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Sky diving – indoors!

Before I start, I’d like to say that this was not a case of buying someone a present that you wanted yourself all along!
 
For Christmas I bought my mother an indoor sky diving lesson at Airkix in Milton Keynes. (Volume down before clicking that link!)
 
I was a little worried about whether or not she’d enjoy it, but she initially convinced herself it would be okay because it didn’t involve jumping off anything. The way it works is that you lean forward into a tunnel of ~100mph wind blowing through a metal grill and then adopt a ‘flying’ pose, chest down, as the wind buoys you up. Your back should be arched, legs slightly bent and arms also slightly bent in front of you with hands face down and chin up. At least, that’s the beginner’s pose. I’m sure those reading this who’ve been sky diving are laughing now at my amateur description of it all.
 
So yesterday we went down to Milton Keynes to watch mother partake of her flight. Upon watching from the viewing gallery, however, mum decided that it was, after all, just a bit too much, which is fair enough as she’s not great with heights. So I took her place. Today I’m aching all over from muscles I don’t usually employ. On my first two minute session I was bouncing off the perspex wall of the tunnel with some force, and managed to flip 360, the last 90 degrees being a helping hand from the instructor to stop me plunging onto the metal grill with some force. On my second session I seemed to muster more control and discovered that relaxing really does help you stabilize.
 
I’d love to do it again, but I have to save my money for now, not least to sort out a replacement present for my mother!
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Photographer

We finally found a photographer for our wedding who was free on September 9th and wasn’t going to bankrupt us (quite). They cost so much! He’s an all-digital photographer, relying somewhat on post-processing to get the perfect set of shots. Is this cheating? I don’t mind, as long as they look good.
 
So that’s one more off Julie’s list of things to do. Not too many more left now! Next up is bridesmaids’ dress shopping in which my involvement is peripheral at most.
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Dentist

A visit to the dentists today didn’t start off too well when I heard the phrase "pass me the scalpel, please". However, one local anaethsetic and five minutes later I was free to go. Very impressive. Especially since the dentist was suffering from an eye allergy and was having difficulty seeing properly.

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Engaged!

Julie and I got engaged last Friday on a trip to Rome, in the Piazza Navona.   The event occurred to the accompaniment of a bottle of Chianti Classico and some busking guitar players.

All in all it was a great holiday. It also included being present at the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI, along with 399,998 other people. More or less.