Despite the shitty weather, the Cawthorne Maize Maze has actually managed to open. With the weather similar to that of the first time we went, back in 2007, we’re expecting to visit and find that there’s not a lot of corn and that we can see over the walls of the maze – not that that makes it any easier to negotiate as we’ve never managed to clock in a time under two hours for solving the maze and finding all the clues. But that’s all part of the fun. And as that small child learnt last year, if your rush around the maze there’s a chance that an adult will inadvertently elbow you – quite hard – in the head. A practically textbook example of the phrase “More Haste, Less Speed” with the added experience of walking around the maze expecting to find a child slumped over in some corn with severe concussion, judging by the pains in my elbow. I mean, erm, that adult’s elbow.
But it seems, thinking back, that I’ve never had the greatest of experiences in mazes. Aside from learning, from my Dad, to always follow one wall (and stick with it) and you’ll eventually solve it – something we do not apply in the Cawthorne maze – mazes have been bad news for me.
None more so than at, I think, Flamingo Land when I was a lot younger.
The trip to Flamingo Land was one fraught with danger from the get go. Not only did I come a cropper in a maze, but Richard Jarrett – a boy who, when visiting my house one birthday, rode my bike down a hill and flew – actually flew – over the handlebars and landed in someone elses garden, covering a distance of at least eight feet – flew off one of the helter-skelter, wavy slide rides and knocked himself out. For me, though, knocking out would have been a blessing.
Instead, I entered some sort of crawlspace-style maze. This was before I’d been on the school trip during which a scramble net tried to kill me by entangling itself with the hood of my kagool, so I wasn’t as fearful of crawling around. But there I was, crawling through this maze when I found myself in the unenviable position where you’re lost in a maze but you really, really need a poo.
It’s not something I’m proud of. I’d like to think that the added pressure increased my maze-solving skills, requiring me to fine tune my deductive reasoning and direction skills like never before. Turning me into a homing missile of a boy, racing through the twists and turns of a wooden structure, desperate to find the way out. Not just for freedom but so I could rush to the loo.
I’d like to think all of that.
I really would.
All I know is this.
I didn’t make it out of the maze in time.