WE DID IT!!!
WOW it’s nearly been a year! Looking back the past years’ entry and a lot has happened, not all good but I do hope we have all matured (in mind only though!) and I hope we have entertained you somewhat ;-)
I am so sorry it took so long to write up the final entry, so in my way of apology, I’ll try and give you a detailed rendition of our 10,000 (puh, a mere 10,000 and not the 15,000 I did before!) feet plummet to the Earth’s crust!
The jump was scheduled for 17th June, Father’s Day but the weather the week leading up to the jump was quite temperamental and we weren’t sure if the jump was going to go ahead until 9pm Saturday evening when we made a call up to the jump site in Oxfordshire.
One of my colleagues from my office asked me what it was like actually doing the jump and I gave her 3 advice: 1) do not chew gum during freefall (I nearly choked on mine on my first jump); 2) get plenty of sleep; and 3) just enjoy yourself and scream like mad!
Well… I don’t actually practice what I preach…! Not sure if we were going to do our jump until the day before meant I was pretty unprepared – had to look for my BHF t-shirt (it shouldn’t be that hard to locate as it was bright red… it was neatly folded away at the bottom of my wardrobe), dig out some baggy jeans, bright red ski socks for my plaster cast, pack food supply (consists of chocolates and fruit juices) for our 2 hour car journey up north.
I was tucked up in bed by 11pm on Saturday but of course when you really want to sleep, your mind just goes into overdrive and I didn’t manage to fall asleep until 2ish and had to get up again at 4am!!! We had to get to the jump site by 9 which meant I needed to meet Shirin at North Greenwich station around 7ish. I wasn’t the only one sleep deprived, Shirin barely slept the night before too and managed to wake up late so when I saw her, her hair was still damp from her morning shower.
Throughout the drive Shirin and I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was, the sun was shining, barely any clouds in the sky, not a drop of rain in sight… this was all to the dismay of Shirin! She kept chanting, ‘we are going to die, we are going to die…’ every so often! LOL
The drive besides from Shirin’s chanting was pretty uneventful, we only managed to get ‘lost’ twice… took the wrong turning off the big roundabout near Heathrow Airport and not being able to find the jump site so we picked up a fellow para jumper down the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ esque lane! That’s another thing we can both tick off our list of stupid things to do before we are 50… jump to our death and pick up a hitch hiker (of sorts)!
Drove down a narrow, muddy lane, strolled/rolled along damp grass to sign away our life with the parachute school and then basically lay about watching the professionals enjoy a few jumps themselves whilst we waited for more people to turn up. One of the ‘professionals’ managed to go off course and landed in an adjacent field! Hehehe
Thinking we shouldn’t eat before our jump in case the altitude and sleep deprivation didn’t agree with our tummy we held out until 11ish until the smell of fried burgers and sausages drew us in! Which tasted fabulous, may not make have made it as something I would request for my final meal but just for a normal day out in an open field with the sun shining, children and dog running about, it was perfect ;-)
In this picture it looks like Shirin was really concentrating on the training given by Dan here with the parachute… personally I think she was just concentrating on his nice perk bum! Hahaha
We got chatting to the guy frying up our food, he told us he had done about 50 jumps himself, and our instructor had amazingly done over thousands of jumps! Shirin’s guy (and what a ‘guy’ he was, ex-RAF and muscles all in the right places ;-)), Ian was half naked when we were first told who we were going to jump with by one of the girls handling our forms and payments. My guy, Ralph had done over 3,000 jumps and only slightly saner than all the other
instructors/staff working there! Whilst they (3 strong men, one on each side lifting me up whilst the third was trying to try a ribbon between my legs!) were helping to get me geared up, we had the normal conversation: What am I feeling? Why I am doing the jump? And so on. This gave me the chance to flash them my BHF t-shirt and somehow lead to the conversation to computer games… this was were I disclosed I am hooked on ‘Final Fantasy III’ on the DS Lite – things got decidedly rude from then on, by the time Shirin joined us to get geared up (she was changing into her jogging pants in the car), she was thrown into the deep end of the conversation about role playing games! LOL
This is my favourite photo of Shirin getting very close to Ian ;-)
Shirin was saying, if she sat down on the ground, she wouldn’t be able to stand back up again as it was quite heavy – this was nothing compared to the parachute packs which weighed in excess of 20kilos which the instructors had to carry. All geared up and nowhere to go but up, up and away!
