Saturday, 1 December 2012

At The Top Of The Helter Skelter

guy helterskelter

As a child, I adored helter-skelter rides at the sea-side.

So I was really pleased to see Guy Martin restoring one at Llandudno on his programme the other week.

There was something thrilling about climbing up all those steps inside the dim wooden tower, carrying a tatty bit of coconut matting – and then getting right to the top and looking out from such a height – seeing the prom, and the beach and the pier.

edinburghxmas helter skelter

And after a moment’s pause, I would sit on the mat, and slide down the spiral channel, screaming with glee, all the way down to the bottom where the family were waiting to pick me up and hug me. I loved the accelerating speed, the colours whizzing past my eyes. I thought it was the best bit of the funfair – but over far too fast!

Some cities have Christmas Fairs, and install these Victorian marvels, brightly lit, and children and adults [well wrapped against winter chills] can still enjoy the fun.

Today feels just like that – in a moment I will climb up into the loft to fetch all the Christmas stuff down – and then start decorating the house, sorting out the Get In The Picture Costumes, wrapping the last few gifts, beginning to write the Christmas cards.

And as the days of December go on, the pace will accelerate, the lights will seem brighter, the colours more intense…and I hope to enjoy every moment. But this afternoon feels like the last part of the hard slog to the top, taking a breath before I climb on my little mat and whizz down to Christmas Day and precious time to relax with my family.

I hope your Christmas season is a joyful one – don’t forget to take a breath now and again though. The Advent Pauses arranged by Floss will be starting this weekend. There are around a dozen of us taking part [including some new contributors] – check them out!

  • I must find a h-s somewhere, it’s ages since I rode one
  • Why were the mats so very scratchy ?
  • My Mum always said “keep your elbows in, Ang!” so I did – even though I desperately wanted to wave my arms about


  1. I've been a reader for a long time but have never commented before, just wanted to say what a lovely post you have written today, I always look to your blog each day for words of wisdom and fun !
    Have a wonderful christmas Angela and I look forward to reading all about it !
    I don't have a blog myself so will be anonymous !
    Best wishes Pennyx

  2. Great fun yes, but I'm always a bit scared of anything fast (and burnt a friction burn in the back of my swimming costume when on a water slide recently!) Looking forward to my first Advent pause tomorrow!

    1. Perhaps you should have been sitting on a little coconut mat!!

  3. That looks like so much fun. I've never seen a helter-skelter before - here in the US we had very tall bumpy slides instead.

    What a beautifully-written post.


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