Finally got away after trying for an hour and starting to think about top landing. It was cold, windy and bumpy. Approaching rain may have triggered the extra lift to get away from the hill.
It was cold up high, felt like a steep lapse rate as evidenced by the strong but disorgansied thermals generally. Approximately 30km/h wind at base made for glides at over 60km/h and topped 75km/h briefly on full bar for fun. Getting used to gliding on half bar, works great on this glider.
Down lower again I aimed for Clee Hill as it was into wind and also had a into sun face (although there was not much sun on the ground in the flight). Worked a zero for about 1/2hr looking back at my track before finally getting up again. I think I was hoovered up by a large dark cloud above!
Not much going on downwind so I aimed for a sunny valley where there was a collection of brown and stubble fields being worked by a tractor. Bingo! It worked perfectly and was a nice 4 m/s to base. Could even smell the smoke from a nearby fire at base!
Glide to ground after and a slow but easy landing outside Droitwich Spa.
Got back relatively easy via a bus to Worcester, train to Hereford, Train to Church Stretton then walk back up to the car with a beer in hand. It's a long walk back up to the car! Had the company of a gentlemen named Simon who was keen to learn more about paragliding and astounded that they can go up! A lift from a lady chef at the Gliding Club saw me back at my car, watching the hangliders packing up after a great day themselves and happily paying my £3 visitors fee!
Happy to have made a respectably flight on a grey and claggy uninspiring day.