Our light aircraft for the day was called, Islander. She is only a small aircraft, the inside of the cabin was held together mainly by duct tape! Confined space with 8 jumpers (3 novices, 3 instructors and 2 video guys), pilot and co-pilot. Throughout our ascend the video guys were doing acrobatics trying to excite/scare us into pulling silly faces into the camera… we were even offered to join the mile high club! Hahaha
I was the first to jump out of the plane with Ralph once we arrived at our location and got the go ahead from air traffic control that the area was free from other aircrafts. We wiggled our way to the door (did I forget to mention, I have been strapped to Ralph and was basically laying on top of him during the ascend?!), dangled our legs out… the first thing I noticed wasn’t the lovely white clouds but the wheel of the aircraft just feets away from us! My mind was definitely working over time – I am going to hit my head on the wheel, pass out from the impact, fall to the ground and miss the whole experience! In reality that didn’t happen – as I was strapped to the front of my instructor, all he had to do was lean forward and we are off… freefall was exactly the same as I remembered, can’t make out Heaven and Earth, wind rushing by and time doesn’t mean anything (freefall with the speed of 120mph was due to last 30 seconds but even though I dislike it, it did not feel that long), you just try to remember your training and not grab your instructor in your panic! I wisely got rid of my gum when I was eating my sausage burger so I only had to contend with my dribbling when Ralph deployed our parachute! This is definitely not a sport trying to impress guys – dribbling during freefall, stupid leather hats that give you hat hair, bubble bee goggles which leaves marks on your face and then the straps all tightly bounded in all the wrong places! Hahaha
I believe Shirin and Ian was the next to jump with their camera guy. Shirin and Ian were showing off, doing all these turns in the sky and reaching the ground long before us – we just gently floated down and enjoyed the beautiful view beneath us, we saw a few Red Kites (the bird variety) which Ralph pointed out as I had no idea!
We were coming up to landing after about 5 minutes descending (it felt so much longer though), there was another member of staff on the ground waiting to catch me but we ended up landing on our bums instead, as my instructor leaned backwards, I was still strapped to him so again I was laying literally on top of him when the camera guy and the member of staff who were suppose to catch me came running up and unhooked us and help me out of the straps and into my chair again! Phew! That’s it, all done, got our certificate and back to normal speed and life!
That’s it, that was our jump and this is the final entry but the donations doesn’t stop, the sponsor page is still up so please feel free to donate to a fabulous charity – thank you for reading ;-)
Lots and lots of love Helen & Shirin xxx
A giant leap... out of a plane from us soon!
Wednesday 16th May
Attended Charlton Athletic ground for my first of 6 weeks lesson in relation to the Olympic course… my cute instructor won't be taking any of the course :-(
Anyway, coming up to the end of the course now and have enjoyed each and every lesson – fire safety was the most informative as I am now confident on which fire extinguisher to use in each different type of fire situation, customer relations was fun as the instructor was very charismatic, and the instructor on becoming a volunteer was extremely friendly… I could go on and on!Sunday 27th
Long weekend and what could be better than a BBQ with friends and family? Well… a BBQ in the summer is what! LOL
Kim drove all the way down from Leicester just for Trees BBQ and even the rain didn’t stop it from happening! Sent Duong out in the rain armed with an umbrella and tongs to grill our sausages and burgers whilst we stayed indoors, in the warmth! Between us, we have had a BBQ nearly in all weather conditions – rain of course, midnight, on the beach, snow… what’s left is probably in a typhoon/hurricane!Friday 1st June
Went to the hospital to change my cast for my foot that day. I am the type of girl who doesn’t get scared that easily in films or real life (I am at your mercy when faced with slugs/snails/worms though!) but seeing the nurse come at me with an electric saw was pretty frightening! I mean, the cast was only a thin thing, I was afraid she would go too deep and I would see blood gushing out everywhere! She was handling a saw and chatting to me… I know women are suppose to be good at multi-tasking but I would very much preferred she just concentrated at the task in hand – literally! LOL
Anyway, I live to tell the tale and will have to do it again in a few weeks time – the cast I have on now is even thinner… argh!!!Saturday 2nd
It was Caf’s birthday on the 5th June so I took her out for a pre-birthday treat to the theatre… it was more my treat as I got to see ‘Equus
’! For all those out there who have not heard about this play, the hype around the play was Daniel Radcliffe
) appears naked in it for a substantial length... of time!!! Hahaha
I was totally prepared to see young Harry parade around naked, stimulated sex scenes on a horse, what I wasn’t prepared for, was him smoking! The lawyer in me was thinking, that particular scene will need changing when the smoking ban comes in on the 1st July and the layperson in me was sitting there watching the scene open mouthed and trying to work out if he was really ‘smoking’!Peter Shaffer
wrote the play as well as ‘Amadeus
’, which I saw a while back in the Wilton’s Music Hall. Both play dwells into the mind of the character’s dark side, a ‘narrator’ talking to the audience – inviting them into their life, thoughts and reasons. I did enjoy both plays but for different reasons, ‘Amadeus
