Since I got my licence in 2010 I have not had a massive amount of time to fly. Unless you fly solo 12 hours in a 2-year period you have to take your test again. I need 7 more solo hours before September.
I have been converting to another aircraft which is based closer to London rather than travelling up to Halfpenny Green in the Midlands to hire the C42 from Hadair and its chief, the excellent Steve Wilkes.
Since last summer, long-suffering Keith in Upminster has had to put up with my glaring errors and general incompetence as I try and get to grips with his Jabiru UL450D.
The weather and holidays have been rather against us of late but was good enough Tuesday for us to go up for an hour. We went round the block a few times until Keith pronounced himself satisfied and just needed to show me how to operate the radio.
"feel between your legs. Next to the throttle you'll find a button. That's the transmit button."
"I can feel something........er, it appears to be a bolt!"
"Other side of the throttle"
Once more round the block and out he hopped.
"Your go. Just do a circuit and watch for the wind eddying over the trees"
Ten minutes later I was back on the ground.
Yaaay. Now only need 6 hours and 50 minutes solo before September.
In the evening Dark Lady and I went to a showcase at the BBC to see a singer called Katrina from LA. No, not that one. She had a nice voice and stage presence although DL thought there was a bit of Bonnie Langford stage school influence in there which I agreed with. She was well received and afterwards we said hello just as a young bloke arrived with his camera. So being the seasoned pro that I am I grabbed her and posed for the pic cheek to cheek.
"I think he wants you to take a picture of me and him. NOT you and me!"
So laughing it off, I duly obliged and slunk away to catch up with the DL, who - oblivious to this huge blow to my gigantic ego - was already outside.
MOT week continues with a trip to the optician. Teeth Monday, now the annual eye test. I've been using pound shop readers since I lost my last proper pair a couple of years back. I thought I would wait as I didn't want to buy a new pair and then need another new pair if the prescription changed.
I had my eyes puffed at with compressed air for Glaucoma test and they took flash photos of the back of eyes leaving everything with a gentle purple rinse for a few minutes after.
In the dark the optician shone stuff, peered at me lenses, whirred back and forth and eventually the verdict:
1.75 up to 2.00. First change in 8 years so apparently not bad for a bloke my age. I Informed the Dark Lady of this fact who simply replied:
"Now let's get you some proper specs".
As you and I know: This means she wants to choose the frames!