Saturday October 16th 2010
I have a feeling of déjà vu. I am sitting in the works van with Andy driving up the M1 from Nottingham to the Lake District on the M62. I am at present writing this week’s blog on a laptop. We have just spent much of the past three days at Debs and Roy Smith’s house. Debs just managed to do her sponsored skydive this morning. It was cancelled from the previous day due to low cloud. In the build up it involved an interview with the Evening Post in Nottingham, as well as interviews on Radio Nottingham and Radio Cumbria. Sparky came along to give Debs moral support. The twist of course being that he would be watching from the ground, able to fly, while Debs, unable to fly, would be falling out of the sky for his benefit. This morning, the 16th of October was perfect. Debs managed to get off the ground at around 10.30 am. Sparky was there to see her take off, as well as Roy her husband and both Andy and myself. Looking up, we were slightly confused in that the cloud didn’t look much different from yesterday. Yes there were breaks, but visibility certainly didn’t look much better. We were all looking up at the swirling whiteness, getting dizzy and maybe feeling a bit of vertigo, (and that was just Sparky, never mind the rest of us), when the plane engines became audible. A steady drone of propellers. Langar Airfield having been in operation in the 2nd World War, it wasn’t a wild leap of imagination to imagine we were listening to a Lancaster Bomber, which flew from here back then. Then the pitch of the engines changed, which we knew was the plane slowing down to allow the sky diver to safely evacuate the plane. A little while later, some black dots became visible. That they were moving fast was plain to see. As they appeared through the clouds, the swirl of cloud vapour plainly indicating them coming towards us at near terminal velocity, approximately 120 miles per hour. Suddenly these projectiles sprouted wings, as the parachutes unfolded, dramatically slowing their descent. Debs’ canopy was blue and white. It took around 4 minutes from then for her to be safely back on the ground. Sparky and the rest of us were very relieved that she had made it safely back to earth. In the process she raised around £2500 for the World Owl Trust, as well as helping to raise the Trust’s profile, and get us some new members and adopters. Brilliant! Thank you Debs and Roy, for making this a very successful endeavour.
I wasn’t at the Centre much this week, but I was there for long enough to have witnessed a very significant event, namely Metro/Fidget’s first free flight at Meet The Birds on Wednesday the 13th of October. The little bird has become a big owl now. He is now officially fully trained.
I will leave you with some pictures of this week’s events.
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|World Owl Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1107529
Limited Company Number: 5296745
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.