Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Kathy's Parachute Jump

I finally jumped on Sunday at 16.30pm and can honestly say it was the most exhilarating and amazing experience of my life.

Dunkeswell has the fastest jump plane in the UK, most Tandems are 10,000 feet, this is due to the altitude, if you are at a height above 10,000 feet you will normally need oxygen, but the plane at Dunkeswell is so fast, you are only at this extraordinary height for a couple of minutes before jumping.

As the plane gained height, I looked out of the window with mounting excitement and could not help but think of the 101st Airborne as they would of flown this exact route on D-Day, Upottery Airfield is only a stones throw away from Dunkeswell, and this is where they took off from .

After a few safety checks and 8-9 minutes in the air, a loud buzzer sounded, the door opened and the "Green Go" light appeared, everyone started shuffling forward (we are all in a sitting position) I watched amazed as one by one my "fellow jumpers" disappeared from sight out the plane door, I reached the open door, the plane flying level at 15000 feet and my partner shouts "Knees", so here is me, on my knees leaning out of a plane door laughing my head off, I feel a push in the back and that's it, I am out, free falling at a speed up to 140mph, the G Force is incredible, my ears are screaming, I am turning my head (with difficulty) from left to right to take in all the beautiful scenery, next thing I see is a Proffesional Freefaller in front of me holding my hands and giving me the thumbs up, I cant believe I am having a conversation at about 12000 feet with another person, he shouts "Bye" and waves and then flies off! My nose is running, my eyes are streaming behind the goggles and as I try to whoop and shout the force of the wind stifles the noise from my mouth, next thing I feel is myself being sucked back up into the sky and the most incredible silence and feeling of calmness and tranquility, the canopy has opened and I am now floating gracefully over the clouds, I am allowed to take control of the canopy and shown how to spin and twist and turn, it's the most magical feeling ever, we descend through the clouds and the view is just awesome, I feel free and alive and excitedly go into "Kathy" mode, chattering non-stop, I can see as far as Portland Bill on my left and Torbay on my right, we swing the canopy round and I can see Lundy Island illuminated by a perfect red sky, this is just stupendously wonderful, I look down (a little sad) as the ground is rushing towards us at an incredible speed and pull my knees up ready for landing, we land perfectly and slide on our bottoms to a stop about 20 metres along the grass, my partner unclips my harness, and I turn and hug him, thanking him profusely.

What an amazing experience, one I need to repeat and will never forget.

Kathy Knight, Ground Floor Manager

Monday, 8 November 2010

Talking Heads Review

Last Wednesday, I attended the first of two Talking Heads shows at the Globe Hotel in Topsham. Although I'm a Northerner, Alan Bennett seems to have escaped me so I really didn't know what to expect. I also wasn't sure what a 'rehearsed reading' would be like. I certainly didn't expect it to be as animated and enjoyable as it was!

There were two performances, first from Beth who is a drama student at Exeter University. Her role was that of an aspiring actress who thinks she's got a big break in the movies. It was wonderfully acted and I stopped seeing the piece of paper with the words because it was so well rehearsed that Beth hardly looked at it. She made lots of eye contact with the audience and delivered the story well.

The second performance was from our own Nicola Weate. Her character was a much older lady who finds herself widowed and unable to do as much for herself as she'd like. It was quite poignant because of the work that we do at Age Concern Exeter and the clients that we have. I felt quite emotional throughout. Nicola played the part wonderfully and both actresses received long applause after each monologue.

If you were in any doubt as to whether to attend the next event this Friday, buy your ticket now! It was a truly wonderful evening of entertainment and I can't wait for the next one which features our own Tony Harvey and Corinne Bailey.