By: Blonde Two
There is a stair climbing machine at the gym; I don’t usually go on it because we have lots of stairs at home. I tried once and it took so much effort to ‘walk up the stairs’ that I am sure it would have taken me an hour to get to the bedroom at home. I expect I was doing it wrong, there weren’t any instructions; I persevered (probably looking very silly) and eventually it gave a horrid clunking sound and stopped working altogether. I don’t use it anymore.
If I lived at the top of Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall however, I wouldn’t need to break silly stair machines because (although the name steps refers to the rock stacks on the beach) the steps down to it are long, steep and amongst the most vertiginous that I have ever encountered.
I went first down the steps for a variety of reasons, the main one being that I knew that if I hesitated for too long, my unlove of heights would get the better of me. I am so glad that I did because the experience of stepping onto to virgin sand (the tide was just going out) on such a fabulous beach was amazing. The last time I found myself on a beach that compared was at Cathedral Cove in New Zealand; no cathedral arches here, but the rock stacks towered above us, laid out like a three dimensional geography lesson.
I once had a rather Blonde moment in an interview; when asked if I could teach geography (not my subject), my response was, “Yes I really like rocks.” I didn’t get offered the position, but it is true, I do really like rocks. If I ever went back to studying, I would like to study geology or languages; maybe both, then I could talk to rocks all over the world.
Luckily I was with a geographer who could tell me rock-things (Blonde note – geographers are good to take with you on expeditions, they bring an air of intelligence to the party.) He also instigated the creation of a giant sun dial and a discussion as to how it was working. Of course, we should really have been back in the classroom looking at pictures of all of this, maybe taking a couple of assessment tests, writing our grades down and then looking out of the window until home time!
I could get deep here and say that the route to learning is as steep as the steps at Bedruthan Steps; but it really isn’t. Take a few kids, get them to organise their own trip, food, transport, activities etc and then stand back and watch, the results speak for themselves.
You should go and visit Bedruthan Steps. Go on a windy but sunny morning in June, a couple of hours after the tide has started dropping and before everybody else gets there. Like so many other things in life, it is a steep climb but the rewards are plentiful.