Friday, October 12, 2012

Gliding through the Cotswolds

It did not rain today. Well, it sprinkled for a few minutes, late this afternoon, but for the most part we had bright sunshine. When David got the word that his glider flight was on, he called us; picked us up in Lyndhurst; and drove us all the way (about two hours) to Shenington in  Oxfordshire, where we found  Shenington Gliding Club.  There was a brisk wind, but apparently that wasn't a problem. People had been gliding happily all morning, and now it was David's turn.

I half suspected that Robin would want to fly, but he was happy to stand with me and watch. David was given very thorough pre-flight instructions; then he donned a parachute, climbed into a glider with his instructor, and leapt into the sky. This club uses a powerful winch to get its gliders airborne. I had never seen that before, and I found it both exhilarating and a bit shocking to watch.

We understood that they would probably be in the air for about seven minutes, but in fact they stayed aloft for seventeen minutes, time enough to get a splendid view of the Oxfordshire countryside. I was shivering, so I went into the bus that serves as an office/waiting room, and I watched the glider wafting overhead. A few minutes later, I was still watching the glider when I happened to glance over to the field, and there was David, walking along, helping to guide the plane back into its parking place. I had been mistakenly watching the glider that took off a few minutes after David's did -- so I missed photographing his landing.

The photos I took, however, were definitely of David's plane. I was still standing outside at that time.

While I was waiting for the flight, I took a few photos of the surrounding countryside. David must have had a fabulous view from up in the sky.

When David landed, we drove back to the village of Wroxton and stopped at the hotel there to have a snack before we drove back to Hampshire. David and Sheila spent a couple of nights there back in the spring, when David tried unsuccessfully to take his glider flight. This was not the best of years for gliding -- until today.

Wroxton Best Western

Believe it or not, this is a Best Western  Hotel. We sat in a quiet lounge there;  I drank green tea, ate a salad sandwich, and warmed up. Then we walked across the road to visit a thatched church -- the first of those I remember seeing, ever. It was a Roman Catholic church called St. Thomas of Canterbury, and its front door was open; so we went in.

It turned out to have beautiful stained glass windows; something that wasn't obvious from the outside.

Finally, we headed for home, rather dreading the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. As it turned out, the traffic wasn't too bad, and we got back to Lyndhurst by dinnertime.

Tomorrow, we're expecting more good weather, so there may well be a trip to Dorset and another local football in our personal forecast.


Linda said...

David must have had a wonderful view, love the stonewall shot.

Sandra Leigh said...

I do love stone walls -- and most of the buildings in the Cotswolds are made of a luscious, butterscotch-coloured stone that is a joy to the eyes. I hope I remembered to post one of them. If not, I'll hunt one down.

Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea said...

nice camera shots in beautiful nature :)

The Bug said...

I like the stone wall too - very pretty with the purple flowers. I think that I would enjoy going up in a glider. I tried hang gliding once & that didn't work out very well, but actually being IN a contraption - that I could do!

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