Jo happily steps off a tall building

PUBLISHED: 15:11 09 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

I consider myself somewhat of a thrill seeker, writes Evening Star reporter Jo Macdonald, so when I was offered the chance to abseil down the side of Ipswich Hospital's maternity block, I jumped at the chance.

ON Saturday morning, with my

brothers and my eldest sibling's girlfriend in tow, I headed for the


Watching others make the descent in aid of charity ensured any nerves I may have had concerning my ability to go through with it were replaced with the fears that I'd embarrass myself in front of the watching crowd below. After all, you want to look cool and not swing around ungracefully or come down head first like one man before us, who had leaned a little bit too far back.

As the rain began to fall, I was strapped tightly into my harness. This was not a time for thoughts of 'Does my bum look big in this?'. The crowd was going to get a lovely view of my backside descending whether I liked it or not.

Once at the top, there was only one way down and as I stepped on to the ledge, being sure not to look down (although the view from the top of the maternity block is quite spectacular) I was determined to stay calm.

With a photographer on hand to catch my moment this was no place for nerves – one slip up and John Kerr would be there to snap me in all my glory.

Listening intently to my friendly instructor I walked back until my heels were over the edge and then it began. Slowly leaning back, until I felt I was at right angles to the top of the

building, I took my first tentative step down.

The weight of the rope made my arms ache but with guts, willpower and the belief that this was going to be great, I began to make my way down.

The first few bricks were the worst as they were slippery from the rain but once I passed them, the route to the bottom was a breeze.

Releasing the rope enough to allow me to glide to the bottom I felt like quite a pro. What I looked like from the bottom, however, I'll never know.

The bricks and windows

disappeared past me and all too soon, as I was really getting the hang of it, I was on the ground, wishing another ten storeys stood between me and the ground.

Readjusting my legs to terra firma I glanced up with a sense of pride at my accomplishment and an urge to head back up to the roof to do it all again.

Still, there's always next year.

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