January Write Ups
NEW YEAR BARN DANCE - Hilary Hearnshaw
The New Year started with a very active Barn Dance. Well over 100 people were encouraged to step out onto the dance floor at the Athletic Club WMC in Kettering on January 14th. The musicians and caller, Knitter's Jig Ceilidh Band, kept up a lively sound throughout the evening. The dances were not too complicated, since we all managed to keep going and end at the right time, without too many bumps into each other. Being able to count to 8 over and over again was a useful skill to have.
The initial walk through of steps for each dance was a master class in teaching by doing, using clear words, humour and patience. The caller took on this role. After one or two rounds of each dance, we danced so well that the caller retired from calling and took up her beautiful skeleton, blue, electric violin to enjoy playing the music. The band also included an accordion, a guitar and a skeleton electric double bass. Their enjoyment in playing the folk dance music spread among us all. There was a lot of smiling going on.
This may also have been partly due to the wine included in the ticket price and left at each table for us to help ourselves. It certainly beat having to go to the bar for every round. At half time we experienced speedy distribution of packs of fish and chips, cutlery and condiments to everyone. Very tasty and well-earned by then. A beautiful array of desserts was on offer for those with space left to fill up. The clearing up of remains was even speedier and very efficient, by the team of black bag men and women.
An excellent start to an active year, with good exercise for bodies and brains, in a warm and friendly place. Thank you to Pauline Ashby and Jane Tromans for organising.
FLIGHT EXPERIENCE - Ann Cook
This was the club's second visit to Cockpitsonic UK with 20 more would be pilots eager to try their hand at flying a variety of aircraft. There were three simulators in action and all very different. The Messerschmitt 109, well I could not handle that though others did. The B737 definitely had the wow factor taking off from Manchester and flying around the Mersey and landing at John Lennon airport, some pilots got to fly around Hong Kong harbour and land. My favourite was the helicopter but I should have found a better spot than a traffic laden motorway to come to rest!
On this visit we had the addition of a testing computer light aircraft flying game, no safe landings from any of us on that one but a lot of laughs. Many thanks go to our host Chris and his group of instructors for a really fun day.
INDOOR GO-KARTING - Christine Clark
I haven't been to anything with the club for two years. I met Keith at the Pemberton Centre and met up with the other 16 50 plussers at Karting Venue where we were kitted out with overalls and hair caps (well nets, not quite Ena Sharples) and briefed on the rules - no bumping, etc. we had a practice run to get the feel of the karts and the track layout. Having only raced on outside tracks before I found this one much smoother. The heats were explained - kart numbers being changed for each heat so you didn't know if your kart was best or not.
We were off - doing our Lewis Hamilton impressions - OK down the straight but lots of bumps on the bends. Hitting the barrier head-on meant a wait for the lads to straighten us up so that we could continue - accompanied by yellow lights and lots of flag waving to warn the other drivers.
I didn't know that I had done so well until I found myself in the final but a combination of my seat being too far back, being shunted and my hairnet coming down over my eyes meant that I came in last - they are my excuses!
I had a great time and was really surprised to do so well. I think that everyone had a good time.Results - 1st Tom, 2nd John and 3rd was Malc - well done! Many thanks to Richard for organising the event (and taking my photos). Pleased to say that no-one needed first aid or an ambulance.
SCUBA DIVING - Keith Merrick
A select little group met up at a shop on the Harlestone Road in Northampton for an introduction into becoming a fish. Then down to the Cripp's pool for some more instruction - very safety conscious. Here there was donning of lots of kit - mask, snorkel, fins, bottle of air, harness, weights, demand valve, buddy valve, pressure gauge, valve for buoyancy. I know how a Christmas tree feels! Then we sank beneath the surface and swam around.
Can you imagine just swimming around for half an hour without having to come to the surface to breathe? Amazing.
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