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

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bondens in action

GRANDCHILD ONE Research for TLP involves trawling Arizona education, veterinarian practices, SW France geography and the way people fall in love. All the usual boring BB stuff. Plus, continuously, flying - from radio procedure, to cruising speeds, to ADF (automatic direction finding). Recently I bought Microsoft Flight Simulator X, serious software which teaches plane handling. Alas it’s hard to stop writing and allocate time to this demanding package.

Grandson Ian learns far more quickly, due to a 49-year age disparity and because he has eyes in the back of his head. I watch and take notes. Yesterday he landed a float plane and taxied to a pontoon where his passenger stood. Fine, but how do you bring something that floats to a halt? We never found out and the passenger was twice terrified out of his life.

GRANDCHILDREN TWO AND THREE This photo is positively dynastic. On the left is Ysabelle (aged 21), on the right Zach (5), sister and brother. She is reading to him a Richard Scarry Mrs BB read to her nearly two decades ago. But stay! She invites him to read the next chapter which he does, stumbling only over “barnacle” and mistaking “barge” for “bridge”. Ysabelle is presently finishing a dissertation on US foreign policy before leaving Leicester U, Zach is in the third term of his first year at primary school.

Zach calls Mrs BB Little Grannie and me Big Grandad. His paternal grandparents are Nanna and Grandad Who Looks After Nanna.

THE LOVE PROBLEM 58,408 words. Jana is on the brink; the affair will wreck her.


Julia said...

Wouldn't airplanes on pontoons use a docking maneuver similar to a sailboat without an engine? I imagine coming in slowly at an angle, and having one person jump off the plane to dock, with lines in hand ready to wrap around the dock's piling or a cleat.

I'm totally impressed that Zach is reading Richard Scarry at 5 (not to mention your other grandchildren's abilities - is Ysabelle interested in working in the US?).

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: The sailboat procedure you describe was my responsibility on my brother's yacht Takista. More often we'd be entering a slot in a marina and I would jump down on the pontoon, allow for the alarming "dip" then rush round to the bows and prevent it from banging into the pier.

The problem with the floatplane is that, from the cockpit, the pontoon is obscured and it's difficult to judge distances. After we'd closed down the computer we realised that the solution lay in selecting an external three-quarters rear view of the plane where all the relationships are quite clear. However by then the tension involved in the previous attempts had left Ian with cramp in his joystick hand (it's astonishing how involved you get) and we called it a day.

Ysabelle is majoring (Hah! I finally get to use the knowledge you provided outside the novel) in politics. The subject of the dissertation is merely something of a byproduct. Over lunch at McDonalds an hour ago (A treat for Zach) I put your question to her and she hedged. Personal reasons I suspect.

Professional Bleeder said...

She is reading a Richard Scarry book that Mrs BB read to her mother 4 decades ago

Lucy said...

I do like the name Ysabelle spelled with a 'Y'.

Hot air ballon landings always look rather fraught.

Plutarch said...

Those eyes strike me as a good idea.

marja-leena said...

Eyes behind head, hah! I enjoy your rare photos and posts about your family. Interesting that you have grandchildren/siblings 16 years apart in age. Our youngest daughter came almost 10 years after the second one, so now I don't feel so odd.

Rouchswalwe said...

The Zachster is my kind of guy! I wonder if he'd be willing to read for us? And if Big Grandad would be willing to host him as a guest reader on Works Well?

Barrett Bonden said...

PB: Indeed! Some RS books may have been bought in the USA.

Lucy: The Y is very classy. I campaigned for a single l and no final e but was outvoted. Hot air balloons: I sought to arrange an ascent to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The date (Oct 1) combined with the weather to make this impossible and I think Mrs BB was secretly relieved. Now, some years later, I am too.

Plutarch: On our last ski-ing holiday in Zermatt the acutely conservative native teenagers seemed willing to worship Ian who is 6 ft 4 in. tall into the bargain.

M-L: There's an amusing twist on the late-comer. Younger daughter hadn't been well for some time and it was Ysabelle who put the question: don't you think you may be pregnant? One happy outcome has been the way Y looks after Zach, as in my post.

RW (zS): As I've said before, Zachster is a fabulous invention and I intend to install it in his frontal lobes when he's at his most receptive. I may well arrange a reading: perhaps of one of my less tortuous sonnets.

Professional Bleeder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Professional Bleeder said...

Sorry too mant typos - Another interesting twist to the Zac/Ysabelle story is that they were both born on the same day April 12 - 16 years apart