I was out with some good friends recently and they asked me when I first became interested in silk. I had to think hard as we often hear the word silk used in so many different contexts, ie lawyers taking silk and jockeys wearing silk.
But I remember the first time I came across the term silk and it was when I was harnessed to one as a parachute. To be quite honest I really am unsure if it was silk or just called silk, but regardless of that it did keep me suspended when I needed it most, floating down to what was almost terra firma on my first parachute jump. I completed this foolhardy escapade in a country then known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). They were in the midst of a civil war so safety standards were somewhat abridged.
Yes I was one of those foolish people who innocently wondered out loud about what it would be like to jump out of a plane. Well before I knew it I was completing a quick weekend course, that really involved showing you how to deflect your weight when you landed. I was then off in an old Cessna circling the skies to gain height for this anticipated adrenalin rush.
I had asked my trainer how long it would take me to land and he said around 3 minutes or 17 seconds if my chute failed to open. Well after such inspiring words I was off, wearing I might add all the blokes socks, boots and overalls as they didn’t cater for women in those days. I forgot to tell them that I wore glasses and was unable to spot the arrow in the sandpit 3000 feet up that pointed to the wind direction (which was used to brake your speed).
Needless to say after a few hair raising moments and thinking I could spot this pit I toggled over only to be hit by a foul smell. Yes I had virtually landed in a sewage evaporation pond. Fortunately my chute became entangled in some nearby trees which saved my complete immersion into the cesspot but I was badly shaken and received a lot of reassurance (mirth) from all the local kids in the area who really thought the whole thing very amusing.
So yes this is what came into my mind first when asked about my first contact with silk. Please feel free to share your own experiences of silk with me.