I spoke to him while he was still at the hospital but finding the right words or indeed, any words but might seem more than inadequate platitudes, was a struggle. After all, what can you say once that kind of sentence of the inevitable and inescapable, has been delivered by a doctor, as factually as a judge donning his black cap in court?
So in the coming weeks, all his friends are planning a big party for him, as he's a tough and irascible b***d and would rather have us celebrate his wake standing-up with a glass in his hand than lying down surrounded by people in black ties and long faces. I think that's an attitude that many, if not most of us, would understand and share as well.
Yesterday morning I was up early to do a couple of jobs and was surprised to find my aircraft coated in ice. Kent and Essex were bathed in brilliant early morning sunlight, as I landed at an empty Damyns Hall to find the Good Year airship sitting on the disused runway, where I planned to set-up a banner. A little later, a small army of ground crewman arrived and wrestled it into the air forty-five minutes later. Watching it all, I concluded its driven by a chainsaw motor and is one complicated exercise. Lord knows how they ever managed to get the giant airships of the 1930's airborne?
I'm not very good at recognising celebrities and so for yesterday morning's job, I must have appeared a little naive when I asked the client how I might recognise the house on a very long road in the countryside. "It's like David Beckham's house" she said and so at that point I assumed I was looking for something quite large and ostentatious and I wasn't wrong! I've had a few occasions when well-know celebrities, both sporting and entertainment, have called-up for a flight and it wasn't until after the event, that I realised who they were. Some of course are obvious and I know where Jordan and Paul McCartney and Andy Murray have their homes, tucked well away from public gaze and with a space between them and the paparazzi.
disaster that destroyed it, it commuted between Berlin and New York on a regular basis. My father once told me he saw it flying over Madrid as a boy living in Spain before the Spanish Civil War.