Sam’s ‘awesome’ skydive!


Sam skydiving Well the great British weather proved to be Sam's undoing at the weekend, when his planned skydive was postponed because of low cloud, oh and howling winds, and did I mention the rain?? 

It was all so promising to begin with. Bright blue skies and not a cloud in sight as we turned onto the M1 to make our journey to Nottingham and Langar Airfield. We got there in great time to be greeted by the world and his wife, who were also there to make a jump. Only five in a plane at one time, and an hour turnaround, so it was going to be busy.

We all bundled into a small room where 'Dave' – a giant of a man – told the gathering that yes, as tandem sky divers, they would be literally jumping without a parachute. I think I sort of glazed at that point and tried not to listen to Dave's dulcit tones waxing lyrical about 13,000 feet, freefalling for the first 10 seconds or more (during which time your brain won't allow you to recognise what you're doing, so you'll feel very little!) Funny that, I would have thought the only message in your brain would be "What in heaven's name am I doing????". 

Sam with his skydiving instructor Dave He then said those making a tandem jump, who were attached to instructors, would get a tap on the shoulder and they could then uncross their arms and put them outwards as if they were flying. I could only think that when you're scared witless, a tap on the shoulder would be the final thing to stop your heart from beating.  But of course I wasn't jumping, Sam was, and he seemed pretty happy with it all. 

However, as the hours ticked by, the skies darkened and the wind sock became a thing possessed. We heard over the tannoy that all flights had been delayed until at least 4pm and even then it wasn't going to be a sure thing. Now mental maths was never my strong point, but even I could work out that with five people on each plane and a one hour turnaround, my boy who was 25th on the list, wasn't going to be jumping that day.

Sam finishing his skydive It was a rather folorn little party that headed back from Langar airport, but determined not to be beaten, Sam called on Monday and booked for Wednesday. Each day we scanned the BBC Weather pages, and Nottingham promised to be fine all day, and boy was it. 

Stunning blue skies, soft clouds and just a whisper of wind meant that within 20 minutes of arrival, and a recap on safety measures, Sam was climbing into a rather fetching blue and yellow skydiving suit and heading off with Dave towards the plane. 

"It's important you shout something before you fall out of the plane," said Dave, "just to kick start your breathing…" I prayed silently it would be nothing too profane! Then having got Sam and he to pose for a photograph, which came out a lot better than I thought it would as my hands were shaking, we watched them climb into the plane and then in turn watched the plane take off and head out into the wide blue yonder…

Sam and his skydiving instructor Dave I think in truth the pictures say it all, and in all honesty it's difficult to tell the before from the after – Sam doesn't even look that windswept! From the moment he was out of the plane, it only took a couple of minutes or so for him to get down to the ground, but in his words, it was AWESOME.

For Dave it was his 7,000 and something jump, for Sam it was a once in a lifetime… or so I thought until he said he'd like to do it again, and next time with me! I've got to get my doctor to sign a form to say I'm fit, fit for what?!!! Fit for nothing but my bed after that I can assure you πŸ™‚

So what next?? Well, a corking launch with Joan Rivers last night and the best ever Northern Nights TSV to come at midnight tonight, so I'll look forward to your company then. 

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Love Ali xx


  1. Steven September 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    He’s a brave boy Alison! You wouldn’t catch me doing that no matter how much you paid me!! How do you feel about him wanting to do it with you? Could be fun but its not my idea of fun! Hope you have a lovely night presenting.
    Steven x

  2. Magda Chetty September 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali WOW, Sam what a man. I know you must be sooooo proud of him. I did not know about his accident till I read your blog, sorry I did not write before, I was very ill. Like Sam I was in a car accident 2 years ago, in the back seat of a friend”s car, when we got hit from the back. I ended up in hospital, but I only ended up with a very bad back, that the doctors adviced that I should only use pain killers for, as an operation can cause more harm than good. But the pain killers ended up causing a lot of harm to my stomach, and that is why I was so ill this summer. But reading about Sam, made me think God what I have is nothing, and Iam really lucky. I promise you Sam I will never complain again.
    All the best of luck to Sam for the future, and I hope he makes all his dreams come true.
    I will be thinking of you when you Skydive with him next time. Iam off to watch you and Joan Rivers now.

  3. Kristina Moore September 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Well done Sam!!!! Cheers from sunny Ipswich. You are amazing (as you and your family already know of course) and this (I hope) is the first of many challenges you will take up. Congratulations!
    (As I should remember more often the limitations on you are only the ones in your head.)

