To expand a bit on Mike B's story - the forecast was terrific on RASP, but if, as some wise souls did, we had looked at the top-cover on other forecast sites, we probably wouldn't have bothered with the 2 hr drive.
It was so utterly clagged over on arrival ≈ 11am, that you wouldn't have given the day a second thought…
… Yet, there were lots of active small CUs off to the East, and if you peered hard enough into the murk to the West, a line of CUs was forming S. Of Swindon to the coast. Andrew Craig had picked up on it in the synoptic charts as a small front; so sure enough, all the info was there had we cast our forecasting nets wider.
The truth of the day was revealed by those early to soar - despite the oppressive heat and complete & heavily overcast sky, the air was buoyant and the first thermals trickled in without having had any direct sun on the ground.
In the end, the thermals in 'my' second attempt proved to be quite "sporty", though reasonably smooth once established; but definitely ugly & rough if scratching low as I was at one point. I think the difference in Mike's experience and mine was that although we both left the hill in the initial gaggle - just on or ahead of the front - I dropped out of the bottom & turned tail for another go. By the time I relaunched 30mins later, I was in post frontal air and it was a "different day"
I'll be thinking about that the next time…
Landing S. Of Didcot was a rough & tumble affair over a very thermic paddock, but the only cropped field free of livestock around. Although I could hear the screeching calls of a couple of nearby buzzards, I was too focussed in getting down safely in the last 100' or so to be thinking about joining them. Feet firmly on the ground, I looked up, only to watch the pair rocket skywards from less than 50m away.
Jealous, moi? You bet!