Splinter Groups

There is a cost per use issue here that I need to air. My cheap’n’cheerful glider has seen a few hours flying – intespersed with spectacular but non debiliating crashing – for a lump sum of sixy quid. The two planes with proper noisy engines have amassed a cost about six times that for, oh let me see, six minutes flying.

This ratio has not been any way balanced by the sad splintery remains for the Boomerang which suffered a mid air collision at the hands of my instructor. Hardly ever happens apparently, and while that’s a comfort of sorts*, it failed to prevent a furtive scoot into Hereford with a scribbled list of the exotic wood and glues that may fashion a repair.

And so into the model shop, which is mainly configured for those lonely souls who have failed to put away their childish things. A point much demonstrated by two men – showing no external evidence of a recent escape from a high security loony bin – rifling vigorously through the model train accessories bucket searching for two matching sheep.**

This is under the fond gaze of the three proprietors clearly plucked from the all Herefordshire final of “Least chance of ever getting laid” competition. This surreal pastiche of badly skewed humanity was enhanced by an extremely venerable old lady, laden down with a tea tray, hobbling carefully from kitchen to till in a time period best measured using the term “epoch

I hurried out before being Borg’d by cardigan, and hid the geeky balsa under my coat. Honestly, I’d rather be caught reading “Hardcore Poodle Sex” by my mum that trying to explain to anyone I’ve ever met why I’ve been shopping in a place where strange, unwashed men get excited when discussing train gauges.

Which was pretty much my experience of climbing a big Welsh hill last weekend after bagging up the remains of my Boomerang that ended yet another unfulfilling flying experience. I stuck the Wildthing under my arm and made slow progress up half a mile of vertical hill to be met with a view that had CGI written all over it.

And a bunch of men – although as they were all dressed by their mum and sporting bobble hats and goggles, I’m making a bit of an assumption here – who could be best described as somehow positioning the Hereford Model Shop misfits as sexually charged Brad Pitt lookalikes. They ignored me, on the grounds that I wasn’t sporting food in a beard or my own carefully cultivated selection of warts, and I ignored them right back while trying to work out how to fly a light glider in 35 MPH winds.

Unless flipping upside down before firing it off behind you like an unguided missile, and then burying itself in soft peat counts, I’m not sure I quite got it. I went back to riding bikes which feels familiar, safe and really not that stupid. Which tells you everything you need to know about the shadowy world of the Aero Modeller.

Love the flying, really do especially the glider which is a mere 5 minute drive away from being chucked off a decent slope. It’s mentally quite absorbing, technically interesting but peopled with a group of aliens who somehow tuck Mountain Bikers in the middle of the sanity bell curve.

Bit of a worry if I’m honest.

* Not really.

** Full size, that’s fine.

3 thoughts on “Splinter Groups

  1. John HV

    It is a worry. There was a cursory mention of bikes towards the end, but I fear they’ll soon be traded in for a Marin.

  2. Alex

    Dave – people may be short of things to read/hang off a roll, but I cannot believe there can every be a time when “Tales from the Rump of the Hedgehog” is ever going to be a big seller. 2 probably, one for the publisher, one for my mum.

    John – Marin? Marin? There is absolutely no need for that. Although I feel a few LBS’s are mourning my financial passing. I have been riding but basically it goes “dark, cold, fun, occasionally damp”. It seems like – if the sophisticated weather instrument doubling as my office window is reading correctly – this evenings’ commute will be all of those things. Except fun.

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