The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer


Back to the Classics Reading Challenge 2019

Classic by a Woman

As a teenage schoolgirl, friends were reading one Georgette Heyer after another. I had a couple of tries then, and recall not getting more than a few pages into the book, due to it’s generally not appealing to me.

Some fifty years later with this challenge, I thought I should read and complete a Georgette Heyer. The Grand Sophy was recommend as a good first book of Heyer’s to read.

The young Sophy got to stay with her father’s sisters family when her father went away. She has a catalytic effect on all the romantic relationships presented and, with no romance at all acquires her cousin as her prospective husband. The main other context is Sophy’s ability and bravado driving horses and different types of carriages.

I have read through some of the reviews on Goodreads of The Grand Sophy. Most are 4 or 5 stars, but about one in ten, are poor reviews. There is clearly a subset of people like myself who have not enjoyed this book for the same reasons.

I don’t like doing a poor review of a book and author generally revered; however, I found myself in the minority group which found the storyline flimsy, the characterisation shallow, especially of Sophy, and missing any level of description of the surroundings and context.

I will be happy to leave others to read through all of Georgette Heyer’s books. 

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope (19th Century Classic)

John Grey with Alice Vavasor, BBC TV 1974


I just loved this book! 

Anthony Trollope was an established author when he published “Can You Forgive Her?” as a serial in 20 monthly instalments in 1864 and 1865. There followed a two volume book version later in 1865. The reader is called to attention immediately with the question in the title. Those early readers must have started to ponder immediately…

Even the 80 “Chapter Titles” must have whetted their appetite for each monthly instalment at the cost of a shilling each.

  1. Mr Vavasor and His Daughter
  2. Lady MacLeod
  3. John Grey, The Worthy Man
  4. George Vavasor, The Wild Man
  5. The Balcony at Basle
  6. The Bridge over The Rhine
  7. Aunt Greenow ………etc to Chapter 80

The illustrations of Hablot Knight Browne (also Charles Dickens essential illustrator), are wonderful. All, along with those of Miss E Taylor, who illustrated Volume 2, are available for perusal at http://victorianserialnovels.org/illustrations-can-forgive/

I was a novice in terms of reading any of Trollopes works; however, I have been a repeat watcher of The Palliser series made by the BBC in 1974.

I decided to “read” the book as an audiobook – 33 hours of listening to David Shaw-Parker narrate so well, altering his voice and accent to reinforce which character was which. He gives Glencora Palliser née Macluskie, a soft Scottish accent, which I wasn’t expecting. I also wasn’t expecting how contemporary the language style is – not stilted or overly complex.

The story focuses on three women, all related in the extended Vavasor family, who, by force of the social context of the day, need to choose between two suitors. Alice, about 24 years old, is the main intended of the question to the reader. She vacillates repeatedly between her cousin George, temperamental and imprudent, and the steadfast and patient John Grey. She has frustrated and annoyed readers down the years due to this. I whole-heartedly forgive her. I think the pressures were great on young women, to choose, or have chosen for them, their marriage partner. The unfolding circumstances revealed the deeper and truer natures of each of these men. 

“Can You Forgive Her?” was the first of the six Palliser novels, also known as The Parliamentary novels. Plantagenet Palliser had previously been introduced to the reader as a minor character in The Small House at Allington, one of the Barsetshire Novels. In this first Palliser Novel, we are introduced to his future wife, Lady Glencora, who, from hereon in the rest of the book series, is a major and important character, acknowledged as one of English literatures most scintillating. She is only seventeen when pressured by guardian aunts and social morés, bent on protecting her large fortune, to abandon her first and most passionate love, the handsome but wastrel Burgo Fitzgerald, for the rising and wealthy Parliamentarian, and heir apparent to the dukedom of Omnium. The title question might well be posed by Plantagenet of his wife’s early inability to engage with him in the marriage due to her distraction by Burgo. (He never considers there is anything to forgive – “It does not signify”. I found his constancy for her breath-taking, a portent of his solidity and his ability in his Parliamentary life.

Before God, my first wish is to free you from the misfortune that I have brought on you. Wood Engraving by Miss E. Taylor for the First Edition, Volume 2.
Softly, slowly, very gradually, as though he were afraid of what he,was doing, he put his arm round her waist. Llewellyn Thomas for The Folio Society version 1989.

I did enjoy the dalliance that Aunt Greenow makes of choosing her next husband in short order after the passing of Mr Greenow. She is a connecting character with the extended members of the Vavasor family. The losing suitor may not have felt forgiving of Aunt Greenow in her final choice. 

There were the earliest stirrings in society in thinking and writing regarding inequality in marriage. Trollope was widely travelled in his day job in the Postal Service, and he later travelled to the continent, the USA, Australia twice, and New Zealand. In the context of the day, I felt that Trollope was empathetic to the plight of women, whether consciously or unconsciously. Harriet Taylor Mill had already published her work, The Enfranchisement of Women. Her husband John Stuart Mill would publish his essay, The Subjection of Women in 1869. Trollope wrote in An Autobiography, “But it must ever be wrong to force a girl into a marriage with a man she does not love—and certainly the more so when there is an other whom she does love”.

