Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Monsieur, I wish to fly

To make up for our uncelebrated fiftieth on October 1 we will rediscover Brittany early next year and, in particular, hire a plane to view its wild and raggedy coast. I’m looking forward to the preparations.

As a former house owner in France I met much fixed opinion there. If not downright stubbornness. The counter-man at Big Mat building materials said he not only couldn’t supply decorative gravel I needed for my garden paths but that such gravel “didn’t exist in France”. He was wrong. At Monsieur Bricolage, the DIY chain, I was told that if I wanted to box in my bath I must (note that - must) encase it in faience (tiling). He too was wrong.

Plane hire sounds like a fruitful area for such blind insistence. Fixed wing vs. helicopter. Aviation law and the sea. Seating capacity. Facilities for photography. But if it can be done I’ll do it. The key is my French: it’s not good enough for natives to be certain I’m being intentionally rude.

LONG TIME NO SEE Eventually the MS of Gorgon Times will be despatched to my agent. I have been drafting the first paragraph of the covering letter:

“I doubt you remember that in 1975 I submitted a novel, BREAKING OUT, written while I was working in the USA. What may make this distant and humdrum event slightly more memorable is that you travelled to Farringdon where I worked as an IPC journalist and gave me lunch. The novel was commended for its technical competence but rejected in that it had little new to say about a woman escaping from a failed marriage. One publisher suggested I consider changing the ending.”

The second para is funnier but I’ll leave it until I’m short of an idea.


Julia said...

Helicopter or fixed wing? What's your choice? And where will you head to, Val Andre area?

herhimnbryn said...

Looking forward to some airborne photographs.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Helicopters are more expensive than fixed wing planes but their ability to travel slower (contrary to opinion they do not hover much, since this is both costly and annoying) means they are better for sight-seeing and especially photography. That said, deals are sometimes available with helicopters. When I booked the last flight for Mrs BB's birthday I price-consciously asked the "flight broker" for a fixed-wing plane. "Suppose you could get a heli for the same price?" he asked me and that was a no-brainer. Not that I'm proud of this but the heli belonged to Richard Hammond, a crackpot who appears on Britain's most successful TV programme export "Top Gear". Since Hammond himself still hasn't got his helicopter licence his steed spends far too much of its time idle.

Val André? I have just Googled to get my bearings. In fact the flight will take in the quaintly named Cote de Granit Rose which is some way to the west. Should you be there at the same time (unlikely given the sea temperature at that time of the year) I could get the pilot to buzz you.

HHB: In the fullness of time there may be an interesting development concerning this part of the flight.