Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Childish pleasures

All right, so I'm childish. Fortunately, I'm old enough not to care what other people think of  me. We went on holiday to Devon and had a wonderful time for a week - and most of the things I enjoyed were childish.

Like clambering into the cockpit of a real jet fighter, courtesy of Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection. The cockpits weren't actually connected to the rest of the aircraft (probably just as well).

Some of the controls lit up when I flicked the switches. For a short time I could imagine I was actually at the controls of a sleek jet. The collection included the Hawk, above; a couple of Jet Provost trainers (left - my son enjoyed both these, too!).


And my favourite, a Harrier jump jet. I've built a couple of Harriers in my time (in kit form only - Airfix models!). Actually sitting in the cockpit, imagining it was climbing into the sky, was great.


And finally I was able to "fly" a simulator - not a jet, just a simple, basic aeroplane, with a joystick and pedals. It, too, felt very real - push the stick forward and the simulator tipped me forward. Tilt it to one side and the simulator obligingly cooperated. Fortunately, it couldn't crash, or I suspect I'd have been a gooey mess on a runway somewhere. Sorrel might not be impressed - but I enjoyed it.

Yes, it was childish.

But I don't care. As the Doctor said in Robot - "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."  We all need a sense of wonder, a delight in imagining the exciting and impossible, in picturing ourselves as heroes and heroines doing extraordinary acts. It may be childish - but it beats the hell out of real life.

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