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

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Where flying's for the birds

In Britain, a private flight involves calling a charter specialist and a foolish amount of money. In New Zealand you just turn up with the aforesaid deep pockets. In France it’s another matter.

Followers of Works Well may remember last year’s illness and surgery prevented various BB celebrations and these merged into 2011 plans for a short stay in Brittany plus a flight along that region’s wonderfully ragged coastline. The Internet revealed inexpensive options, all illusory. Helicopters? Forget it. Bargains turned gold-plated at FOUR TIMES the cost of hiring Richard Hammond’s chopper in Britain, posted two years ago.

Fixed wings come cheap under baptême à l’air (introductory flight) schemes, but note “introductory”. These are for people considering becoming a pilot. Not only is the joystick – a yoke these days – available for the passenger, using it is mandatory. Our aim was gentle sight-seeing, not me sweating cobs trying to keep the altimeter at 2000 feet with Mrs BB suffering conniption fits to the rear.

The eventual solution was a cadeau (gift) flight in early September. Thirty minutes there and back in the direction of Cap Fréhel from St Brieuc aerodrome. I’d have preferred an hour but I’m too old to learn to fly. Will post but light aircraft flights definitely come under: Man Proposes, God Disposes. The weather may win.

The plane is a Robin (see pic) which may amuse those in the know.

NOVEL There’s an irony to the above since Stall Averted (new title) is about the joys of flying in south-west France. Though I say it myself, progress has been phenomenal. By rising two-and-a-half hours earlier for several weeks I shall, when this post is done, resume at 99,621 words. Jana is now loveable and is in the process of being loved.


marja-leena said...

You two do such exciting celebrations for your anniversary. Cute plane, though I know nothing about it or planes in general. Looking forward to hearing all about the flight...

Plutarch said...

With all the research which you have done for Stall Averted, you should, in theory at any rate, be in good position to pilot the Robin yourself. As long as it doesn't turn out to be a Reliant!

Avus said...

My immediate neighbour "garages" his 1962 high wing four seater at nearby Lydd airport. He flies to France a few times a year apart from weekend local fights.
For the latter he usually invites a friend and I get to go up occasionally. Fly along the Kent/Sussex coast, over the South Downs and land at little Headcorn aerodrome (grass runway)for tea and cake in their cafe before heading back to Lydd. Proper 1930's type flying, much more involving than an air liner, but it seems an extraordinarily expensive hobby.

Rouchswalwe said...

Jana. I feel as though I know her a bit. How wonderful to be loved.

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: Can't imagine anything more idyllic. Expensive perhaps, but sounds worth it. I chose Headcorn as home for the extremely wealthy parents of my joint lead character in the penultimate novel.

RW (zS): Jana being loved; early days. Here's what's happening to her. Hope it's not too incoherent:

(Jana speaking on mobile) “Perhaps I speak differently when I talk to you.”

“Then that makes me lucky.”

How could life be bettered, sitting on this ribbed aluminium seat, drinking over-milked instant coffee, surrounded by concrete slab buildings and inhaling the smell of aviation fuel? “Christopher, is it OK if I fix up with Ghislaine and Boyce? Say no and I’ll never mention those names again. Honest.”

“They’re your mates. Which means I can talk to them about you. Don’t deny me that.”

“I’m not into denying stuff with you, Christopher.”

They rang off. Abruptly, sitting down wasn’t the thing. Jana stood up, stuck her hands deep into the pockets of her chinos, her arms stiff and trembling, feeling the need to walk round the jumble of undistinguished buildings.

The Crow said...

Hope you and Mrs. BB have clear skies and smooth tail winds for your anniversary flight.