WHEN Margaret Higham turned 89, the last thing she expected for a gift was a flight in a glider.
But that was exactly what her daughter Carol Roach treated her to.
Margaret, from Berkeley Close in Hill Head, was lucky enough to experience a flight with the Royal Navy Gliding Association (RNGA) from the HMS Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent.
The grandmother-of-three said: ‘I was flabbergasted at the beginning but I thought it was great. I had never even thought about it.
‘It was absolutely brilliant. I’d do it again.
‘It was a gorgeous day, it couldn’t have been nicer. I wasn’t scared at all.
‘Other people get chocolates and flowers but that’s what I got.
‘I would advise anybody to do it. It was the best birthday present.
‘It was absolutely beautiful. It was a smooth flight.’
And despite Margaret being the oldest person the RNGA had ever flown with, she said that it didn’t bother her one bit.
‘If you can do it, why not? Life is too short’, she said.
The pilot flew Margaret up to 3,000 feet and took her over her home during the 20-minute flight.
At one point Margaret, a retired remedial teacher, got to take control.
Daughter Carol, 61, from Carisbrooke Avenue in Hill Head, said: ‘She’s always been extremely outgoing and up for a challenge.
‘She’s been pretty poorly recently with a bad leg and a poor hip and she’s spent a lot of time indoors.
‘I thought it was something she would do.
‘And she just said it was the best present. It gave her a lift after being in pain for a few months.
‘That’s the type of family that we are – we’re up for a challenge.
‘It’s something she had wanted to do and it paid off.
‘It was a great day – the skies were blue. When she came down she asked if she could go up again.
‘All her elderly friends thought that if anyone was going to do it, she would do it at her age.’
Now preparations will start on how to help Margaret celebrate her 90th birthday in November next year.
‘It’s probably between a bungee jump or the white water rapids,’ said Carol.
‘She would have a go at anything.’