Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Late

I often complain that in the days before mobile phones people were more careful to meet their appointments. If you said that you'd be somewhere at a certain time you had to be there, otherwise you'd be keeping somebody waiting or miss them. What I forget is all the times that I got delayed or detained.

"Where have you been? I've been waiting here for three quarters of an hour."
"I'm really sorry, we got lost in a maze"

In the early 90's I was living in Crystal Palace with my sister and we walked down to Penge to meet our friend for a drink. We walked through Crystal Palace Park, which, as well as the ruins of the crystal palace, a football club, formal gardens and dinosaur sculptures contains a hedge maze.

We were a few minutes early so we walked a little way into the maze, not really expecting to find the middle, not expecting to get lost. Which we promptly did, resolutely. It was quite a surprise when we retraced our steps and found a dead end rather than the entrance. The hedges were so carefully planted that you couldn't force your way through them – I tried earnestly. All the junctions look so similar that you can confidently say "we've already been here" even when you haven't. It was dark, cold, and there was nobody else in the park. The only thing that gave us hope, as we wandered deeper and deeper, more and more hysterically and started seriously considering how we should sleep and wait for daylight – was that (to the best of our knowledge) there wasn't a minotaur trying to kill us.

Richard "Caught in a trap" B

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