Regular readers (both of you) will know that I am a complex beast of contradictory pleasures - as any modern anarcho-dandy should be. I love the smell of hot oil and petroleum fumes as any sound fellow should, but there are times when it is more leisurely to draw one's entertainment with out resorting to lining the pockets of the temples of mammon herself - the purveyors of petroleum spirit. In an ideal world, petroleum would be preserved to the manufacture of the finest nylon stockings, and not used to power motor cars with excessive aerodynamic additions, extra loud exhausts, neon lighting and the like. (Neon should be strictly the preserve of the windows of the more exclusive gentleman's establishments where affections are to be negotiated).
Saturday was a day of gentlemanly flying.
Not cramming oneself into a hideous tube filled with underwashed and overscented individuals purchasing scratch cards with the change of the pound coins they used to acquire the flight - but taking to the firmament alone and learning the noble art of soaring.
However, despite the truest assertion - that a sound character and some stout brogues will allow a chap to achieve anything - this one has much to acquire in the way of skills in this craft.
A couple of flights with an instructor served me out. A much humbler chap landed - chastened in the way of the air - as the noble artisan who sought to teach me had showed.
So I skulked off to our airfield bus to seek solace in some Virginian tobacco, a contemplation of one's own limitations, and to stare at the indigo sky - beholding the mystery of the craft I sought to learn.
Instructor fellow was having none of it. I was to keep going, and I was presented with the next craft I was to fly. She was a single seater. Solo again!
I beheld the craft with some trepidation. She was small, impossibly light, and in my chastened state, must confess to be concerned as to my ability to direct such a contraption without a sudden and painful end to proceedings.
Now - I must say I have been looking forward to flying such a machine. With these modern times, the opportunity for chap as oneself to get airborne and bang off a few rounds at Jerry in his Sopwith are slightly restricted. Needless to say, he is our friend now, and fashions rather good motor cars. We are not even allowed to take a pot shot at the French, or Johnny American.
No, the closest a Chap can get to such sublime delights is to take to the air and contemplate the mysteries of the skies alone in a glider. (Suffice to say one can make rather good machine gun sound at pigeons that pass your route, but it is hardly the same)
So I clomb into the cockpit of this machine, with parachute aback and proceeded to start my routine.
I shall not bore you with the technicalities nor the details of my short flight. I shall merely indicate that the blighter was faster than I thought, and I shot skyward at such a rate, I was pleased to wearing my brown hunting tweeds.
I was pleased to report that this and the subsequent flight went without incident.
Now - you may be wondering why a modern Chap - who would normally avoid such taxing ways of spending one time away from spanking mammon - should not only expose himself to such risk, but to have to learn such technicalities involved with the aeronautical pursuits at all?
An adventurous chap needs a muse - an outlet.
What finer muse than the skies above and the patchwork of Merrie Englande in her autumnal glory below?
I am denied the pleasure of sailing at the moment, for the yacht lies idle for want of crew to haul the sails, serve gin and salute their captain - so solitary pursuits beckon.
Also - the skill alone gives a certain masterly look to a chap's eye - which I am assured by The Current Prospective Miss Chap would be offset by a suitable uniform (A soul clearly as degenerate as mine.) I should avoid such suggestions. Wouldn't want to look like a chauffeur.
PS: It is rather good fun. See previous posts re: sex.