Last weekend, I jumped out of a plane to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I’m not kidding – this is actually me. So far, I’ve raised £695.00, but you can still sponsor me.
I can’t say it was a wholly pleasant experience. There was a shutter on the side of the plane which reminded me of the school tuck shop opening, but there were no sweeties. I was then dangled from the door for a while and when finally set loose, there was quite a bit of tumbling (looking back up at an aircraft getting smaller is quite distressing). Before the canopy was deployed, my face was flapping about at 120mph in freefall and it was very, very cold. When the parachute was released it was much more agreeable, and the view across the frozen fields was stunning.
I could talk at length about how doing a thesis is like doing a a skydive, but frankly it is Thursday and I’ve been doing close reading pretty much all week so I’m not in the mood for that sort of thing. Instead, if you don’t mind, I’ll return to thinking about the relationship between planes, detachment and sense of place in contemporary Northern Irish poetry…
‘today, we say, the world is upside-down…’
Leontia Flynn, ‘Sky Boats’, Drives (2008)