July 8th, 2014

(relatively) recent

Parachute jump

I feel my life is a bit boring, so I'm considering throwing myself out of a 'plane.

Let me unpack that a bit. Well, not the boredom bit; I think that's self-evident. I was thinking more along the lines of how people like Stephen Sutton who die young sometimes pack an incredible amount into the little time they have remaining, yet many of us who have (please God) normal lifespans never achieve a fraction of the things they did.

I was also inspired by my friend Abigail Kay recently bungee-jumping for charity.

And I remembered how when I was an undergraduate, for a short while there was an organisation called DJS—Dangerous Jewish Society—and I signed up to do a parachute jump with them for charity, but, when me and society founder Michael Jaeger had got a lift down to London with a third meshuggine, who was to drive us all to the airfield early the following morning, the car-owner got cold feet (he was concerned the insurance would not pay enough in the event of his death) and pulled out, leaving the other two of us with no way to get to the airfield on time, so we never did it.

I've always felt a mixture of relief and regret that I wasn't able to go through with it, and when better to do something about it* than now.

* Now that the person who was the most opposed to it (my mother) is no longer around, but I do not (yet) have any dependents.

I will, of course, be doing this for charity, though not the same charities as my bike ride of last year: I want the other ones I regularly donate to to get a look-in as well! But first, according to the British Parachute Association webpage I had a look at this morning, I will need to get a doctor's certificate, as they assume anyone above the age of forty is at risk of decrepitude; and it's possible that my slightly dodgy knee may put paid to this whole enterprise.

Whilst I'm waiting, advice from anyone who's done this before would be welcome.

—Originally posted on Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there using OpenID or a DreamWidth account (which you no longer need an invite code to create). Though I am leaving comments enabled on LiveJournal for a bit, please don't comment here if you can do so there instead.
(relatively) recent

Blood-red rainbow

Of a Shabbos afternoon in Edinburgh in 1998, I was walking home towards sunset when I saw an arc of rainbow, thrust almost vertically into the air, faint and almost entirely red: a small amount of yellow permeated its inner edge and a faint hint of green, but no blue or violet whatsoever.

As I watched, and the setting sun reddened further, so did the rainbow, turning completely blood-red before fading away as the sun set. ([personal profile] liv and rysmiel may recall I worked this into a novel I was working on at the time.)

It was an amazing sight, but unfortunately, it was Shabbos and I couldn't photograph it (and even if it hadn't been, most people didn't walk around with camera all the time back then).

It's taken sixteen years for me to see that happen again. My first sight this time of a reddening rainbow was quite a while before sunset, and I foolishly went away and got on with other things, as a result of which when I came back to find this rainbow too entirely red, it was so faint my camera could barely capture it, and I've had to turn the contrast up in the resulting picture so you can see it.

[photo]       [photo]



—Originally posted on Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there using OpenID or a DreamWidth account (which you no longer need an invite code to create). Though I am leaving comments enabled on LiveJournal for a bit, please don't comment here if you can do so there instead.