Winter Gimpics

Winter GimpicsIn the summer we were so inspired by the Olympics, we decided to host our own. The Gimpic Games. Basically, the Olympics for idiots. The only rule of the Gimpics – there ARE no rules. Cheating, sabotage and blatant disregard for safety were not frowned upon. In fact, they were actively encouraged. In the Gimpics, there are no medals for coming second or third. Winning is the only thing that counts. The summer events included sand dune sledging, sand wrestling in inflatable sumo suits, archery with children’s archery set and Nerf shooting. This weekend, it snowed. And so began the Winter Gimpics.

And this time, it’s dangerous.

Castell Coch Winter GimpicsSledging was naturally going to be the first event. But the M4 was closed so the sand dunes would sadly not be featuring in the Winter Gimpics. Caerphilly Mountain was also closed. It seemed the Government had heard of our sporting endeavours and was trying to sabotage them. They can keep their health and safety rules. We have medals. As we saw swarms of families and teenagers heading up Rhiwbina Hill, where we were planning on competing, we decided we needed a new slope. Castell Coch provided us with the perfect one. There’s a steep incline up to the castle and due to the snow, they’d closed it. What was even better, was we were alone. So the contestants from Kingdom of the Blood Skulls (Lynx), the Pirate Islands (Cat), Jerkuania (Ryan), enthusiastic newcomer, United States of Lesbonia (Neen) and official Gimpic mascot, Meg, (Neen’s gorgeous Border Collie) traipsed to the top of the slope.  It was fun. There were spills, tumbles, collisions and snow. Then we discovered that the end of the slope was not only the fastest, it had a tight curve you had to negotiate. There were more crashes than banger racing and after running the contestant from Jerkuania off the track, the contestant from the Pirate Islands was crowned the winner, winning her first ever Gimpic medal. The contestant from Jerkuania called for drugs testing. The can of Red Bull found at the scene wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction.Neen from the United States of Lesbonia, face planting

Winter Gimpics

the contestant from the Pirate Islands takes out Jerkuania

The next day, the snow had hardened into slippery ice. So we returned to the slope, minus the contestant from Jerkuania who was feeling rather precious after ignoring Government advice to stay indoors and embarked on a night of heavy drinking. But the Gimpics obliterate the weak and feeble. There were medals at stake. The contestants from KBS, PI and USB abandoned the higher, safer part of the slope and raced on the lower, faster, more dangerous one with the curve. This time we were racing three abreast and were without the voice of caution that usually comes from Jerkuania. Dangerous doesn’t quite describe this high speed event. With three of us racing and the ice causing steering problems, there were collisions aplenty, with contestants ending up sledging off-road, into bushes, over rocks and having to avoid the mascot, who seemed to be working against KBS. The only way to brake was to put your hands on the floor. And there was only one way to stop – smash into the gate at the bottom.

Winter Gimpics

our track

Only the strong and the foolish compete in the Winter Gimpics.

Winter Gimpics

the contestant from the Kingdom of the Blood Skulls

In fact, the event was so jaw dropping, a group of spectators gathered behind the gates to watch us nearly kill ourselves. This kind of behaviour is usually only seen in teenage boys, not 3 29 year old women. The spectators must’ve thought we were extreme sports enthusiasts. Nope. We’re just gimps with sledges. After the exhilarating thrill of travelling at high speeds with no way to control or stop the sledge, there was only one way to crank up the danger.

Go down head first.

Winter Gimpics

this is how we stop

Seeing the gate hurtling towards our faces was terrifying. As was being unable to get out of other contestants way, leading to a few crash landings. There were injuries aplenty – Neen smacked her face on the gate in a new Facial Features Braking System test. Cat smacked her knuckles on a hidden rock, had friction burn on her arse from sliding along exposed tarmac, bruised her knees and developed a swelling on her elbow from the tarmac. A total of 10 bruises were later found on her. Lynx came out of the sledge more times than any other contestant and picked up a grand total of NO injuries. The other contestants are calling for drugs testing.

