After lunch, everyone was taken to the bottom of the chalk downs by LandRover and the morning lesson was repeated from the top of the downs maybe 30m up a steepish slope. This is where you get the chance to catch a thermal which means that you don't have to trudge up from the bottom at the end of each flight. You can rather get the rising warm air, the on-shore sea-breeze, and the aerofoil of your canopy to deliver you back to your start point for another go. After a couple of mildly amusing glides downhill parallel to the grass, on my third attempt, most of me was suddenly hoiked vertically upwards about 25m leaving my stomach behind. I was airborne but terrified that I'd be swept out to sea:
someone called Hardy to gie us a kiss:
When I got back to work in St Vincent's Hospital, I asked one of the junior doctors to check if, rather than my arm, I'd broken some ribs. "Here Conor, crepitate my ribs to see if they're bust; it will be practice for when you're in an A&E rotation." Crepitation was a diagnostic practice back in Nelson's day: if your ribs were broken the doctor could hear the jagged ends creaking against each other when he pressed the place with his thumbs. Young Conor was having none of that, but he did give me a chit for the X-ray department and duly told me that two of my ribs were fractured but I wasn't going to puncture a lung so I'd just have to wait until the damage repaired itself. "Try not to laugh" he suggested.