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Procopius

PC and Cookie's Big Adventure (feat. Navy Bird), the CedB cut

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Well, Cookie is on the fifty mile drive from Midway Airport to my house thanks to Mrs P, who is by far the better driver than me; we got nearly four inches of snow today, and even here in the American midwest, where we expect Hoth-like winters that push the bounds of human endurance, this was a bit much. We had but a handful of trick or treaters this year. I've been at home sporadically handing out candy, putting my children to bed, and frantically cleaning my house so that Cookenbacher doesn't realize the squalor I live in day to day. Tomorrow is D-Day: we're going to get on a plane and fly to Heathrow to spend two weeks with Ced (to be joined on the second week by Navy Bird) in one of the more westward and most reluctant parts of Europe. I'll be documenting it here. 

 

This will be the longest I've ever spent in another country, my longest paid vacation in my working life, and the longest I've ever imposed myself on anyone not connected to me by marriage. We'll see if Ced is still speaking to me by the time I leave. 

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Have a safe trip Edward and Cookie... Will follow along in your adventures as someday i hope i will be able to make the trip. 

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I shall look forward to your observations and your progress, safe journey to you all :) 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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Have a grand time lads. I'll hopefully catch up with you all at SMW.

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We're all ready here PC - see you soon - exciting!

 

By the way, your link reports:

 

"Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism."

 

Hmmm. "Most European Countries" - say what??

Have a good flight!

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Bon voyage.  See you on Sunday at Old Sarum (Boscombe Down collection)

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Safe travels, see you at Telford!

 

Ian

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Safe travels, Edward. Take lots of pictures and post them here, for us peasants ( well, me, mostly ) who can't afford to travel vast distances for a model show. 

 

 

Chris

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8 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Bon voyage.  See you on Sunday at Old Sarum (Boscombe Down collection)

I’ll hook up with you all at BDAC, happy days.

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Safe journey and welcome to the United Kingdom / England, Edward / Precopius!
 

I’ve been in touch with Ced and will try - hard - to meet you at IWM Duxford on the 12th.  I explained to him that Mrs. J  isn’t at all well at the moment but if I can get to Duxford I’ll do my best to find you all.

 

Meanwhile, thank you (publicly) for the incredible posts you make to Britmodeller, in WIP and elsewhere.   I love to read you r comments about the model you’re working on and about your, and your family’s life in Chicago.

 

Take care, enjoy your visit, and again - WELCOME!
 

Jonny

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Hello from 37,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between the Gibbs Fracture and Porcupine Bank, if the seat's map display is to be believed. We have just under two hours until we reach Heathrow (not until we land, just until we're over it to circle while waiting for landing clearance, our pilot was weirdly specific about that), aided in some small part by a tailwind of 110 MPH that seems to have petered out to a still-respectable 60 MPH or so. 

 

It was great to see Cookie/J.D. last night again -- hard to believe it's been three years since the last time. He remains one of the most relentlessly upbeat and positive people I've ever met. He inspected the grotto and my small collection of reference materials before we realized that it was almost 9 PM and neither he, nor Mrs P, nor I, had eaten. At our first choice, celebrated local eatery The Mean Wiener, the sturdy Stahkhanovites there had shut off the grill with eight minutes to go before closing and we instead went to Isaac and Moishe's, which has to be one of a vanishingly small number of Mexican/Jewish delis in this country. They too make a mean taco (and very cheap!), and we duly retired to Hedgehog Manor to eat. In-meal entertainment was provided by Mrs P mistaking an intensely spicy mole verde for a sort of thinned guacamole sauce and shoveling it on, only to face the ineluctable consequences of such an action. 

 

I bestowed upon Cookie a few bagatelles, minor tokens of my esteem, as is traditional in these situations, and despite almost sleeping in and missing our ride to the airport, we managed to get dressed and ready in time, and we even remembered our passports! 

 

Be seeing you all soon.

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Perhaps you and Cookie may wish to peruse this link, if it streams in flight ypou may find it suitably amusing, I was going to repost this in your Spitfire thread, there are 5 short films of daily maintenance check of a Mk.I,  but a mass of detail to be seen...