We now plan to go ice skating. Neen is a roller derby girl (Go Tiger Bay Brawlers!) and is bound to win. We haven’t been ice skating for over 15 years. We fully expect tumbles, broken bones and gashes from the skates. And that’s just from fighting over who goes first!

We asked Magic 8 Ball if we would finish the Winter Gimpics alive? Its response? “My sources say no.”

Winter Gimpians

Winter Gimpians

No photos please!

If we ever reported on a Calamityville Horror episode that didn’t go horribly wrong, the universe might curl up and die. We screw up so you can live. Friday night we conducted an emergency investigation at our sister’s house. When we left, the K2 started going crazy in their kitchen. It hasn’t responded there since. Ryan was supposed to join us but he fell asleep so was late arriving at our house. We went alone. And nothing went wrong. He’s clearly the catalyst for disaster.

On Saturday we headed out to film episode 8. We made shortbread dinosaurs, which if we’re honest, our excitement levels about the trip & the biscuits were equal. We’d been talking to someone from Powis Castle on Twitter and they were thrilled we were going, except that person wasn’t working on Saturday. Saturday was cold and we set off for the two and half hour trip. Remarkably, we didn’t get lost. Angels fell to their knees and wept in surprise. As soon as we spied the castle, our excitement levels went into overdrive. It towered above the peasants like a stone vision of beauty. We nearly cried at the £12 entry fee though. That included the castle, museum and gardens but we’ve never paid that much for a location. Choking back our tears, we headed inside.

Only to discover you weren’t allowed to photograph anything. Or film anything. Or touch anything. Or wear high heels. Or have your phone switched on. Or wear bags. Dust causes damage as well, apparently. So no dropping skin. Surprised there wasn’t a ‘don’t breathe on anything’ sign. Every single object had signs telling you not to touch. Apparently Lord Powis owns the copyright to every object. Now it’s been a few years since we studied Law but we’re pretty sure you can’t copyright belongings. They reckoned bags would knock objects over. But since every room was roped off, barring you from entering, the danger of knocking something over was minimal. Actually, impossible. And apparently phones interfered with the alarm system. Think this is something Mythbusters would like to test out. Oh and there was an obscene amount of National Trust volunteers standing in every corridor and room in stony silence making sure the peasants behaved themselves. They reckoned one visitor season causes as much damage as 25 years of family life. Here’s a suggestion – don’t open the castle up and take an extortionate amount of money from people to go and admire how wealthy you are if your objects are photosensitive. In fact, why not dig a big hole and bury the castle to protect it from the environment. No wait, soil probably causes damage.

Rant over. It is absolutely beautiful and worth a visit. Just not worth £12. We suggest you pay for the castle then stand at the windows and stare down at the gardens. So episode 8 was in serious jeopardy. Once again we phoned our mum for an emergency back up location. Now she did warn us to always have a Plan B but in our defence, we didn’t read anything about the strict rules of the castle before going. She found us Shrewsbury castle, which was 20 mins away and haunted by Jack, who’s a cross between Blue Beard and Ted Bundy. Time was running short. Then the road we wanted was closed so by the time we reached Shrewsbury, the castle was closed. Thoroughly pissed off, we came home.

So on Sunday we set out to Castell Coch, which is about 10 minutes from us. It’s haunted by Dame Griffiths, whose son fell into a bottomless pit of water and was never found, and a treasure seeking Knight. We took Radar, one of our Renault 4s. He attracted more attention than the castle did! Castell Coch is a proper fairytale castle, high up on jagged cliffs known as Devil’s Drop. It’s a popular suicide site. That kinda ruins the fairytale image, but then this isn’t a Disney film. The scariest thing we encountered was the tuna and pasta salad Ryan insisted on bringing. Puke in a Pot we call it. The K2 was silent throughout but we had fun arguing over who was having Lady Bute’s bedroom when we seize the castle (us) and pretending to be spies as we sneaked around the roof holding imaginary guns and stalking visitors. Yes this did happen. We have video evidence. We then investigated the grounds to find this bottomless pool of water. Didn’t find it. We did however find a rope swing someone had made and had so much fun on it, then when some kids showed up, we made them wait their turn.

Watch the episode here –