Well……I woke up and listened for the wind rattling my window but all I could hear were the birds…….the dreaded cancellation email hadn’t pinged into my inbox the night before so it was looking hopeful, but I’ve learnt never to trust this British weather….
It had been cancelled the last 2 weekends and I’d decided to just keep putting my name down each weekend until I did it, as long as someone could take me there! Sadly only Gemma was free on Saturday so she had drawn the short straw and was my taxi to the airfield…I actually just wanted it done now simply so I didn’t have to ask anyone again……the sadness of not being able to drive had never entered my head before but it did today. It struck me how reliant I am on my daughters sometimes. I know they don’t mind but I mind; I mind asking them to give up their time for me.
We’d been given a later arrival time of 12.30 so I was sat all morning in my bedroom (where I live during the day) staring out at the trees and willing them not to move. I eventually ran out of things to do so I ambled through the village to Gemmas
We set off in lovely sunshine….As we got closer to Bridlington the traffic started to pile up😱😳…..long queue in front of us……🥵……….the Sat Nav told us we would get there at 12.10…..20 mins to spare but it didn’t take into accounts hold ups……🤯 Gemma said…….
“ you’re getting stressed about a queue of traffic but not worried about jumping out of a plane”
Anyway, we finally got to the airfield….to be met by loads of other people all there for the same reason. The shear kindness of everyone started with a lovely chappie who booked me in. More forms for Gemma to fill in and me to sign….but he was patient, he was kind, no matter how long the queue was.
We went into the waiting room filled with lots of families, chaos and noise but all was right in the world as Gemma got me a cuppa tea …. There was a viewing area outside equally filled with the current jumper’s families…..
I started to get agitated from all the waiting when suddenly I heard the engine of the plane fire up and the group before us nervously hugging goodbyes to families and making their way to the plane. 20 minutes later, the sky was filled with 3 brightly coloured parachutes making their way down and they landed in a field the other side of the trees……
Then……finally……my name was called along with 4 others to have our training……any agitation now disappeared as I was ‘doing’. A hug to Gemma patiently waiting and I was off. The training was hilarious. He kept using words like, ‘must’ and ‘must not’….well…I remembered the last ‘must’ he said. ‘Must’ lift your feet when landing……well one remembered out of however many was more than I was expecting 🤣. I kept joking with the other 4 as they were very nervous, especially one woman who was 50 that day. Her family had ‘surprised’ her the night before 🤣😂🤣 she wasn’t impressed.
Me and the young girl next to me were doing it for charity and we exchanged many looks of 😳🤪😱🙈🤣😂🤣
As soon as I said I was doing it for Young Dementia UK and that I had young dementia, everything changed. The kindness I was shown was overwhelming.
We stepped back outside to wait for our names to be called to be kitted out ready to go. It was just me and the young girl in our plane along with 2 guys who were filming us. They had to help me get kitted up as I couldn’t work out where legs arm or anything went 😂. I had Mr Pink Man who would be with me on the flight and he was just adorably kind. The cameraman was lovely too and it was he who had taken us through the training. All the photos are his doing.😍
I clambered into the plane with the 2 men hoisting me in. The others joined us and before long we were up in the air. The noise of the engine was head banging for me but the views of the coast were just stunning. Mr Pink Man gave me a running commentary of what we could see. North through Filey, Flamborough Head, Scarborough and beyond to Robins Hood Bay and the as the plane turned south to gain height the Humber came into view and the Humber Bridge!!
It took us a good 20 minutes to get to 10,000 feet, but we were entertained with laughter, jokes and the beautiful scenery. The man filming all the time for me, thank goodness.
Then……the beeping noise came telling us we’d reached 10,000 feet and it was time to leap…..well belly flop in my case….we shuffled to the edge, one last photo
Falling out of the sky with Mr Pink Man ……..
It wasn’t anything like I thought. We were speeding the rough the air at 130 miles per hour for the free fall 30 seconds before the parachute went up
And then the peace, the stillness, the silence was truly amazing. We floated down suspended in mid air……simply looking at the clouds around us and the wonderful views below. The ground looking like a finished jigsaw.
My peaceful reverie was suddenly ended by My Pink Man saying, ‘Do you fancy doing some acrobats and twirls?’……..this alien voice answered…
And we wooshed through the air spinning this way and that at an alarming speed. I had to close my eyes at first as my eyeballs seem to want to leave their sockets, but once they’d adjusted I peeped out and it was simply wonderful and I’m sure squeals of delight must have been heard in the world down below.
It seemed like we were heading earthwards in slow motion until we got nearer and then it seem to be coming towards us at an alarming rate…. Instead of landing behind the trees we were landing right in front of the viewing area. I could see Gemma waving.
Mr Pinkman shouted ‘legs up’, but I was totally exhausted. I grabbed the leg straps as shown but I had no energy left to lift my feet up. Everyone on the ground was shouting ‘legs up Wendy’ but I had nothing left.
Mr Pinkman obviously realised this and landed us both like ducks on water and I collapsed in a heap.
All I could say was , ‘Wow, thank you’. I had a permanent smile on my face from start to finish. He hugged me then undid all the clips and fasteners and 2 men helped me back to the hanger with lots of smiling faces clapping me and the young girl. They also helped me get everything off as I couldn’t work out anything🙄
As I was helped back to Gemma, we got our certificates and made out way through to waiting families and friends. I was hugging Gemma, when
a man came over and took £20 out of his wallet, and simply said, ‘Amazing, well done’.
The kindness of friends and total strangers, have helped me raise well over £3000 for Young Dementia UK, and the experience was worth every penny.
p.s wonder what I’ll do next…..🤔🤣