Vinter Vonderland

December 24, 2009

When I was a child I was in The Curse of the Werewolf. No, not the Oliver Reed/Hammer horror one. It was a musical we did at school and I played the chief of police, Otto someone. A madman with an uncontrollable false arm; his real one ripped off by a werewolf, the new false one unable to stop sieg heiling. It was Dr. Strangelove in a Salford comprehensive. I had to do a German accent, and it was as good as the one you can do when you read out this post title. I also sang a song (again with a German accent- tricky that one) called Don’t be a Silly Sceptic. Why didn’t I realise the young Germanpast-me was trying to give the old future current-me some life lesson I have since chosen to ignore?

These memories flooded back as I entered Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park with my cousin Jessica and her son. There they go, up above, heading off.

I had these memories because, like my Inspector Otto, Winter Wonderland seems a little Germanic, but without going the whole hog. I think it’s maybe some kind of fair transported over from somewhere in Germany but I can’t be bothered checking (it’s Christmas Eve and there are presents to wrap). All the signs are in German. Well most. Occasionally you will see as small Exit sign hung over a larger Ausfahrt one.

Spuk was a bit of a giveaway. From a distance Jessica misread it. It gave us something to laugh about as a trapped pigeon battled against a plastic window as we ate chicken sausages in a knocked up Bavarian hut. I’d never had a chicken sausage before. It was, like most things in life, ok.

We didn’t go on Spuk. Don’t worry about the man hanging. It was a Ghost Train. Though trains and death and German theme parks could easily unsettle the most ignorant of Christmas tourists.

Here’s Wellenflug. No idea. No time to look it up. Attention! is maybe not the kindest or most sensitive way to get your… well… attention. It’s something about that exclamation mark that once again takes me back a few decades. But I was charmed by the grammar, making me once again feel at home with my most naturalistic of German performances way back in the late 70’s. Don’t be a silly sceptic you’ll never get on/ Don’t be a disbeliever it’s not any fun.

When my friends Claire and Jimmy heard I was going to Winter Wonderland they told me to read AA Gill’s review. I haven’t. I know he won’t like it. And I’m scared he’ll be really funny about it and make me feel unworthy and useless, even though no one really reads this and no one pays me anything for anything.

No! I won’t read AA Gill. He shot a monkey! (Yes, yes, I know, but monkey’s a nicer and funnier word than ape)*. So, he shoots a monkey for the hell of it and I’m going to be all self righteous and declare that I have never shot a monkey and how dare he! I bet he wandered around Winter Wonderland shooting  Germans.

Here’s the deal: it’s a little bit rubbish. It’s very expensive. Cheapest ride for the young ones, the most basic of rides, £2. Dearest ride £68.43. Maybe.

But the staff were nice. And at Christmas, with the kids, that’s a good thing.

Happy Christmas one and all. x

* Doh! It was a monkey all along. See comments below and thanks to Jonathan for helping out.

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6 Responses to “Vinter Vonderland”

  1. Samantha said

    I hate AA Gill’s writing so say what you like! Happy Christmas! x

  2. Samantha said

    I had a very nice Cheese pretxel and a mulled wine at Winter Wonderland and had a very lovely time there (especially because I could take my dog) I didn’t go on any rides so it was very cheap!

  3. Samantha said

    Sorry Vinter Vonderland!

  4. Andrew said

    Has the Vinter Vonderland Polar Bear just had a jimmy?

  5. Jonathan said

    A. A. Gill shot a baboon – that *is* a monkey, not an ape!

  6. Simon Hickson said

    Hurray! Not hurray that he shot a monkey. That is, I think, a bad thing. Hurray that I got it right, but thought I had got it wrong. I was so obsessed with their big colourful arses I failed to notice the tail. Now I have looked at photos and I see them in their monkey glory. Thanks Jonathan. I won’t correct my error as I bleieve their is a trend for blog posts not to be revisited. I will revisit, however, just to point people in the direction of the comments below.

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