’ for the amazing actors being able to transform in front of your very eyes, the music, the story/history of a real artist, Mozart
’ was different, there were so much hype around the play, so I went to see it expecting it was just sensationalism and not much substance – I was pleased that the play was more than the hype. Radcliffe
was great, portraying a troubled teenager, I was sitting in the balcony and could see the emotions he was emitting through his expressive features, especially the eyes. The uses of the limited props were well used, the horse masks were beautiful and simplex and the humour was just right to lighten the mood of the play when you least expect it.Thursday 7th
Went to the award ceremony for the Olympic course to collect my certificate when I haven’t even completed my course! All I have been doing the past few week was work and study so I took the opportunity to get dolled up and meet a local MP as an excuse from sitting at home avoiding ‘Big Brother
’ and ‘Eastenders
It was Lee’s birthday and he turns 23! I gave him 23 beats and one for good luck like all good sisters do for their younger brothers ;-)
Ok, down to business. The parachute jump is going to be this coming Sunday we still need donations, this is me begging… please, please, please give generously to a very worthy cause. You don’t need to give a lot, give what you can and forward our sponsor page to your friends/families – a little goes a long way, which means a lot of ‘littles’ can go even further!Helen
Birthday, Olympic and Surgery
Went up to Northampton after work to celebrate my granddad’s birthday. Immediate family alone required at least 3 tables (10 to each table and then a small table for the young ones), numerous courses starting with soft crab, lobster and shark fin soup followed by roast duck, pork and various vegetable. Desserts was of course, birthday cake and jelly ;)
Took the day off work to attend a volunteer meeting for the 2012 Olympic. I will be attending a course for the next 6 weeks (twice a week) to train me for helping out the Olympics when it arrives. I am looking forward to the training – the main reason could be because, one of the people running the course is rather cute ;)Friday 11th
Went into hospital to have a bunionectomy (there is a much fancier name but it was too long and I forgot it!)... Felt quite sorry for myself as no one was available to drive me to hospital and had to take a taxi... am I getting the sympathy vote here?! LOL
No, its ok – it’s only a small operation. The operation was so minor that I was awake during all the cutting and sawing of bones... even got bored after only 15 minutes in and was thinking I should have brought my DS Lite into theatre! I was surprised that there was no music playing in theatre – in all the TV shows, the surgeons always had special music playing whilst they were operating. It was so quiet in theatre that I was afraid to fall asleep from boredom and start snoring! Hahaha
Told Trees I was in Ward 16 on the first floor and she mistakenly went to Ward 16 on the ground floor... it was the morgue! Hahaha
I now have a big plaster cast on my left foot – never been in a cast before and the novelties haven’t warned off yet... give me a week before I start getting annoyed with the extra weight.
I love ‘Grey’s Anatomy
’ (season finale tonight - cried a lot. You can catch the repeat on Saturday night) on FIVE and real life hospital is nothing like it! There was no Dr. McDreamy, there was no major incidents (good job too), no relationship dramas (none that I could see anyway) etc. I did check out their operation schedule board which only contained minor surgery like mine. I was kept waiting around the next day (Saturday 12th
) to check out longer than my operation itself – the highlight for the long delay of checking out was the young, blonde, blue eyed doctor (not my usual type at all normally!).
Been home all day yesterday and today recuperating and didn’t even go to the Art Deco Fair up the road as I really need to ‘recover’ before work tomorrow – yes I have to go into work tomorrow bright and early as I need to talk to my manager about changing my work timetable to allow me to fit in my Olympic training course with my cute instructor!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Wednesday 2nd May
Went to Sally’s ‘parent/teachers’ evening on Wednesday – everyone thought I was her mother! Better start using that oil of Olay and plenty of sunscreen! LOL
I must say, there were plenty of young, and pretty cute teachers at the school – my school days were never like that, I remember my male teachers were either fat, balding, bearded or old enough to be my granddad... I will definitely be going to all the parent/teaches evening from now on ;)
Met Shirin up for a spot of cream tea in Greenwich – she was studying too hard and needed a bit off distraction. I love scones and have tried making then a few times... turned out to be more like ‘rock cakes’ than scones though! Hehehe
We went our separate ways around 7ish – I was slightly tipsy after one Smirnoff Ice... Lee kept joking I was drunk when I kept complaining I was tired and needed a nap before going to see ‘Spider-Man 3
’ at the 23:45 showing. The earlier showings were all sold out. I love Spider-Man, he’s not like the other superheroes that does no wrong, Spider-Man makes mistakes and learns from them – much more believable?! The movie was 140 minutes long so I didn’t get home until 3 in the morning... zzzSaturday 5th
It was my mom’s Chinese birthday today so had to go home for dinner as it was a last minute gathering. I keep forgetting this month is the month of over eating in our family – my mum’s birthday kick starts the birthday celebrations, then it’s my granddads next Tuesday, my dad’s sometime in the following week before my grandmas at the end of the month!
