Thanks to Mr Facebook, I know that it has been two years since I was attached to a handsome man and jumped out of a plane. It wasn’t quite the experience I was expecting. I did it because I am quite lazy and couldn’t be bothered to train for anything exhausting like a marathon. The first man who ever ran a marathon, died straight afterwards. That’s all you need to know about my view on marathon running.
Anyway, inspired by memories of Janet Ellis on Blue Peter leaping out of planes, I thought why not? It’ll be over quick. Everyone I spoke to who had done a sky dive kept saying how amazing it was. A few were envious that I had had the opportunity to do it. The allotted hour arrived and there I was, sat between the legs of a very attractive parachute instructor in a rickety plane, that kept climbing higher and higher. Everyone in the plane seemed very chilled.
“Right. I’m off then…” said a jolly bloke as he jumped through the open hatch, like he was popping out to Tesco’s.
Then it was our turn. I had stupidly paid for a video of the occasion which was a huge error. I dangled my legs out of the hatch, with a loon who had a camera fixed on his head asking me how I was feeling every five seconds. The instructor slowly shuffled forward and soon I was dangling under the plane. Then we dropped…
When we landed, the camera loon ran up.
“So, how was it?!?”
“Interesting… I think I might be sick…”
Not exactly the answer he was hoping for. I was quickly disentangled and made to put my head between my knees. I felt a lot better after that.
Sky diving is often high on people’s bucket lists. I’m a bit dubious about bucket lists. It’s all a bit organised for me. The best fun and experiences are the ones that are unplanned and spontaneous. The planning aspect somehow, takes the joy away from that, for me anyway.
I was in two minds before doing my sky dive. I had started going to a women’s cancer group and one of the women in the group, Lou, persuaded me to do it. Lou and I got on well from the start. We shared a similar taste in humour. Lou had breast cancer and found out that she had the BRAC-2 gene, made famous by Angelina Jolie.
“Believe you me that is the one and only thing I have in common with Angelina Jolie. Mind you if she ever fancies trading Brad in…”
When I first mentioned the sky dive, she urged me to do it, just to ogle at the instructors at least.
“They are all gorgeous!”
A week after the sky dive, Lou took a turn for the worse and was admitted to hospital. I went to see her. She was in a bad way and was drifting in and out of consciousness. Her mum asked how the sky dive went. I told my story of it and I thought I could see Lou smile in the corner of my eye. Lou’s mum asked who the instructor was. It turned out that Lou had done a sky dive five year previous with the same instructor.
“He was absolutely gorgeous!”
Sadly, Lou died the next week. Myself and another woman from the group decided to go to her funeral. Lou lived in a small village on the outskirts of Nottingham. My Sat Nav failed big time and we were ten minutes late for the service. As soon as we ran into the church, the vicar was finishing the eulogy.
“Lou was quite often late for things. She would rush in apologising which made her even more endearing…”
You could almost hear Lou muttering,
“Honestly you two, what muppets!”