Apr 26, 2011 | Category: Guardian.co.uk, Travel, Paragliding, Dorset
The Pearses have been friends with my family for a few generations now. I've been visiting Tamarisk Farm since I was not much more than a sperm and enjoying the location and great company.
This was the first time I'd met Andrew as an adult, and boy was it an exciting morning. When I'm caught up in planning and filming I don't get the chance to consider what I'm letting myself in for... So when I put on the harness and realised I was about to leap off the edge of a steep grassy verge into the sky around Dorset... I was bricking it.
It's not like ballooning where you get very little sensation and the world just falls away. With Paragliding you've got to keep on your feet or you'll get dragged through bush and barbed wire, you've got to work to gain height and battle against winds and air currents to win your prize... but man is it worth it.
The sense of freedom is astounding and if there's anything close to feeling like a bird this has to be it. You are literally sharing the sky highways with them.
We took off expecting a short flight and then to land in the same field, or at least that's what I expected, but when the thermals started popping I discovered why Andrew named his flying school Flying Frenzy: because when the conditions are working an enthusiast like Andrew just cannot resist. So next thing I know we're 3k up looking back at a tiny ford mondeo disappearing behind us and I've given up wondering where we're going to land.
We must have done 10 or 20 miles before drifting down smoothly into a field, but it took about another hour before the buzz settled and my head came back and met my body on the ground.
And that's it, I got the bug... Going back in July to do a bit more filming for Andrew in exchange for lessons.
It was great to be able to use the Four Tet track. I'm a massive fan of his stuff and thinking that he probably saw my film was a treat in itself. Thanks Kieran and Fergus!