I’d like to start with a complaint. Not from me, although while you’re asking my left hamstring is giving me serious grief, my knee continutes to move in odd directions and the old shoulder war-wound is not short of random gyp-age.

You appear to have nodded off, sorry am I being boring?* Anyway we traditionally revere complaints down here in the bowls of the hedgehog. It shows people are at least paying attention, and there is nothing worse than desperate attempts to be annoying being met with nothing more than an apathetic shrug.

But this is different, someone complained there wasn’t enough drivel on the site, rather than too much. This wasn’t some back handed compliment that the quality of output has improved, rather the frequency has decreased. There’s a reason for that, I am bloody busy trying to spin plates marked “work”, “family”, “house” and “hobbies”.

Currently I’m metaphorically sat on the floor surrounded by shattered crockery. So rather than face up to the reality that something has to go**, I bought a few more gliders and parked them in trees. That one up there is branded as a “fusion” because, apparently, they couldn’t get away with calling it “the pig ugly bastard”. From every angle it’s a munter, wing too thick, fin to big, fuselage too small.

Reminds me a bit of an aeronautical representation of my own oddly shaped form. Chucking off a slope just to protect your eyes doesn’t help much, except it becomes slightly less ugly – but only because it is further away. Anyway there are all sorts of rituals and nonsense around “maidening”*** a new glider.

Some shit about how it flies, fiddling with complex knobs (which may be where the word “maiden” comes in) and declaring how it will very much improve your flying/sex life/general cool hunting prowess.

Not for me. I cannot really consider a model “maiden’d” until it’s been in at least one tree. This one I hit twice with the ugly stick, one tree to my left, one to my right. And I can say – without fear of contradiction – that this 60inch foam monster is signifcantly harder to remove from a Hawthorn than its smaller, and marginally less gopping, brethern.

I spent time I had none of lassoing trees with hosepipes, and risking a life of which I only have one edging nervously toward the edge of branches. All the time being punctured by vibrant thorns and significantly distressed by vertigo.

So not really the relaxing interlude I was looking for. Neither is this, so I’ll leave you with airy promises of further missives discussing a milestone for the mad dog, a hole in the ground that needs much filling, and some lies around my awesome preparation for the CLIC-24.

For which I need another£170 sponsorship if I am to get the firm to match it. So any further donations would be much appreciated.

* In Al’s list of the most boring conversations, other peoples’ minor ailments slots in just behind some vicarous arswipe telling you how clever their children are. Top of the list is – currently – anything involving paintbrushes.

** Generally me. To the off license.

*** There are some obsessives out there that I believe take this verb a little too literally. Still they can’t arrest you for it. As long as you’re not outside.

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