Mind the Biggles

When I was about 4, the first aeroplane whose name I learned from my father was the de Havilland Tiger Moth. I used to watch the little silver biplanes doing lazy aerobatics above me over the Surrey hills on which we lived. Yesterday I actually had the opportunity to fly in a vintage 1943 Moth, thanks to a belated birthday present.

I have to say the Tiger Moth is what flying is all about, if you don’t happen to be an eagle. Or a moth, I suppose. Being in an open cockpit with the wind whistling through the wires and past ones ears has a lot more to do with the flying of ones dreams than the nightmare of commercial flights has. It even seemed less turbulent, somehow – even when taking off and landing on a grass airstrip. The foolish pilot allowed me to take the controls for a bit, and I managed to steer on to a new course without stalling the thing. I didn’t have the faintest idea where we were, though.

Here’s me returning from my Great War sortie imagining we were paint-balling the inhabitants of Barnstaple (that was the pilot’s fantasy, not mine!)

Biggles lands the Tiger Moth

The best bit – as we got over the airfield, we looped the loop, reliving my childhood longings without my even being sick or falling out. Here’s me upside down:

Here we go loop de loop

That was only the start of a very full day – in the evening my band played at a Royal Jubilee Ball (a long way from anyone royal, unfortunately), so I didn’t get much sleep.

And this morning in church someoneĀ  collapsed with a possible cardiac condition, so I had to pretend to be a doctor again. Perhaps it’s going to be an interesting week.

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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