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060020636

 

Reel two is the daily rigger inspection, and at 1.41 this gem appears..

48992641552_4a9bc0b63d_o.png

 

Outer well part is underside colour, well leg recess is internal colour, aluminium, 

as this shot confirms, the cockpit door is a mid tone, (grey green) so these are aluminium dope.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqKs0P4icPySTUxcnLxFY

 

 

I'd posted a youtube of this ages ago, but missed this detail.    

cheers

T

 

 

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Best of luck on your trip, PC! I envy you getting to go to Old Blighty - right now I'm working on a book about the Shackleton and I would give a large piece of my liver (your liver regenerates) just to be able to putter around the Shack they're restoring at Duxford and take some piccies. Take plenty of photographs, and not just of the Shackleton (well, mainly of the Shackleton)!

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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I’ll join in if I may, perhaps I’ll even get to SMW again sometime.

 

John

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Arrival!

 

48999892657_e49870c0cc_z.jpg

 

(CedB, Cookenbacher and Procopius)

 

I hope my selfies get better (I wanted to get the sign in) and no, we weren't standing in a ditch… :D 

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Morning all, Cookie is still asleep (I think -- his door is closed and I've heard no signs of life from behind it) and I'm too shy to go downstairs and see if anyone else is up, but I certainly am. Thankfully, my children have imbued me with a strong ability to resist jet lag through their penchant for waking up at any and all hours of the night, so although it's 3:15 back home, I only feel as exhausted as I do every single morning of my entire life.

 

Ced has very kindly allowed me to have all manner of things shipped to his home (which is lovely, by the way), and so I was greeted by what I hope will be the first of several hauls while in-country:

 

IMG_20191102_081749

 

Ah, I see Ced's posted, which means he's awake. Off I go!

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The Red Kite Battle of Britain books are a top choice. I'm collecting them as well.

 Not light reading but very thought provoking.

 

If you make it Hall one at Telford, say hi to the short fat guy in the Yellow jacket. 

 

Cheers

 

Andy

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Hope you guys have a great visit. Sounds like you have a hell of a lot of joyous treats planned. 🥳

 

Johnny

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19 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Safe travels, Edward. Take lots of pictures and post them here, for us peasants ( well, me, mostly ) who can't afford to travel vast distances for a model show. 

And please don't spare us the witty and apposite observations on the UK in 2019.

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5 hours ago, CedB said:

Arrival!

 

48999892657_e49870c0cc_z.jpg

 

(CedB, Cookenbacher and Procopius)

 

I hope my selfies get better (I wanted to get the sign in) and no, we weren't standing in a ditch… :D 

Ok I now know who to look out for on Sunday at Wallop (what order are you doing Old Sarum and Wallop in?).

BTW The quickest route between the two is over Porton Down but you could always go via Salisbury to look at its famous 123 metre high spire - just don't touch any discarded perfume bottles. 😉

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7 hours ago, Procopius said:

while in-country:

 

IMG_20191102_081749

I may need to get a copy of the Josef “pip’s” Priller info out of those Luftwaffe Biographies books from you. Im doing a series of his aircraft currently. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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9 hours ago, Aeronut said:

Ok I now know who to look out for on Sunday at Wallop (what order are you doing Old Sarum and Wallop in?).

Thanks Alastair - Old Sarum at 10am then off to Army Air. Should be with you late morning / around lunchtime?

 

 

PC has photos (lots) from the Helicopter Museum.

Here we are at Aerospace Bristol with Alpha Foxtrot:

 

49003671347_5708584780_z.jpg

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13 hours ago, Silver Fox said:

If you make it Hall one at Telford, say hi to the short fat guy in the Yellow jacket. 

I feel like...that might not narrow it down much.

 

6 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I may need to get a copy of the Josef “pip’s” Priller info out of those Luftwaffe Biographies books from you. Im doing a series of his aircraft currently. 

Not too much on him beyond a list of all of his kill claims, I fear!

 

Anyhow, we started the day with an exquisite Full English made by Hilary, Ced's wife, who has been very gracious despite her home being suddenly overrun by Americans. Cookie and I also opted to begin with great steaming cups of tea, since it was about 2 AM my time.

