It was a terrifying day out - why is called a fun park?

BANK Holiday Monday and my daughter phoned.

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"Hi mum, how do you fancy a day at Strathclyde Park? The kids want to go on the rides" she said.

"That sounds good." I answered.

So off we went, with six-year-olds Eilidh and Taylor in tow.

I had imagined sauntering behind the kids, cup of tea in hand and a bit of time to relax.

However, it didn't turn out quite as planned.

For the first 15 minutes the excited kids ran about looking at the various rides until they came to the Ladybirds.

I waved each time they came round, but the ride was fairly mellow and the kids were looking for a bit more excitement.

They then ran towards the terrifying-looking Bungee which thankfully was not operating.

However, determined to use their tokens, they headed towards the Tornado. Now it wasn't called the Tornado for nothing.

The notice said this roller coaster would twist, turn and hurtle me around at speeds of more than 80kph.

"Bloody hell," I thought. "That sounds like programme number 12 on my washing machine."

"No chance," I shook my head in protest.

Taylor asked: "Is that because you are really really old?"

"She's not that old," replied my darling Eilidh.

But Taylor's reply was quick: "Yes she is because you said she was born in 19..(CENSORED) and that's when dinosaurs were alive".

Biting back my first response, I said: "It's nothing to do with my age. It's because you're too small for this ride."

Unperturbed, Taylor then ran towards the Big Wheel and with his back against the measuring board he discovered that he was too small to go on this ride - unless accompanied by a paying adult.

"I don't do heights," I protested.

But my daughter had already paid my fare.

So there I was, cold and frozen with fear sitting on this 35-metre high contraption, and not until the four of us are at the top do the kids discover that if they turn the wheel in the middle of our pod that the blinking thing spins round. Argh! Definitely not my ideal way to spend a day off.

"I really need a cup of tea," I insisted as my unsteady feet finally touched the ground.

"Soon, mum, the kids just have a few more rides to go," promised my daughter.

And when I staggered from the Dodgems with twinges of whiplash I wondered why this was called a fun park.

"Please, please go on the Runaway Mine Train," my two little darlings pleaded. And as pre-school children were excitedly strapped in and ready to go, I had no real excuse not to.

Well, I screamed from the first dip to the last twirl and when the cart finally slammed to a halt and I slowly climbed off, an elderly man who had been watching us shouted: "They could have heard you screaming at Hampden Park hen."

Finally, and I think they kept the best to last, was the White Water flume ride.

Now this wasn't a day to get wet and I was already freezing.

Naively I asked the girl as she strap-ped me in: "Am I likely to get wet?"

"Not much," she lied.

So there I was, soaked to the skin down one side, chilled to the bone, a painful crick in my neck and a sore throat from screaming.

Later in the afternoon after I'd changed into nice warm clothes I met my friends for an hour.

"So how was the park"? Mae asked and I regaled some of the antics of my previous few hours.

"I'm just thawing out now. But my legs were like jelly when I came off the Flying Carpet."

"The Flying Carpet," queried Mae. "Imagine having a flying carpet".

We all stare at Mae and wonder what was going on in her head.

"Mae, there's no such thing as a real flying carpet," Christine said.

"Oh I know that," Mae scowled at us as though we were being ridiculous.

"I know they only existed in the olden days".

"Whit?" exclaimed Christine.

"The olden days."

Eventually I broke the stunned silence and continued.

"The worst ride was the Runaway Mine Train. It was a smaller version of a roller coaster but more than enough for me, I can tell you," I said.

"A roller coaster," Mae interrupted again. "That reminds me of the day I drove across the Forth Road Bridge."

"What's that got to do with a roller coaster?" I foolishly asked.

Mae replied: "Well, my friend and I looked across the water to the Forth Rail Bridge and he said, 'Do you fancy going on that someday then?' and I said 'No chance, it doesn't look safe'. 'Of course it is,' he said, 'thousands of people use it every year'."

But, apparently as Mae looked across the water at the three enormous peaks, she said: "Well, I just thought with all that going up and down, something must go wrong."

What could I say...

Families

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