Trollope had role-modelling in his own life of a strong, capable, adventurous woman in his own mother, Frances Milton Trollope. Mrs Trollope was also a prolific writer, able to support her family with the proceeds. Hence, it is not surprising that his meeting maverick American journalist and lecturer, Kate Field, at his mother’s home in Florence in 1860 was the beginning of a long warm and deep friendship with many meetings and correspondence between the two. Both these women would have given him a broader perspective on the place of women in marriage and society. Alice asks the question “What should a woman do with her life?”

As the book proceeds, there is the feeling of being immersed with the characters, with growing fondness for them. Previously, I have felt this fondness for characters in a family in the early books of The Forsyte Saga (also pertaining to the same period of time as this novel). My mother had read The Forsyte Saga repeatedly through her life, and indeed needed to read it again, “One more time!” before she died, as “they”, the old Aunts, had all become her friends. It was interesting to hear Trollope express this same attitude to the Characters in Can You Forgive Her? “Of Can you For give Her? I can not speak with too great affection”.

More from An Autobiography:

 “In these personages and their friends, political and social, I have endeavoured to depict the faults and frailties and vices,—as also the virtues, the graces, and the strength of our high classes; and if I have not made the strength and virtues predominant over the faults and vices, I have not painted the picture as I intended. Plantagenet Palliser I think to be a very noble gentleman,—such a one as justifies to the nation the seeming anomaly of an hereditary peerage and of primogeniture. His wife is in all respects very inferior to him; but she, too, has, or has been intended to have, beneath the thin stratum of her follies, a basis of good principle, which enabled her to live down the conviction of the original wrong which was done to her, and taught her to endeavour to do her duty in the position to which she was called. She had received a great wrong,—having been made, when little more than a child, to marry a man for whom she cared nothing;—when, however, though she was little more than a child, her love had been given else where. She had very heavy troubles, but they did not over come her……….Lady Glencora overcomes that trouble, and is brought, partly by her own sense of right and wrong, and partly by the genuine nobility of her husband’s conduct, to attach herself to him after a certain fashion. The romance of her life is gone, but there remains a rich reality of which she is fully able to taste the flavour. She loves her rank and becomes ambitious, first of social, and then of political ascendancy. He is thoroughly true to her, after his thorough nature, and she, after her less perfect nature, is imperfectly true to him.”

My enjoyment of this book is reflected in the 4 versions which I have acquired during the “reading” (perhaps after MY less perfect nature, I MUST have FOUR versions!):

The audio version listened to within my Scribd subscription app, read wonderfully by David Shaw-Parker.

The free book at eBooks@Adelaide.

A paid-for version at Amazon Australia Kindle which has all the original illustrations.

Oxford World’s Classics version with annotation by Dinah Birch.

This last version includes Dinah Birch’s introduction which “discusses the relationships at the heart of the novel and elucidates the complexities of the text. An emphasis on issues of gender, social and economic change, and politics in the introduction clarifies the novel’s place in contemporary life. The edition reflects recent critical revaluations of Trollope’s significance as a major novelist, including the influence of the new economic criticism, and new interests in Victorian liberalism. Invaluable appendix outlines the political context of the Palliser novels and establishes the internal chronology of the series and the relationship between fictional and actual political events, providing a unique understanding of the series as a linked narrative. Biographical Preface provides a compact biography of Anthony Trollope, and a Chronology charts his life against the major historical events of the period. Explanatory Notes elucidate cultural, literary and political allusions”.

Can’t wait for this version to arrive………

The African Queen

The African Queen by C S Forester

I acquired this beautiful little volume of The African Queen (MacMillan Collector’s Library) a couple of years ago, having been additionally attracted by its special presentation. It held comfortably in the hand, felt luxurious with its little blue ribbon book mark, and fine gold embossed pages – augmenting the great satisfaction of this “read”.

The story of The African Queen would be well-known to many, having been immortalised in the 1951 film made by John Huston, starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, with some of it made near location in Uganda and The Congo. 

C S Forester wrote this novel in 1935, just before he started the Hornblower series. The story is set early in World War 1, 1915, when German East Africa had control of Lake Tanganyika, in the west, and also had control of the adjacent Indian Ocean on its eastern border via the port of Dar es Salaam. Forester changed the names of the real name places and boats, giving us fictionalised, but thinly veiled versions of these real places, boats, and events leading to the loss of control of Lake Tanganyika by Germany to the British Forces.

Forester’s names and places in The African Queen:

Lake Tanganyika became Lake Wittelsbach.

The Ulanga River was probably the Ugalla River, with its source on today’s Ugalla Game Reserve.

The Königen Luise was the fictional name for the real ship patrolling the Lake, the Graf von Götzen. (The Graf Von Gøtzen was sunk by the British in real life; then, at Winston Churchill’s orders was refloated and rebuilt and re-launched in 1927, as The Liemba. This was the old name for Lake Tanganyika from Livingstone’s time. She still plies Lake Tanganyika.)

