Hobbies, strange things aren’t they? Somewhere between mere displacement activity and a serious mental illness. And even at the not completely bonkers end, fierce debate rages over the classification of how one spends spare time.
Not being good enough to fly real aeroplanes is a representative example. It’s not a hobby, it is sport* so told to me by a humourless middle aged man, wearing a non ironic Christmas jumper and a serious expression. Really? Oh yes, it was reclassified in 1987 by the association of Who Gives A Shit, when a bunch of fat, pointless people really cared about it.
I may have paraphrased a bit there; unfortunately while my face was performing conversational normality, my mind had wandered off on a flight of fancy. Not actual flying because so far that has been denied my by the weather, my engineering skills, and some cruel acts of fate involving spending hobby time trying to get interested in wooden floors.
I’ve broken one model twice before it ever even got off the ground. Possibly trying to fix a key component “ the throttle “ with a wheel spoke was complicit here. All my repairs are now sponsored by Mr Heath and Mr Robinson, after a real effort to impress involving balsa wood, scribbled drawings, and appreciative beard stroking by those who know lasted all the time it took to say Hey look, you can do this… ah.. it’s broken
The other plane finally flew, although it did exhibit the handling characteristics of a food blender powered by a Saturn Five rocket. This vertical take-off was lengthily preceded by two men “ one who knew everything and the other who knew nothing “ standing in a muddy field willing the recalcitrant little bugger to start. Eventually the traditional incantation of Start you sod, otherwise I’m emptying this tank of nitro fuel over you and fetching the blowtorch! generated the sound of an angry wasp miked up to a sub woofer.
So I’ve** built the Wildthing which, you many notice, has no engine and is therefore configured for me to crash without any help from a willing instructor. But that’s not the thing really, the best bit is these flying wings are specifically designed for combat. Yes that’s right, the simple concept is to take out your opponent by playing airborne chicken.
My one skill is flying into things. The ground mostly, but let’s not worry about such technicalities “ I’m confident of some kind of success this weekend. Not in my local Hills though, because the self appointed nitwits who apparently care for the Malvern’s are specifically chartered to ensure nobody can have any fun at all.
That’s a rant for another day, but come Sunday a magnificent gladiatorial battle shall play out in the skies above the Long Mynd. A location where a few of us will be attempting to kick the shit out of each other’s models, while protecting our own. RAMMING SPEED MR SULU shall be my battle cry.
Now THAT sounds like a sport.
* I’ve spent the thick end of ten years riding round in a muddy field being told Mountain Biking is a real sport. Maybe the guys on TV count, but the rest of us are just delusional. The acid test is to ask a complete stranger and they’ll tell you EXACTLY what it looks like.