There goes my diet for this month! HeheheSunday 6th
Took my mum to a photography studio – my mum loves getting dressed up and taking photos, thought this would be a great treat for her to get inspirations for the up coming wedding. This was right up her alley... me on the other hand, only went because I needed advice on hair and make-up for Trees wedding! Asked the make-up artist (and I mean ‘artist’ to cover up all my flaws and imperfections!) for hints and tips for stay put make-up along with on how to style my wayward hair. I was really shocked when I saw myself halfway through my transformation as I really thought I looked like a drag queen! LOL
The finished product, hair and make-up all in place took about half an hour and at the end I did look like a different person... I really could not wear half amount of the product the lady put on my face in a whole week let alone for a day! The whole photo shoot took over 4 hours and we won’t get the photos for another 6 weeks or so. Sally had heavily suggested we could book her an appointment for her as a birthday treat... her birthday isn’t until next January so I can ‘forget’ about it for now!Helen
Run for love, pride and whatever you fancy!
’ sent me an email today as I participated in their ‘Race for Life
’ last year. The email contained a little quiz asking, ‘Who would you race to? Find your celebrity dream date
) – I answered the questions and the result is a ‘man who’s nice to his mum and will treat you with respect. A lad who always takes care of you and walks you home after the disco’... the celebrity dream date for me is apparently, Mark Owen! LOL
I was never a ‘Take That
Coincidently, I also received an email from ‘209 Events
’ because of the Santa race I did in December. Anyway, the email was inviting me to join the ‘Norwich Union City V City 10km run
)... this sounds like a proper race which would be fun to partake, but it’s about the pride of London! I would love to take part but don’t want to drag the city down, therefore I am declining to join... for all those out there who take pride to be a Londoner, join the race and I will be there to cheer you on at the start line as its only a few minutes drive away! LOLHelen
My new nickname from Trees is ‘Scavenger’! This is because I am always there when there is food! LOL
Went out on Saturday and wasn’t remotely hungry when my dad called me up around 9ish asking me to join them for a late dinner because we had a relative who came to visit us from Spain... the late dinner lasted well past midnight – I was falling asleep as I ate my shish kebab at the Turkish restaurant in Lewisham!
Didn’t manage to go to bed until 4am and had to get up again at 9am to get ready for a long car journey to Leicester to help celebrate Kim’s birthday
at a very nice Indian restaurant. It seems I wasn’t the only one who was sleep deprived – Trees and Duong got woken up around 6am by the police as someone reported a disturbance at their place. Duong answered the doors to a male and female police officer who ‘forcibly’ allowed themselves inside and upstairs to check that Trees was ok... Trees answered the bedroom door without her glasses so was squinting and hair all over the place... not a pretty picture! LOL
Back to the main event – Kim’s birthday, again, we had a £10 budget on presents so there were quite a few creative presents...Ping
: a parsley plant in a real egg along with a bottle of self tanning lotion – Kim has the palest leg you have ever seen!Lin
: a chocolate birthday cake and some pretty stationary clipsTrees
: face massage kit, face mask and a little USB fan shaped like a computer mouseMe
: a kebab from the infamous kebab shop at the junction of Greenwich/Lewisham/Blackheath/Deptford and an eyebrow kit with stencils!
Had a brilliant night, sat in the restaurant for over 4 hours and didn’t managed to get home until 1:30am... only got a few hours sleep as I didn’t fall into bed until 3am before getting up for work at 7:30.
Turned up at work literally half asleep but thankfully I had plenty of work to do and even managed to stay longer to complete my work and as soon as I got home I slept the sleep of the dead!
Today I was full of energy when I arrived into work and had a productive day which is always good ;)
Pretty Animal Pictures
Hello again folks. Been very good the past few days and updated the blog – tonight’s’ entry is about the ‘Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year
’ exhibition at the ‘Natural History Museum
’ that I visited today/yesterday. I went to the exhibition last year and as it was so good I went again this year, here is a selected few photos that I particularly liked: ‘Human Encounter
); ‘Coconut Crab Going Up
); ‘Turtle Grooming
); and my favourite is the ‘Rival Kings
), the photographer, Andy Rouse
also did the ‘Surfing Gentoo
) in last years’ exhibition, which I also liked very much.
Before arriving at the museum, I had managed to get myself lost in Baker Street as I took the right bus but going in the wrong direction! Hehehe
Luckily I was early so could afford losing half an hour to find the same bus route but going the right direction this time – even got there early! Getting lost once a day is not bad, but I managed to get myself lost behind Leicester Square when I was trying to get home... I blame all those tourists getting in my way and distracting me!
That’s all folks.