Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm in love !

How would you react if you found out that someone not a million miles away from here has on free public display his collection of 250 model aeroplanes ? What if you discovered amongst this treasure, a Halifax, Lancaster and even a Stirling ? Then you found that the next shelf contained a Victor, a Vulcan and a space for a Valiant, currently winging its way to Saint Mary's in kit form. Just as you reasonably thought that life could'nt get any better, suppose you found a display of the George the Fifth, the Bismark, and the Missouri, how would you respond ? As sensory and spiritual overload threatens, imagine coming upon a TSR-2 and a Canberra! In my case I discovered that after some deep breathing exercises, that some semblance of mental equilibrium could be attained, but my hopes to obtain some emotional control of the situation were cruelly dashed when it was revealed that the collection also contained all the travel books of HV Morton, and a complete collection of Classic Air magazines dating from 1973. In his spare time the owner of the collection acquired 12 Harmoniums, which he restores and plays, when not practising on his guitar or banjo. I think you can learn a little about a person from finding that from the time that he commenced taping TV programs 32 years ago, that he has kept every video, which is clearly labelled on the spine with a precis of contents, including the running time of each program. Naturally this information is cross referenced to an exercise book which is updated on a daily basis. I happened to mention to the collector that I have a friend in Melbourne who had made a record of every commercial flight that he has taken over the last 30 years, and was unsurprised to be handed a log book containing details of each of the collectors flights since the age of 13, including information about the make of aeroplane,sector length, flight duration, captains name, etc...Then I discovered that the collector is a cricket fan (he gave me a book "the Cricketing Edrichs") and owns every release made by Peter Paul and Mary in vinyl form. It goes without saying that background browsing music in the display is exclusively ABC FM. The conversation turned to the subject of cars, though in my mental condition it was difficult for me to make much of a contribution, and the collector showed me his 8 horsepower Ford Anglia, the first car he ever bought, which he naturally still owns and maintains in a roadworthy condition. His real automotive love however is Rover cars, and he showed me his 1948 Rover, and his 1953 Rover, and his 1957 Rover, and his 1967 Rover, which is restored to showroom condition. Unfortunately he has been too busy to acquire more than a small group of Triumph motorbikes. As we sat in front of a shelf with every book ever written by WE Johns on it, and with the gentle click clack of the Hornby locomotive circumnavigating an alpine diorama, just audible above the prelude from Bach's 1st cello suite (bwv 1007a) I suddenly realised that I was in love. If I had any doubts at this point, then they were banished by a discussion of the hydraulic operating pressures necessary on the Wellington bombers undercarriage, and the revelation that his favourite TV show is "Chance in a Million", and his favourite actor Simon Callow. Now it just so happens that the object of my affection is immensely fat, in his late 60's, and sports a huge bushy beard - but lets face it, nobodies perfect. How am I going to tell Cecile ?

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