Mother Shipton’s Cave provided, at the end of the meander through the woods and at the opposite end of a path to the terrible cave with the naturally occuring concrete floor, a gift shop and museum.
The museum, as I may have mentioned, was beyond rubbish. It contained a variety of coin operated fortune tellers – including a Zoltar machine, as though no-one has seen the cautionary tale of Big – and a lot of petrified socks.
The gift shop contained all the usual tat you would expect. Pencils bearing the words “Mother Shipton’s Cave”, bookmarks, nick-nacks, raunchy fairy statues, more nick-nacks, crappy little toys in boxes for the kids, forty quid petrified teddies and, of course, fridge magnets.
We bought a fridge magnet because why the hell not. Well, I’ll tell you why not. Because they’re £2.50 which is a price that no self respecting fridge magnet should be. But yet we still bought one. Hell, we’d spent the better part of twenty quid getting in, why not round it up with some tat.
The problem with the fridge magnet is it won’t stay put.
No, wait, that’s not strictly true. The sticky magnet is fine. That stays on the fridge, pretty much living up to the job description. The problem comes with the Mother Shipton element, which is basically a small section of a wall tile with Mother Shipton’s twisted face drawn upon it in blue enamel or something. In a nutshell, the sticky magnet and the wall tile do not adhere. Which, in all honesty, is not that surprising. Otherwise people would just tile walls with sticky pads and all the messy tile adhesive nonsense would be out of the window.
So what happens is, we periodically hear a plink as Mother Shipton falls to the ground. The first time it happened, I didn’t know we’d even put the magnet up, so had no idea what it was. But now I’m quite used to it. I like to think that she falls off as some sort of portent to something which may be about to occur. Which, when you consider my mum is still in hospital, is probably not the best thing to do. You hear a plink, you’re waiting for the phone to ring.
I think I might get in touch with the Cave people. I might ask them if they can hang the magnet under the petrifying well for a while and hope that the limestone seepage in some way seals the magnet to the tile. And hell, if it works then much like their cheap bear turned to rock extortion, they could probably multiply the price of the fridge magnets like twenty times.
If this is a good idea, I’m sure there will shortly be a sign from the kitchen…
Wait for it…