Friday, 10 February 2017

And Breathe...

Well I did say I had lots planned for this week and I have managed to do another couple of things from my sixty by sixty list. The first was a birthday present for both of us from Stewart's son and his wife. James and Elizabeth have taken up my sixty by sixty project with great enthusiasm and they thought I might like to add indoor skydiving to my list... They were not wrong!


On Wednesday we took ourselves off to Milton Keynes where we experienced the thrill of free fall skydiving... but inside a big wind tunnel. . You have to let yourself fall into the chamber where a 120 mile an hour wind lifts you up in the air for 60 seconds... which believe me is quite long enough! It was totally exhilirating. Everyone in our small group then got a second turn and if we were relaxed enough, the instructor spun us around and lifted us right up high inside the tunnel. As we left, Stewart said "That was amazing but I would never jump out of a plane"... and my reaction was "That was amazing, I'd love to do it out of a plane!" Not sure I ever would though!


Thursday was my first day in my new job. I'd had a couple of hours there last week, supposedly to learn all about the job... and in particular the "oven", but I left feeling I'd made a huge mistake. The training I was meant to receive on the state of the art "Self Cooking Centre" (actually nothing like any oven I've ever encountered) was non existant. Frankly the thing terrifies me... the idea of jumping out of that plane seems preferable to cooking with this! No one seems to know what I'm supposed to be cooking and it all feels rather chaotic... added to which, the other cook who was doing the days I'm not there, has left. However they are lovely people who run the shop and not wanting to give up before I've even given it a try I spent all day yesterday, from 8 am until 4.30 pm on my feet trying to bake scones in this machine. They were okay and people paid to eat them but I wasn't happy with the results... not up to my usual standard having to work with inaccurate scales, no measuring jug and an oven where you can't set your own temperature! The rest of the day was spent rinsing dishes and loading and unloading the dishwasher... very glam! I came home totally exhausted and with an awful headache so not sure how I will cope with two consecutive days next week.

At least I slept well last night, which was just as well as we had bought ourselves a morning at a Bird of Prey Centre for an African Bird Experience today.


We got to handle and fly all sorts of amazing birds. This was an Eagle Owl which was really beautiful, but we also got to fly a small African Barn Owl, a Harris Hawk and a large Fish Eagle with a 5 foot wing span... I certainly knew about it when he landed on my arm!

We saw so many beautiful birds I can't remember what this one (possibly a Bateleur Eagle) was but he was a real character... we were having a bit of a chat here! It was so cold that I think my nose almost matches his for colour! And the one below is a magnificent Bald Eagle called Lincoln... she was very heavy! She is still young so doesn't have her adult plummage yet. Just look at that beak and talons!


So there we are... that was my busy week. I'd like to tell you next week will be calmer but probably not! I am directing "Charley's Aunt", something I have wanted to do for a number of years ever since seeing a fabulous outdoor performance of it. So that will be another thing off my list no doubt. It could be a while before I have time to post again and I don't seem to be having time to read your posts either, so have fun meanwhile... and I'll be back soon.

16 comments:

  1. Haha, that was a week....not sure about the skydiving but the birds looked like fun...so beautiful!
    Maybe next time your job will be ok, sometimes it just takes time.

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  2. What an intrepid pair you are and what a busy week you have had. Great adventures and mostly fun, apart from the scary oven and non-existent training. Those birds of prey are so beautiful.

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  3. Good luck with your job. It is always challenging changing, but worse without good training, but from what I have seen on your blog, your are an amazing person!

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  4. Gosh, you put us to shame with our dull domestic routine. Birds look fantastic, I most find somewhere locally to take husband who is fascinated by birds of prey -when we're released from grand child duties which have been unavoidably heavy of late. Quite fancy the sky diving too.

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  5. Oh wow! What a week. That last photo is awesome. A question. How do you 'get down' when the 120 mph wind stops??

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    1. The wind doesn't stop... The instructor gets hold of you and directs you towards a doorway, which you grab with both hands and swing yourself through to the waiting platform!

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  6. I have often been near the wind machine but have never plucked up the courage to try it.

    My neighbour has a Harris's Hawk, she is named Jess.

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  7. You are crazy in the most wonderful way Gina. I just love how you embrace life and do fun things. x

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  8. My goodness Gina...what an exciting week. All sorts of flying! What a wild and crazy and wonderful birthday celebration!
    Now. About that job. It is interesting to read about the person who has left. Clearly you and that person are not the same, but it is a clue of something that might yield more training, or even more comfort and happiness with the new challenge.
    Knowing that you are such a fine teacher, I would expect that you will already be thinking of ways that you (and others) might be better trained to get the most out of That Baking Machine.
    I foresee great blogging potential! xo

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  9. What a week that was! The birds are amazing and it must have been a great experience to get so close to them. Good luck with the "oven" and hope you master it soon as it must be very frustrating. Love the sky-diving picture! If you have time for a cuppa whenever you are over this way again it would be great to meet up.

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  10. My God woman you are fearless!! Sky diving, eagle watching and mastering a digital oven all in one week. You are my hero. x

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  11. Some week, eh?! Bravo on the sky diving. I couldn't even contemplate doing that (unlike a boy here who jumps out of planes and off bridges in the name of enjoyment). Very envious of your day with the birds and hope the job is less stressful next week.

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  12. Wow Gina! Another quiet week! I'm not sure I would like the skydiving and you would never get me jumping out of a plane. I feel dizzy at the top of a ladder! I do hope your job improves and good luck with the play.

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  13. WOW! I'd love to do that wind tunnel experience, but there is no way I'd ever jump out of a plane, although I had lunch today with a friend who's done it twice. I've just been looking at falconary days near here, think I might ask for one for my birthday. Hope the job is better this week.

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  14. Wow Gina -- I'm thinking I need to jump on your 60 by 60 bandwagon (seeing as how we're the same age ;-8) -- it looks like you're having so much fun. Everyone in my family has been skydiving except for me (and parents) -- sister, hubby, BIL, all the kids -- I'm the one lone holdout, prefering not to pee my pants in front of everyone! Perhaps the wind tunnel would be a better option for me. And the bird trip! I would LOVE that. How on earth did you hold that big eagle up on your arm???

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  15. All of a sudden I feel very sedentary! You are so busy! Are you still baking at home too? X

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