Wirral Meet Again

I’d booked a day off work today – something I very rarely do because I don’t feel the same need to distance myself from my desk as I used to – and we used it to do things. Well, thing. It was supposed to be things but we decided not to do one of them earlier in the week because the weather was supposed to be crap.

So, obviously, sunny as anything today and it would have been totally fine. But, alas, 2018 goes down as a year in which we have missed the Maize Maze at Cawthorne because we’re incredibly bad doing things, apparently. We have had ample opportunity, in hindsight, but it is what it is. Which is a phrase people use to mean “it’s shit” but in a polite way.

But the other thing did happen. We pootled over to the Wirral to play the escape room over there. It’s been a room I’ve wanted to do for a while, ever since meeting the lovely couple behind it – Amy and Ian – when they came to play our Murder Mystery room earlier in the year. And finally we did it. Huzzah.

It’s weird playing a room when you know – even if it’s only from one meeting and copious amounts of internet banter – the person running it. It adds another layer of pressure to the proceedings because you’re very conscious that you don’t want to look like a doofus.

We smashed it. We were amazing. Puzzles were falling left right and centre. We solved things all over the place. We pretty much sailed through with no hints – definitely none around puzzle-solving. A need to double-check a code in a lock, and to second search something sure, but puzzles we were shit-hot on.

Apart from one. Apparently, no-one has ever tried to do it in the way we tried to do it.

That’s not a compliment.

That’s more-or-less an intervention. That’s the escape room way of taking someone on one side, supportively placing an arm around their shoulder and saying, “Are you alright, mate?” We burned so much time on one puzzle because we over-complicated to dizzying levels of trickiness. I mean, we also didn’t do one thing which would have made it so much easier, but I have an excuse for that. I was doing it in my head. And it only went to pot when I tried to talk to Carole, or write anything down or, you know, breathe in and out. But otherwise it was in my head and all ship-shape and Bristol fashion.

Apart from that we were absolutely bloody brilliant. As was the room. The room was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If it hadn’t been for that one puzzle I think it would have been one of the first rooms when we truly “got” everything – but that might be experience, because I think it was a similar situation in Svengali’s Lair in Edinburgh. We complimented each other’s thought processes so well as we went along, because we think in slightly different ways when it comes to puzzles and the interpretation of things. But those different ways gel together to make a cohesive unit.

We’re still terrible at searching for stuff. That’ll never improve. But we understand that weakness and just accept it.

And the issues with that puzzle that we wasted time on lie solely with me. Which, if you’d been in the car with us on the way home, would surprise you.

Because at one point Carole just went, “Aren’t cars amazing?”

Out of nowhere.