Keep on Truckin

There’s a fierce January gale lashing the rain against my window. The Sun set an hour ago and it wasn’t much before then that I was flying back from Lydd, having wandered over from the North Kent coast to pick up fuel and a bacon sandwich and practise landing on a hard runway, a luxury in the muddy grass farm strip season.

In fact, it took almost half an hour to hose the layer of mud from the aircraft, as the propeller had ‘air brushed’ the splashes under the wings and tail plane. That’s the problem with this time of year, when you can go flying, the weather is unpredictable and simply ungluing oneself before the end of the runway can be an interesting challenge like today, when with a crosswind extending the takeoff run, I rotated just as I reached the abort point.

I’ve recently discovered the benefits of Lemon Balm, making a tea from it is best. I had seen the BBC raving about its benefits, better memory and lower stress and thought I’d give it a shot. The proof of its calming qualities becomes obvious driving around this part of the world. Lower blood-pressure and less swearing at other motorists has to be a good thing as yet another, partially-sighted local pensioner pulls out in front of my car without looking and then carries along at a speed only a little faster than a jogging pace.

Motorcycling is even more difficult and dangerous and I’m starting to wonder if my life expectancy could be much reduced as a consequence of driving around my new home. In London, at least, there’s a kind of motorcycle awareness among the population but here, on the edge of the known world, motorcycles are on a par with the squirrel I almost hit this morning.


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