Having seen a chance as the working week ended, then seen that chance evaporate only to find it again waking up on Sunday morning left me with the sense that again this was not something I could ignore and so with nothing really planned other than following others doing their thing I thought I would do mine.

John Birchall launching.

Once I was off I quickly gained momentum and so ended up arriving at the site early, 10 am, to find it too windy, this was expected a little and so I had brought my flask of tea and a book and so in the warmth of my car I let the time blow past quite relaxed in my own space.

Later others would arrive and we would share coffee and stories in the pub, Dan Balla was also there which was a nice surprize and so while it was still too windy we walked his dogs along the ridge.

Approaching rain.

Seeing it good when we got back I finally got rigged up, missing bits – getting some wrong – forgetting other parts – leaving it incomplete made me cautions of distractions. It did not matter so much because returning from the car with a replacement batton tip I felt the first spot of rain and felt a bit deflated thinking I may have missed my chance.

Returning to the car and my book, seeking a little peace looking up the rain radar I saw that it would all pass in about 30 mins, so a chapter later, I was out with my towel to hasten the drying of my glider. Knowing that the wind was due to slacken off and seeing the first paragliders getting up I clipped in and was off.

I was tense during the flight, not feeling confident that the air was good when actually it was just fine, there was nothing at all to worry about, much like life more generally, all the imagined losses of altitude never came to pass and really I was free to go where I wanted and enjoy the view.

Eventually landing felt like the thing to do and so after some effort to get down enough to make an approach I made one into the bowl field, I had a nice landing slightly cross wind – but the best landing for a while, gentle and on my feet which was great feeling.

Peaceful isolation immersed in beauty, it is a precious gift.

After the whole day out though I was aching and tired so went home for some comfort food and early to bed – another full day not months from the last – I am liking this momentum.

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