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Hobbies

My main hobbies throughout my adult life have been Flying, Ski-ing, DIY, especially woodwork and cabinet making. In more recent years I have enjoyed hill walking especially in the Lake District, which I love and is my spiritual home. 

I have always been interested in flying, and in 1983 having funds available, I took myself to Wycombe Air park and had my first flying lesson in a Piper PA38 Tomahawk.   All that year I went each week for instruction, and in the Spring my instructor jumped out and sent me solo in G-DCAN. I had a smile on my face all week !


I took my test in December of 1983 and got my PPL. I formed a syndicate with four others at the club and we bought a PA28-151 Warrior, G-BEFA.  For the next few years we cut our teeth on "BEFA" with trips to the near continent. 

In 1987, we sold off our shares in G-BEFA and imported a PA28-201 Arrow from the USA which was registered as G-BNEE. The Arrow was a swift machine, 130 kts cruise with retractable gear, a 200 hp engine and a constant speed prop. Later I sold my share in G-BNEE in order to finance my M.Sc.  

Later, I became involved in a Jodel 1050 group, G-AXUK. The Jodel is my favourite, a small French tail wheel aircraft with huge amounts of character. See the video of a Jodel D140 flying in the French Alps. Later we swapped this for a  Jodel DR200, G-AYDZI sold my share in this aircraft in early 2000 in order to go travelling (see travelling). 


I have also done a lot of flying overseas: Belgium, the USA, Switzerland, Italy, Jamaica, South Africa and Kenya. Since the mid 2000, I have done virtually zero flying due to finances, so maybe its time to hang up my headset. I have over 600 hrs logged over a 20 year period and it has given me huge amounts of pleasure.

 Jodel D140 on skis in The French Alps



Skiing has also featured prominently since 1983, and has given much pleasure and I never missed an annual ski trip. However around 2005 I found myself in Austria on the Dachstein glacier.  It was a fabulous day, blue skies and I was skiing beautifully. I suddenly got an overwhelming feeling of boredom. "25 years I've been doing this" I thought. I haven't skied since ... 
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