My head has been in the clouds this week. It is up there with the Spitfires and the Fairey Gannets.
The former made its name in Battle of Britain times. The latter is a naval plane, and one built to land on aircraft carriers out at sea.
Yes, I am quite the expert now. For we have been filming at Scotland’s biggest volunteer run aviation museum.
The place is on the site of the old Dumfries airfield – and it boasts a treasure trove of engines and flying memorabilia.
Chocks away Ginger…
There are wheels and propellers. There are logbooks and radios. Chocks away Ginger, there are goggles and aerial maps.
But pride of place, in a great hangar, is a hero from World War Two time.
Across the globe there are more than two hundred surviving Spitfires – and we have three of them here in Scotland.
One has found a home in a Glasgow museum. Another can be found at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian.
This beauty – well, it has an Ayrshire connection. Built in the Midlands, it crashed in 1941 during a training exercise over the south of Scotland.
A five-year labour of love
It was 40 years on that the remains were discovered in the dark waters of Loch Doon.
They were spread over a wide area and it took plane enthusiasts five years to bring them to the surface.
They were dried off, the thing was rebuilt and it now attracts a considerable audience.
What is it about flying?! Like trains, plane spotting never seems to lose its appeal. Nor does flying.
In normal times – i.e. pre-pandemic – there can be more than a million people in the sky at any one time. They are jetting off. They on their way somewhere.
I’ve good reason to dislike flying
For my part, I have no urge to go anywhere, anytime soon.
All those queues to get through passport control. All those masks and the prospect of forced stays in strange quarantine hotels…
That is my excuse. Because whilst I am a happy camper, I cannot say the same for flying.
Then I have some reason not to be.
There was the time the plane we were in fell thousands of feet in a few seconds during an African thunderstorm.
Then there the instance when my seat fell to bits as we headed over Russia.
And the occasion the noisy child sitting beside me suddenly went quiet and was sick in my lap…
Useful information gathered
Besides which, if we go away, who will look after the new puppy – and the other MacNaughties?!
In the meantime, I have gleaned some useful information from my museum visit.
Did you know that the air in the plane is as dry as the air in the desert? Or that we lose a third of our taste buds during a flight?
The moral is, drink more water and go easy on airline food…
If you are heading somewhere hot, I am jealous, but not horribly so. All I can say is bon voyage – and good luck!