Monday 1st January - New Years Day

After another weekend wipeout at North Hill, there was some hope for Monday..
Leaving Plymouth at 7:15 and driving through double wet rain ( the sort when your wipers need to be on double speed!) didn’t seem a good move.
Dropping into Paul Summers on the way I was half expecting him to peer through the curtains with his favourite attire ( Pyjamas) but no, he was sat in the passenger seat (where he belongs) warming the engine! Even with a quick stop for a bite to eat we had to unlock the gate, nothing I like more than sitting in the car waiting for your friend to undo the gate with rain dripping onto the roof, I’ve been there so, so many times.
Unsurprisingly no one turned up until 9:15, Richard Roberts, always keen to sample the ridge.
A slow trickle, well drip really, of members meant that it was on the cards to have a flying day, all we needed now was a famous clearance.......
We stared at the radar screen on the PC like children watching a cartoon, it suggested that we were in clear air, the view out the window told the real story, low cloud, however Simon Leeson (tuggie) was as keen as a Mongolian Soup Hamster (MSH) to get the “old girl out”, his enthusiasm seem to spread like treacle, SLOWLY the kit emerged from the hanger for the very first time this year.
The launch point was set up just outside the clubhouse and the aerotow line was set up on the small ridge (bulge) of ground near the centre of the field.
We then returned to the clubhouse only to be greeted by food supplied by our Chairman! Thanks Nick! No sooner did we tuck into our caviar and champagne than we heard the Mongolian Soup Hamster (MSH) squeaking from outside, he had spotted the clearance.
The Clearance (Richard Roberts)
Our leader and Lord Commander Stu jumped into the K21 with the Pope, off they went with the MSH in the tug, his little face grinning like D Trump.
Soon the Pope announced from the heavens that there was lift to be had, albeit rough and ready.
Richard and Mark (Richard Roberts)
I climbed into the DG with Richard Roberts, MSH had fun low down towing us out, the Pope was right there was lift! A strange mixture of thermal, ridge, and rotor.
We heard MSH call downwind, two minutes later he called downwind again, this could only mean one thing, he aborted the landing, had the wind suddenly got up?
At first I was mildly amused, not so much when I saw the tug being put away, if the Hamster had put the tug away there must be a good reason!
Richard and I decided that it would be best if we just stayed airborne until it calmed down, or we plucked up courage.
There was a call (garbled as usual ) from the launch point telling us to stay airborne as they were getting the winch out.
Ruth Comer & JB (Mark Courtney)
Eventually we decided to land to give someone else a go, we had an interesting approach!
Everyone got to sample the soup of lift, Ruth and JB, Chris Wool and Paul Summers, Mike and Barbie and there was lift everywhere.
Not a perfect start to 2018 but a memorable day none the less, thanks to all who helped and a special thanks to Nick for the food!
Happy New Year all. - Mark Courtney