(This post might make more sense if you read the ones below, first)
New Year’s resolutions seem even less relevant with today’s warm, sunny weather -and about time too, after the recent heavy downpours - but back to that year when I actually managed to keep my resolutions.
The two significant months were April and August. I knew that those two resolutions would be kept, because I’d booked for both activities that January.
My daughter, then still a student, came with me during that Easter break for a week in Gran Canaria. It was everything I’d hoped for, (constant sunshine) . The items I hadn’t expected, (all-day full English breakfasts and wall to wall TV football,) we managed to ignore.
We were lazing on the not-too-crowded beach, watching a parachute being dragged along the patch of blue sky at least 100 feet or more above a speeding boat.
‘You should try that, Mum,’ she said, and my stomach gave a sudden flip.
‘It’s too expensive,’ I said, hesitantly.
‘Go on. You only live once,’ she said. ‘I’ll look after our stuff.’
So there I was, waiting my turn to be strapped into a harness attached to a parachute and hoisted into the air by the speed of the boat. I found myself laughing, not with hysteria but pleasure as I dangled high above the sea, feeling the warmth on my skin – feeling like a bird. No. Not a bird. They’re not attached to a restraining length of rope.
To my surprise, I realised that, far from being scared, I wanted to be able to float free, and I told myself that I’d take up paragliding in the not too distant future, though I had no idea of where and how I’d manage to do this.
There’s no way I could’ve imagined that my first experience of paragliding would start on a mountain slope in the French island of La Reunion in the middle of the Indian Ocean - still less that this experience of dangling 3,000 feet above a white sandy beach beside a shimmering lagoon, would spark the initial idea for my novel, The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society.