Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Whirly Birds Deflect From A Hole In The Socks

Until I saw the helicopter, the most exciting thing which had happened to me this morning was the discovery that I had a hole in my sock. Driving buses is an unpleasant experience when you have a hole in your sock. Every time I touched the accelerator or the brake, I could feel the blood flow to my big toe being restricted, inside my Size 15 bus drivers' standard issue 'Made In Vietnam' boots.

The helicopter was a distraction to the discomfort. It appeared over the hilltop at zero level. The only warning was the panic stricken sheep running over the hill towards me, seconds before.For a moment the machine stopped, hovered then lowered its nose towards me. Having watched too many James Bond films, for a fraction of a second, I thought it might shoot.

But this is 21st Century North Britain. Not Afghanistan. It was a helicopter contracted by the electric company. Not an Apache or a Hind. But what a skill the pilot demonstrated. He was flying up and down the power lines, so I presume, his passengers could examine them. He was giving them the ride of a lifetime. I can safely say the pilot was a male as I could see him vividly as he hovered so close. If I could have lipread, it would have been possible to make out what he was saying.

Then he was gone. Sideways he vanished over the next hilltop, skimming the top of the pylon. Bus driving seemed mundane in comparison.

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