I don’t know about you, but I struggle with the dark nights and to be honest, winters in general in the UK. They seem to go on forever. In November it hits you like a tonne of shit, that for the next four months it’s going to be dark, cold and wet… mostly. That’s why I usually disappear somewhere where else if I can, somewhere I can wear less clothes and not feel like it’s bed time at 8pm. “WHERE’S THE SAD LAMP?!?” (Lucky you if you’re somewhere nice and tropical reading this… good on ya! NO, really I am happy for you… but It’s 6 degrees here currently, chucking a bit of icy rain down and pitch dark) I can’t grumble though, not at all… because I have just arrived back from The Canary Islands! I Will post the blog about that in the next day or so, I had an amazing time… but anyway… back to the matter at hand!
A year ago, I took up Paragliding! This is me practicing my ground handling on some hill in Lancashire before Christmas. It was absolutely freezing, so much so that my instructor borrowed me a flying suit. I might have looked like a bit of a twat, but I’ll tell you what, it was brilliant and kept me so warm! On that day the conditions weren’t great, even though it looks gorgeous, it was far too windy for flying.
Due to other commitments, and guess what? The UK weather! The time I’ve been able to spend flying over the last year has been limited at times, hence why it’s taking me so long to complete the second part of the course, I passed my EP (Elementary Pilot exam) yonks ago. But I’m almost there… I just have to perfect the ground handling (It really is the least enjoyable part of paragliding for me, but it is the most important. I know that! I’ve had it hammered into me enough!) And then I have to sit the CP (Club Pilot) exam which will give me licence to fly on my own. Just say the word exam to me and I feel like crawling under the nearest rock. But if that is what it takes I will do it! I’ve come this far and realising my dream of really flying has become a reality. My dream is to fly over some of the most spectacular landscapes around the world. Always aim high!
This was me flying in The Yorkshire Dales just before Christmas when I had just done my longest flight of about 1.5- 2.5 hours in the sky (You lose track of time!). It was so overwhelming, exciting, exhilarating and so many other emotions, flying under your own wing is one of the best feelings in the world. There is nothing else that compares. If you’ve ever thought about giving it a go, don’t procrastinate, just give it a try, you’ll love it!
What I need now, it a collective sun dance so I can return to the skies. Some great flying weather will come, but it can’t come soon enough…
More on the flying escapades coming soon…
Over the edge, off the hill and upwards!