After-dinner chocks.

After-dinner chocks.

Today is the centenary of Louise Bleriot’s powered flight across the English Channel – his first, and everybody’s.

Looking at the faithfully restored replica of his flimsy, wing-warping, stick-string-and-oil-gauge monoplane, I am moved into an instant and unsurprising Edwardian reverie. How I have always wished I could have been one of those magnificent men, etc. Without the inevitability of fighting in the Great War, obviously. But with the aviation fashion. Obviously.

Msr B’s little aircraft is also, it must be spelled out, not sturdy looking. Flimsy, even.

Which brings me to my Best Man’s speech.

Today is also Julian and Angela’s wedding. And looking at the picture postcard perfection of the setting lastnight, with the almost hand-painted cloudscapes sliding over the undulating crop fields and verdant woods, little chapel perched on the hill against the sky behind the playful country marquee… I did think: “Shame I’m going to ruin all this pastoral ambience with desperate bum gags or similar…”.

I won’t. Of course.

I think the speech is pretty tame and only titter-inducing at best. But I’d better get my hairy ass in the shower and get bibbed and tuckered pronto, and try not to think about whether the jazz band will ever find this random field on the Sussex/Hampshire border.

Should be a very special occasion. But I’ll be relieved when we’ve finally survived all the up-tiddly-ups and dumped it on the deck in one piece.

After-dinner chocks away then.

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