 

IMG_20191102_090842

 

Then we were off amidst the rolling hills of a green and pleasant land on our way to the Helicopter Museum, which is said to have the largest collection of helicopters under one roof in the world, and which must certainly have a higher concentration of Wessexes per square foot than anywhere in the universe.

 

IMG_20191102_111140

 

Back in Chicago, the leaves had all turned, even if they weren't covered by several inches of snow when last I saw them, and the rolling hills of the English countryside looked and felt as alive and vital as they were beautiful. 

 

They look sombre, but I'm assured that I hadn't at that moment yet become irritating. But give me time.

 

IMG_20191102_122449

 

 

We puttered around for a while, examining the dipping sonar on a Wessex,

 

IMG_20191102_122700

 

And the cockpit of their Hind, and I noted that they were selling bundled years of Air Enthusiast and Air International from as far back as the 1970s (I have bound copies of several years from the early 1970s and have a fondness for it), but decided against it on account of the limited weight available to us in our luggage for the return trip. 

 

We realized that we still had much of the day left, and so we opted to head on over to Bristol in Filton and poked around there a bit, too. 

 

IMG_20191102_140756

 

They had a well-known airliner on the premises, but we opted not to wait in what appeared to be a rather soul-crushing line to see the insides.

 

IMG_20191102_143135

 

IMG_20191102_143244

 

IMG_20191102_144637

 

 

They also had one of my favourites, a Bristol Scout:

 

IMG_20191102_140504

 

After we wrapped up at Filton (I got Mrs P a new watch, shhhhh!), we headed back to Ced Manor, where il maestro demonstrated what he looks like at work:

 

IMG_20191102_180316

 

 

We then had a lovely dinner made by Ced's wife, and then Cookie, Ced, and I all retired to his local for a drink or two. Drinks in a pub in England are shockingly cheap, I learned. It was about £3 for a scotch and soda, or barely $4 at present rate of exchange. In Chicago, the same will easily set you back $10 or $12. 

 

It feels good to be back in England again. Every time I've been here, the country has been on the cusp of becoming somewhere new and different: 2003 immediately before the invasion of Iraq, 2015 right in between the two big referendums, and now while you try to decide who will run the country and and where it'll be running to (I am available).

 

These past few year, I've been often moved to think of Orwell's 1941 essay "England Your England", which certainly hasn't aged entirely perfectly, but which is perhaps as realistic as a love letter to any country can get.

 

"When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos...How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?

 

"But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person."

 

"And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillar-boxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you."

 

"...In whatever shape England emerges from the war it will be deeply tinged with the characteristics that I have spoken of earlier. The intellectuals who hope to see it Russianized or Germanized will be disappointed. The gentleness, the hypocrisy, the thoughtlessness, the reverence for law and the hatred of uniforms will remain, along with the suet puddings and the misty skies...England will still be England, an everlasting animal stretching into the future and the past, and, like all living things, having the power to change out of recognition and yet remain the same."

 

I'm not English or Scottish or Welsh or (except by dint of ancestry) Irish, though I have hoped and still hold out hope to become British before I die. I like to think I don't hold the illusion that many outsiders or other people who just feel out of place in their home societies entertain, the delusion that going somewhere else might make me belong or be somehow more normal; a lifetime of cultural programming can't be overcome that easily, and even if it could I don't imagine I'd care any more about the rugby match today than I do about the NFL, or that I'd ever understand roundabouts. But as anyone who's ever been in love can tell you, you don't have to understand or even be understood to feel it; sometimes all you need is the desire to be a part of the story, be it the story of a life or the story of a nation, no matter how small a part it might be. 

 

Hope to see you all soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Procopius said:

Not too much on him beyond a list of all of his kill claims, I fear!

Ok... Thank You. I was hoping to see more about him such as a list of aircraft. I will see if there is a Jg-26 book at the O’Hare show ? 

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1 minute ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Ok... Thank You. I was hoping to see more about him such as a list of aircraft. I will see if there is a Jg-26 book at the O’Hare show ? 

There's the Donald Caldwell book, I think, but it's more of a narrative history.

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