There are times when I really do wonder about my sanity. On a recent family trip to Dumfries and Galloway I booked the four of us (me, husband Calum, Bill and Ellen) to go on the 820m zip wire at Laggan Outdoor Centre.
Until very recently this was the longest zip wire in the UK. As a vertigo sufferer, I admit I was feeling rather queasy at the thought.
When we arrived, I kept telling myself that I could pull out at any minute, but went along with the preparations anyway. With a maximum weight limit (100kg) there was a hope that the organisers would tell me I was too much of a heffalump to be allowed, but apparently I’m fit to zip.
We donned hats and harnesses, then were driven up through the fields to the top of the hill.
The views were quite incredible which, for a moment, took my mind off the terror that lay ahead.
There is a double zip wire here, so two can travel together. We voted for the boys to go first and watched them climb up into the tower and get strapped to the cable. Suddenly they were off, whizzing into the distance.
Then it was time for those with a double x chromosome to start. I took a deep breath, and reminded myself that the people in charge knew what they were doing. Our harnesses were tightened: “If it isn’t uncomfortable, it won’t work,” we were assured. Standing on the little step and looking downwards I knew how it must have felt to meet your maker at the gallows.
Ellen and I counted to three, jumped and we were off, speeding downwards over the fields where the sheep grazed, so used to humans flying above them at 40mph that they didn’t even pause from their munching. With the weight difference between me and my 12-year-old daughter, I went considerably faster. The wind whistled against my face, the scenery was a blur and it was actually quite exhilarating.
At the end we quickly escaped the harness before a limb dropped off due to a lack of circulation and there were big smiles all around. Mine wasn’t even a rictus grin.
Laggan Outdoor Centre, near Gatehouse of Fleet on A75. £15 per zip, tel: 01557 840217, www.lagganoutdoor.co.uk