‘Is there anything else to go on?’
I looked at Chloe. ‘Chloe sweetie, we’re in Wales, not Alton Towers.’
She nodded, but I could still feel her disappointment.
And so it goes – the personality-revealing traits of a theme park. It’s been an eye-opener for us this summer. Oakwood has defined our summer. Delph and I have been five times and counting, Lu’s a bit below on three visits. Our fridge has filled up with Megaphobia magnets. If anything, it’s been a chronicle of weather conditions – from the jumpers of early spring to mid-summer t-shirts to yesterday’s autumnal drizzle.
We’ve taken enough people to Wales’ largest theme park – way hay! – to start appreciating what a rollercoaster does to a person. Two weeks ago, Delph’s friend Yazmin passed out on Speed – the scariest of Oakwood’s relatively modest offerings. I looked across when we were upside down and thought, is Yaz sleeping? Her eyes were closed in an unresponsive way. And Yaz is a sweet, lovely tough nut. By contrast, Delph’s other friend Aaliyah, aka Polly Pocket, who is both sassy and stubborn, won’t even go on Speed. ‘I’ll go on my eighteenth birthday,’ she maintains. I’m not judging her either – it took me until my 44th year to go on the UK’s first inverted drop rollercoaster. 97 degrees. I just looked it up.
People reveal themselves on rollercoasters. Yesterday, Chloe showed a side we hadn’t seen before. The side who goes on a proper rollercoaster for the first time in her young life and doesn’t even close her eyes at the inverted drop. Nope – not a winkle.
‘I want to go on it again,’ she said excitedly.
‘You do?’ I asked, trying not to be disappointed. It had taken me an hour to mentally prepare for this one ride.
‘Yep.’ The chest brace popped up, she got off the ride and instantly started chewing on a nail, while squinting into the distance.
I wanted to get my fist out and chew on it. We got out and followed her instead.