Breath­tak­ing!

My wife never knows what I have planned next

Chat - - Contents -

Tom Morgan, 38, Bris­tol

Abe­mused look on her face, my wife Jenny, 37, shook her head.

‘You’re do­ing what?!’ she said.

I’d heard those words be­fore. But then, I’d warned her I was a thrillseek­er when we’d met in 2003.

I had my own busi­ness, plan­ning ad­ven­ture hol­i­days – car-ral­ly­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, rick­shaw driv­ing in the Hi­malayas, mo­tor­bik­ing across a frozen Ser­bian lake...

Jenny knew it meant a lot of trav­el­ling, and al­ways tried to come with me – but this time, she had to stay home with our daugh­ters.

When I went with­out her, I’d come home full of sto­ries of my mad ex­ploits.

But my lat­est plan shocked even her!

‘I want to float off into the air car­ried only by helium bal­loons,’ I said. Just like that scene from the an­i­mated film Up.

So, last sum­mer, I got to­gether with Buddy Munro, 40, and some other mates on a Dorset beach.

We planned to fill 50 gi­ant bal­loons with helium, at­tach them to a camp­ing chair.

Prob­lem was, the ny­lon string we’d tied them with started shred­ding the bal­loons and we barely got off the ground!

‘It didn’t work,’ I told Jenny when we got home.

But I wasn’t giv­ing up that eas­ily. In Oc­to­ber, we went to Botswana for a sec­ond go. We knew go­ing to the land­locked African coun­try made sense, as when the wind blew, I wouldn’t end up in the sea.

We went to a desert, where it was a blis­ter­ing 40C.

But ev­ery time we’d got all 100 bal­loons ready, the wind speeds changed. Af­ter a week of try­ing and fail­ing, we had enough gear for one last try...

So we headed for an in­land site in South Africa, where wind con­di­tions were calmer, and used fishing wire he bal­loons to my camp­ing chair.

I se­cured my­self with a har­ness – and put on a para­chute.

Just in case!

And soon I was float­ing high into the sky.

It took my breath away as I hit 8,500ft, and my friends be­low faded from sight.

To go higher, I’d lighten the load by re­leas­ing wa­ter from cans we’d at­tached.

It was in­cred­i­ble – and ter­ri­fy­ing! I couldn’t even steer.

Phon­ing Jenny from up there, she didn’t get that I was so high. Started talk­ing to me about our tax re­turn!

Waft­ing 15 miles across the land­scape was mag­i­cal – but af­ter three hours, I started to cut the strings to re­lease the bal­loons.

Float­ing back down to my mates, I had a smooth land­ing in a field, to wild ap­plause.

Ob­vi­ously my kind of stunt isn’t some­thing you should try at home. But fi­nally, we’d done it, and I had some great footage to show Jenny!

Peo­ple ask me why I did it and I’ve only one an­swer...

Why not?!

I couldn’t steer, it was ter­ri­fy­ing... I phoned my mis­sus

Bal­loonatic? Me?!

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