waiting for our number to come up, at which time we were escorted to our carriage for two, nicely set up for a dinner that we would be getting in stages as we went round.
And then the miracle happened. Wondrously, amazingly, I found that I was not in the least bit frightened for a minute, low or high. The views were spectacular, from the harbour in daylight to a stunning sunset, followed by the night lights. And I just enjoyed it all, and so did Ian, especially since the food turned out to be perfectly palatable too.
It was, altogether, a great experience that had me completely bemused about what on earth had I been frightened of.
And this photo is proof of a very good time which was coupled with a total re-evaluation of my ?ex-phobia. I am 99.9% sure that facing down those fears had nothing to do with the wine. But for that remaining 0.01%, I’m thinking maybe the Harbour Bridge walk next?