A hot air balloon ride can be full of unexpected discoveries. But when TV actress Sarah Parish and husband Jim Murray went on their balloon flight with us recently there was a really big surprise. Also on the flight was the surgeon who had delivered Sarah and Jim's daughter Nell! As Sarah and Jim are patrons of the Southampton Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, once everyone had returned to earth and the chance meeting unfolded they decided with Adventure Balloons pilot Kim Hull that a balloon flight for two would be a great raffle prize for the next charity event for the unit in July.

"As we see the happy birthday balloon flying over our house in Hampshire it was easy to decide what to get Sarah for her birthday" said "Primeval" actor Jim. "The e-mailable voucher made it very easy as I had left getting the birthday present all a bit last minute. But with the cancellations due to weather she is nearly a year older now! We had our doubts on the day as there were showers about but Kim and I checked the weather radar on my I phone and we agreed there was a window in which to get the flight away".

"I have flown on a balloon flight before in Morocco where it was much warmer but very brown looking" said Sarah. "You forget how green England is, especially after the much needed rain that came in early June. The whole trip was fabulous and I had great fun with the other passengers getting the balloon away in the bag while Jim was sent off with a radio to check out the route in to the landing site for the balloon recovery vehicle. We got a little wet while a small shower provided an interlude before the champagne was served but even that could not spoil it".

TV actors Sarah Parish and husband Jim Murray, Adventure Balloons pilot Kim Hull and Southampton Hospital surgeon Keith Louden Jim Murray checks the weather radar for showers with balloon pilot Kim Hull while Sarah looks to the skies

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