Now I have to admit to extreme cowardice in the face of the enemy, or at least in the face of my beloved. We are in Northern Ireland, and a pleasant drive around stunning coastline, not far from the famous Giant’s Causeway, is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is a bridge originally built by salmon fishermen hundreds of years ago across to a small island so they could catch salmon swimming in the channel between the mainland and the island. Over the years this rickety old bridge has, for some unknown reason, become a tourist attraction, and, true to form, the National Trust has located the carpark a long, long walk from the bridge.
All keen and virtuous under gorgeous summer sunshine and soft breezes ready to ‘do’ the bridge, we set off up the hill, along the path, turned the corner and there it was below us, in all its sinister majesty. It really is made of ROPE, I kid you not, not steel wire or anything sturdy like that but real honest to goodness breakable sisal rope. It is a bridge just like the Rosella Patrol would have knocked together at a Boy Scout Jamboree. And, to make matters worse, it swings precariously hundreds of metres above jagged rocks. I went pale, my heart started racing and I could feel myself starting to look inside, in vain, for reserves of courage. My beloved, God bless her and every fibre of her beautiful body, said, “You don’t like heights that much ( she’s good at understatement ) so why don’t you stay on this side and take the pictures of me crossing.”
“No, of course I’ll come with you my love, “ is what I meant to say. What come out of my mouth instead was, “Okay.”