Saturday, 5 March 2011

Through a local lens No. 8


In Through a local lens No. 7 a few days ago I posted photos of the disused railway bridge just outside the village.

Several readers complained of dizzy spells.

I hope those affected will draw comfort from the photo above and find it a suitable antidote to vertigo. This is a hole in the ground not far from the village school canteen. It leads down into an extensive network of caves and underground chambers, I'm told. I've never been down there, and I can't say that I'm much drawn to.

We have a friend M., an ample German lady who is a dedicated and single-minded speleologist with a flair for invention. Using the principle of surveyors' infra-red lasers and fibre optics, she has developed an instrument for plotting the shape and size of caves in three dimensions. The data collected can be displayed on computer screens, not just for the sake of mapping but to aid exploration and even rescue, should anyone fall down this or any other local hole. As you can see, this one is completely unprotected, but it's narrow and triangular. On both counts it's unlikely that M. would feel there was much danger of her falling in irretrievably.

I expect the myriad of claustrophobiacs who come here every day will now begin to feel uncomfortable. I'm sorry. Next time I shall post a photo I took the other day of a mimosa tree in flower outside the village doctor's surgery, for the greater convenience and comfort of hay fever sufferers among my readers. You can't please everyone all the time.

14 comments:

Dave said...

Looking down a hole can simultaneously bring on both my vertigo and claustrophobia.

Christopher said...

I'm so sorry, Dave. I was rather hoping this post might afford you a pleasant weekend, free from bathyphobia and agoraphobia too.

Dave said...

I much prefer a bath to a shower, actually, and I have no concerns about jumpers made of rabbit-wool. So that's all OK.

Tenon_Saw said...

I sit a manmade hole? The stone at the top looks to be neatly cut.

Rog said...

I get the occasional nightmare about being trapped in a very tight pothole. Now I can add being confronted in my trapped position by a large German Frau mit laser weapons.

Christopher said...

Dave: Hare shirt made of rabbit wool? I do feel at our age we've earned the right to soften our harsh self-discipline, don't you?

TS: Entirely water-carved. The whole area, a terrible geological muddle but basically calcareous, is riddled with potholes and subterranean passages, like a Roquefort cheese is with veins and cavities. I did appreciate the juxtaposition of your comment and your saw. Thank you.

Rog: Should you abandon over-tight pyjamas in favour of bullet-proof waistcoats?

Sarah said...

I got stuck in that tunnel under St Andrews church (Scotland). Just froze. Can't understand the joy of potholing (is that how you spell it? it looks weird)

Christopher said...

Sah: *glances across from cricket* But how did this happen? Where is it, exactly (there must be at least 450 000 St Andrew's churches in Scotland)? Are you still there? Do you need the large German lady? Are they hanging washing to dry on your legs, like Winnie the P? Please tell all.
*goes back to cricket*

english inukshuk said...

when's the mimosa photo due?

Dave said...

The cricket finished while I was preaching. It's on BBC2 tonight though.

Rosie said...

I think that is possibly worse than the bridge. However, I recommend you go to Youtube and type in "Camino del Rey"

Geoff said...

The idea of looking down from a great height makes my legs go funny. The idea of going down a hole makes my whole body go funny.

Z said...

I too prefer heights to depths. I was quite all right in a salt mine in Poland, though.

letouttoplay said...

Generally I quite like caves but I once took my son to a laser-quest party. He wasn't allowed in without a responsible adult so I had to go and play too. It was quite scary being surrounded by teenagers with lasers in a darkened warehouse and I was 'killed' almost immediately so we left fairly swiftly.
But I don't suppose your friend actually chases people with her lasers?