A Senior moment
Just a little note to update you on yours truely’s latest bit of French buffoonery.
The other day, I had to pay a visit to the local post office, which is situated in the main square of La Roachbeaucourt (see photo two). Whilst there, I noticed that one of the buildings on the other side of the square had suffered an internal collapse. This later transpired to have happened earlier that same day when the local artisans were attempting to knock through a new doorway. Evidently the Acrow Jacks failed in a big way, allowing the two stories above and the new roof to cascade down onto the ground floor. Five men were working in the building at the time and I am pleased to report that they all escaped with their lives, although the labourers wheelbarrow (see photo one opposite) never made it, and the two men who were working on the new roof required assistance to get down.
I spoke with one of the insurance assessors who was looking very seriously at the mess, he reckoned there was at least €200,000 worth of damage to the building and that in his opinion it should be demolished. However, as this was a protected site of national interest, the government would probably insist that it is reinstated to its original condition.
So where does your buffoonery come in to this sorry saga, I hear you say.
Well, on leaving, I was so interested in rubbernecking the wreckage, I drove the car down the steps instead of the road! The car became jammed three steps down and I had to get the local garage to come and tow it off. I then had to borrow €20.00 from the guy whose house had collapsed, to enable me to pay the mechanic.
So all in all, not my finest hour. The car is none the worse for its excursion, and I have since been told that about twenty people a year do exactly the same thing. The general consensus is that it provides too much entertainment (and employment) for the locals to have the steps blocked off with a large flower pot or something of the like. Of course it could have been much worse, the airbag could have gone off, and that would have been very expensive, probably more than the car is worth.
On a sadder note, Olga’s big sister, Joe, died of a heart-attack yesterday. You probably never met her, but she was one of the good guys.
(C) RT Parsons 2006.

Last year I dragged my lardy backside over to the tenth Wallis Days (it’s hard to believe it’s ten years since I started the show!) at Shibdon Airfield, Norfolk, and was taken out to dinner by Ken Wallis (see photo below left) at his local golf club. He didn’t seem to have changed at all and was the perfect hoist.
While I was at the show, Woody, took me for a flight in his new machine - quite a rush for me, as I had been banned from ever getting in to a light aircraft ever again by both wife and medico, on pain of instant divorce and/or cardiac arrest, whichever came first! Luckily neither event has transpired so I live to ‘fly another day’.

Mr. P’s Diary
Shibdon Airfield, Norfolk
Wing Co. Ken Wallis. Click here to see more about Ken

Above: My right knee, expertly photographed by myself whilst coming in to land at Shibdon Airfield (well I did have other things on my mind at the time, like a load of starboard drift!).
Mari steps
Fallen house

Let the buyer beware!
I recently bought a JVC GR-DVX400E digital camcorder off ebay and regrettably it’s been a problem from the word go. OK it was second hand when I bought it, but I had become used to getting good quality stuff that way. To start with, the seller had been de-listed from ebay as soon as I got it, so I had no means of contacting them. The camera arrived with no charger, connectors, tapes or instructions and the battery was flat so I could not test it. From there on things went down hill. I obtained a battery charger, cables and a pack of mini DV tapes through ebay at some extra expense only to discover that when I tried charging the battery it was no good. So I obtained a new battery via ebay, charged it up and fitted it, only to be confronted with error code E4 on the camera screen. In other words the camera was faulty. It turns out that JVC charge a large upfront inspection fee just to tell you how much the camera will cost to repair. So older, much wiser and considerably more impoverished, I have decided to cut my losses from now on and stick with my digital still camera, which I got through ebay and is totally brilliant.

Wing Commander Ken Wallis, still flying at 90.
You may remember his ‘Little Nellie’ autogyro (right) which stared in the James Bond film ‘You Only Live Twice’ in the late sixties. Ken not only built the aircraft, he also did all the stunt flying in it for the film.
James Bond's 'Little Nellie'



May 2007

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