Too old for this year of leisure to be called a gap year, so I guess I must be retired? A storyboard for every flight, in celebration.
Dungavel the selected theatre for today's fun. A fantastic turnout with at least one PWC gladiator in the ring. The Colombian mafia Gummy, Tony, Tom and Stephen, also out for some fun.
Easy, if slow, climb out ensued, with Tom and Bren first away, followed by Stephen, Charlie S and I.
Like week one of Strictly, much mincing took place, all the way to Coulter and beyond to Broughton. Lots of thermal activity but none of it inspiring. Slow broken climbs but with our trio pretty much staying intact. Teamwork.
On to Trahenna where Stephen and I parked above the hill, slowly climbing in rubbish, when Charlie snuck south and took a moonbeam to base.
On to Peebles and time to catch up with Charlie again. We rendezvous above a small quarry. Enter Tim B. We work the quarry like stone crushers, slowly grinding out some altitude. Oh so slowly. As it turns out this was the crux of the flight. As if taken out by snipers, the rate of attrition around Peebles was significant, with much of the field coming to grief.
East of Peebles and back to base at last. I lost sight of Charlie at this point but still had Tim to pimp off.
Ok, time to concentrate and sneak round the corner of the airspace out into the unrestricted stretch to the coast. A bad time to be back in mincing mode. Almost on the deck and having to stick with a climb that takes us north into airspace. We need to leave this climb early and take a glide.
Great looking sky all the way to the coast, we take a strong climb to base and bar it. We repeat this a couple of times. Actually surprised at the lack of roads below but no need to worry, this is so easy, I can taste the ice cream already.
In typical fashion Tim was enjoying the ice cream, when I was once again in the boonies having landed 15km short of the coast.
I have enjoyed much luck in the retrieve stakes in my time. Today was to be no different. I enquired, on the best route to Edinburgh, to a gent cutting the lawn of his isolated abode. Walk 5 miles to Duns, take a bus to Berwick and train to Edinburgh. He popped into his house to get timetables and make sure Sunday connections were possible. He then abandoned his chores, got his car out of the garage and drove me all the way to Duns. To top it all, I could find no one to take the £26 fare on the train to Edinburgh. I guess that makes me a Virgin sponsored pilot.