Although it was 9 years ago, I have still not forgotten the day I decided to climb the stairs in our cathedral to the public lookout just below the spire. I was in town on my own, not really intending to go there, but had been thinking about it for some time. I even had high heels on, not the safe comfortable Sketchers that I seem to be permanently wearing today.
The public viewing platform was open and so I entered and began to climb the stairs. After all I was a London kid, and had been to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral so nothing could be worst. However, St. Pauls was something a little bigger than St. Urs, our local cathedral. Now and again I had to step sideways to fit my feet on the stairs. I realised I was nearly at the top when I passed by the belfry.
Even then I had my Panasonc camera with me and was taking photos, although with a shaking hand. It would be another 6 years until they discovered that I actually had MS, although I did not know myself. And so I could hear voices and I had reached the office at the top where the guy was waiting. I made quite a spectacular entry as my MS symptoms had probably decided to send out a signal and I actually stumbled into the room, causing the various pamphlets and postcards to fly from the table. I had probably reached my limit, but I was there. The guy at the table helped me to collect the scattered contents of the office and then I saw the cash till. That was really sly. You have to pay for the privilege of arriving, but only after you arrive and not before you start the journey.
And now I could enter the outside on the viewing platform and take a few photos. Some brave people stand at the edge I did not. I was now a little shaky, but determined to take some souvenirs back with me. As this was a spur of the moment decision, before the day of having a mobile phone, nobody knew I was there. It was just I, me and myself. I remember standing supporting my back on the wall of the tower, not daring to step towards the edge.
I arrived home in one piece to tell Mr. Swiss all about it. I think his remark was “did you take any photos”. I did not tell him of my ordeal of course.
Today I have to think twice before climbing any stairs and choose the lift any time. Thank goodness my apartment is on ground level.