  4. alison keenan September 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

    Steven, you would LOVE it!!! Seriously I think everyone at least once in their life should do something that goes completely against the grain….and launching yourself out of an aeroplane at 13,000 feet I believe fills the criteria πŸ™‚ You’re young Steve with everything to look forward to, so feel the fear and do it anyway πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  5. alison keenan September 12, 2009 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

    Magda, I am so sorry you’ve been poorly and even more sorry that you’ve been stuggling with the pain and discomfort of what sounds like an appalling accident. I very much hope that the worst is over and that you will continue to improve from this point forward. Sam’s really doing well now, and will start his second year at college next week. It’s beem a long couple of years and although a few felt he should have just got up and got on with it, those of us who truly knew what he was going through have realised that the time he’s taken to heal has paid dividends to his final rehabilitation. I wish you well, and very much hope that you are through the worst and will continue to improve. Love Ali xxx

  6. alison keenan September 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Tina, many thanks from Sam for your kind words, and he’s already planning another skydive! You’re right of course, the only limitations are in our head…nothing’s impossible if you want it badly enough πŸ™‚ Hope you have a good week and lovely to hear from you again. Love Ali x

  7. Sharon Gasparutti September 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    Well done Sam, but please think again about your dear Mum. I’m just glad I am definitely not doing parachute jumps… one here is rather is cared of heights!

  8. Rhona Fenton September 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Awesome jump Sam well done you, you are soooo brave not something I could ever do no way I take my hat off to you well done!! Alison how did you do it? to watch your son throw himself out a plane, I watched my hubby and daughter on a ride at a fair just the other week that was well over 100ft high and thought I was going to have to move into the next street it was too much to watch never mind jumping out a plane what are we like as mum’s eh? having said that Alison you must be sooo proud of Sam he was so very brave and so were you for watching him πŸ™‚ so are you going to do it with him next time or keep your feet on the ground? I know what I would do and it aint jumping from any plane!! hope you are well love to the family, talk to you again soon love Rhona xx

  9. Steven September 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali! I think I would need somebody to hold my hand if I was doing it! Tell you what I’ll come when you are doing it and we can do it together!! Sounds like a dare to me πŸ™‚
    Steven xxx

  10. Tina September 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Firstly what a good looking lad you have there. He looks smashing. Not what I would do in my spare time but these lads of ours are fearless and enjoy the thrill of it all. Personally I cannot even go on fair ground rides now (must be my age). It is a heart warming story Ali and you are truly blessed to have such a wonderful son. Hope to see you soon, Tina x

  11. alison keenan September 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi sharon, lovely to hear from you, and yes I think you’re right, skydiving is not something for you if you’re afraid of heights….I’ll let you know if I do decide to do it, and might even get it filmed for a real laugh, although i don’t think I’d be able to give you a ‘flying’ commentary! Enjoy the rest of the week, and thank you for taking time out to write Love Ali xx

  12. alison keenan September 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

    Rhona, you do make me laugh. Thank you for keeping in touch. Actually something that’ll make you laugh is that Sam won’t go on those fairground rides, he finds them far too scary!!!! Crazy boy, but I love him πŸ™‚ I remember taking all the children to Thorpe Park and watching this awful ride with my Lucy in it, whipping round at great speed than getting everyone to hang upside down for at least a minute! I had to walk away. Lucy loved it. I did ride on AIR a couple of years ago where you are strapped in with your back against the chair but your whole body hanging down – like a bear – and that went at break neck speed for about 4 minutes….nearly killed me! I think jumping out of a plane may be easier! Have a great weekend, and let me know if you’ve spotted any Xmas decs out and about. love Ali x

  13. alison keenan September 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    Steven…. you’ve got me now. I’m not normally one to turn down a dare….will let you know πŸ™‚ In the meantime, have a great holiday and let me know how you got on when you return. Take care Love Ali x

  14. alison keenan September 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tina, thank you for your lovely message – and yes he is a good looking lad – all 6 feet 2″ of him! I’m sure your boys are lovely too. He and his brother Jack are both pretty fearless, although as I wrote to Rhona previously, Sam, unlike Jack, won’t go on the really Extreme fairground rides. I rode on AIR at Thorpe Park, which was pretty extreme for me, as I was sick once after going on the waltzer at Hampton Court fair many years ago! Some pretty exciting shows lined up for Friday and Saturday nights though, so I look forward to your company then. Lovely to hear from you Ali xx

  15. Steven September 17, 2009 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. It’s not untill next August I’m going away to Bulgaria so I would imagine I’ll speak to you before then! My apaologies I maybe didn’t make that clear.
    Steven xx

  16. alison keenan September 25, 2009 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Steve, No it will have been me confusing the issue as is my wont! It’s good to have something to look forward to that far ahead I think. The buildup makes the experience even better I find. Nice to hear from you as always,
    Ali x

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