Friday, 31 August 2007

So the end has come, lets face the final curtain

Yep, that's it I've finished. 31st of August the season finishes and so do I. So how did I feel driving away from Cheddar.
Well...Sad actually. You see despite the way the place is run, the managers on the floor are great, they take a group of fast living, fast talking, fast drinking guides and direct them so the best comes out. And there best is good, you see the caves are an attraction as are the cliffs but it's the guiding staff that make it all.
Despite what the mystery shopper say the 1,600 customers we feed, water and entertain each day over the 3 months of summer are glad we are there. And I use the term 'we' because after working the summer, there really is no 'I' in team, thanks for that Rox!
We had our high points, we had a low points but we came out the other side a-okay. One of the high lights was when a bird of prey dropped a head-less pigeon right next to a guy who just brought an ice cream. I was off that day, but it would of been funny to watch. Another high light is when a member of staff tried to turn out company car into a water borne vehicle which meant the engine blow up. The down side, well this time there was no down-side, providing you don't count the abusive customers and the comments you have heard a thousand times.
Here's to you guys at Cheddar, have a drink on me and enjoy your winter!!

Monday, 27 August 2007

I'm sick :(

I went to the doctors this morning. Hears me thinking I had sun stroke, turns out it's viral flu. A bit like flu but without the head cold. According to the doctor, I was the fifth case he had seen this morning, the other people in the waiting room must of been at the same stage I was yesterday, with the crippling pain in the back, because they all looked rough. That, at least accounts for my low mood. Me being ill coupled with my mood in my last post has really knocked me.

There are people who take issues in their lives and let them stack up and they just carry on, they kind of bury their head in the sand, and don't seem to care about anything, or anybody. At the time it seems not to effect them, but somewhere deep down it most knock, twist and rub until they reach the point where they have had enough.

It's going to get better, at least for a few weeks I'll be in the real world and then back to uni to start the round of dead-lines and stress again. To re-use a quote from last year: Nobody puts themselves in the position where they have to write to dead-lines, not year in year out, the stress crushes you, like titter-tatter the stress crushes you.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Whats this feeling?

There is a guy at work who has been taking a group of new staff caving. I started it by taking them to Goatchurch, but he took over taking them to harder more technical caves.

Very quickly they progressed to Sumping: Now sumping is a bit like ducking, only far more scary for me. Ducking requires a caver to enter into a small water filled hole, normally with a breathing space. Sometimes you can get away with just putting your chin in the water, sometimes you have to put your mouth in the water and breath your nose. In the worse case you have to lie on your back with your nose in the roof. I once took on a duck in a cave called Water Wheel Swallet. The first duck I passed with just my chin in the water. The second duck required me to go lower, I took my helmet off but still I couldn't get my head through without putting my face fully in the water, it would of only lasted a second but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, in effect I froze. Now water is ten times more heat conductive than air, I am sitting in a water filled hole getting colder and colder with my partner shouting at me to come out, it took me two days to feel warm again!

Now the sump or to give it tis correct name sump1 in Swildons hole is a short under water section-a sump is a gap that is completely full of water, so you have to take a deep breath and go under the water and pull a guide rope to bring you up the other side- I looked at the sump closely but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I'm just too scared, when somebody runs out of air underwater, there bodies enter a trace like state you feel warm and safe. After a while your body takes a breath, this is an action you cant control, it just happens. You suck in water and either your throat closes up to protect your lungs or the water enters your lungs and destroys the small sacks which aids breathing either way you die. Ive got every right to be scared, but you do need to be underwater for a long time and sump1 only last a few seconds.

So this guy has taken these 6 people, they have never done any caving before until they came to work and within 4 weeks they are caving at a higher level than me. Because they can do the sump and I cant.

So what is this feeling: jealously! my inability to push myself beyond my own safety limits, me laughing at myself because I am such a complete and utter failure, a realisation and I cant control my fears and that maybe I ve picked the wrong sport or maybe I am not actually a caver and Ive been joking myself all along. On the plus note my data loggers are already in the cave and they will come out on Saturday then will see if my experiment will work or if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Funny how

It's funny how different people view different things in their lives. There is a film called 'Sliding doors' which follows a lady as she goes about her normal day. The film starts with her running down the stairs attempting to catch her train.
See if you follow this:
At first, just as she is about to catch her train, she trips over a small child and as a result she misses her train, which makes her late, she goes to get a taxi and ends up getting mugged, she then goes to hospital, what she doesn't know is her husband is sleeping with somebody else, at the time she was in hospital the husband was actually sleeping with this other women.
At the point she goes into hospital, the film starts again and this time she catches the train, which means to gets into work on time and as a result she gets home early to find her husband in bed with the other women, and of course she leaves. One half of the film follows this new women as she begins to rebuild her life after finding out her husband is cheating on her, the other half of film follows the old women as she continues her 'normal' life with her husband continuing to cheat. But it's the same women!
So what has this got to do with my post:
Well you see I finish at Cheddar on the 31st of August, and I can't wait, I really can't wait to get out of this place. A friend of mine said that it's good that I'm leaving Cheddar as I need to rebuild my life, and need to target what I want to do and get on with it. And that's what I'm doing, that's why I can't wait to leave, but there is a down side. On the 31st of August my good Spanish friend Beggo will be leaving us, going back to Spain to continue where she left off. But she does not really want to go, she doesn't want to leave, Monica doesn't want her to leave. I like having her here. So it's a tail of two halves, well I'm happy to be leaving, Beggo is un-happy to be leaving. Your dammed if you do and your dammed if you don't.