Our completely fictionalised protagonists were Rose (Sayer), a unmarried 33 year old woman “approaching middle age”!!, who, at the beginning of the story, had been helpmate for the previous 10 years, to her missionary brother, in the forest of German Central Africa, and (Charlie) Allnutt . Allnutt is a Cockney engineer employed by the Belgian gold-mining company a couple of hundred miles up the river. He and Rose are thrown together by circumstance just as Rose’s brother has died of fever, exhaustion and the devastation of his life’s work buy the arrival of the German military. 

“It was at this very moment that Rose looked out across the veranda of the bungalow and saw Opportunity peering cautiously at her. She did not recognise it as Opportunity; she had no idea that the man who appeared there would be the instrument she would employ to strike a blow for England. All she recognised at the moment was that it was Allnutt……-a man her brother had been inclined to set his face sternly against as an un-Christian example.”

To escape the further incursions of the German Military, Rose and Allnutt set off in the dilapidated African Queen down the Ulanga River, and quickly contrive, that if they survive the perilous journey down-river they will attempt to destroy the Konigen Luise, the German patrol boat plying Lake Tanganyika, striking their blow for England. 

The story is beautifully written with rich descriptive language. Rose takes to the tiller with aplomb, and guides the African Queen through numerous treacherous rapids, while Allnutt stokes and manages the engine. The description of their deprivation (except for Allnutt’s Gin and cigarettes), what each are doing and thinking, the state of the waters, banks, the boat, the mosquitoes and leeches, the heat, and eventually, the malaria, make the story compelling. I often felt I was Rose, revelling in her new skill and adventure, steering the African Queen through rapids. I could almost smell the water and hear its thunder.

“Rose silently took hold of the iron rod; it was so hot that it seemed to burn her hand. She held it resolutely, with almost a thrill at feeling the African Queen waver obediently in her course as she shifted the tiller ever so little.”

“Outside she could hear the noise of the African night, the howling of the monkeys, the shriek of some beast of prey, and the bellow of crocodiles down by the river, with, as an accompaniment to it all – so familiar that she did not notice it – the continuous high-pitched whine of the cloud of mosquitos outside her curtains.”

Rose had previously led a very ordered, confined life, with no prospect of personal happiness. Allnutt, also had an isolated and lonely life. In the intensity of their efforts to survive, they find each other as lovers. Forester is so deft with so few words, in conveying the deep comfort they experience in their eroticism. Allnutt becomes “Charlie” to Rose, and Rose is his new and familiar “Old girl”, in his Cockney accent.

The river finally descends from the highlands into the reeds, and then the waterlilies of the lowland, and finally, the restrictions of the river delta. With Rose’s determination and Charlie’s engineering skill, they make their chance to strike their blow for England.

My edition of The African Queen had a very informative afterward by author and academic Giles Foden. He tells us that there were three different endings for the book – the  original ending which Forester himself preferred in which Allnutt dies in the last events of the book; the version which I read, in which Rose and Allnutt both survive, without the exact fulfilment of their mission for which they had hoped; and the third, which was the Hollywood version of that final event. I think I prefer the version which I read, which yet leaves us imagining further about Rose and Charlie.

Reading The African Queen was exhilarating. 

The African Queen history

The African Queen today

The Story Behind The African Queen

Back to the Classics Challenge 2019: My List

Back to blogging, after a break!! For some years I have followed a variety of bloggers, mainly with topics about sewing, knitting, health, reading, cooking. A longtime favorite is Katrina from Pining for the West.

Katrina lives in Fife, yet pines for the west of Scotland, where she grew up. She is a prolific reader, and reviewer of her reads on her blog. A recent post of hers inspired me to sign up for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2019 run by Karen on her blog Books and Chocolate. Hopefully, I will get the chosen book for each category done and blog reviewed each month. Here is my list, still undecided in one category.

  1. 19th Century: Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope (book one of The Pallisers). I am halfway through the 33 hours of audiobook on my Scribd App, multi-tasked “read” while photoshopping old photos!

2. 20th Century: The African Queen by C. S. Forester. I am nearly finished my visually and tactile-ly pleasing edition by McMillan’s Collectors Library.

3. Classic by a Woman: The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer.

4. Classic in Translation: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

5. Classic Comic Novel: One of these: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis; Aunty Mame by Patrick Dennis.

6. Classic Tragic Novel: A Separate Peace by John Knowles.

7. A very long Classic: The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott…probably by audio.

8. Classic Novella: True Grit by Charles Portis

9. Classic from the Americas: One of these: On the Road by Jack Kerouac; The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.

10. Classic from Africa, Asia, or Oceania: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

11. Classic from a place you have lived – Australia. The Harp in the South by Ruth Park.

12. Classic Play: I am a Camera by Christopher Isherwood.

Old Cowra

For years, I have been scanning and then Photoshop-cleaning an enormous trove of photos from Warwick’s family, which include photos going back five generations. Warwick grew up on a farm, Braedene, at Barryrenie, some 20km outside Cowra. At age 8 and a half years, Warwick was sent to school in Cowra, having done some distance education at home before that. A small selection of those photos follows.

 

This was a family trip to Taronga Park Zoo. R to L: Little Warwick is on the knee of Uncle Jim, Allan on ground in shadows, Graham, father George, little Marnie, behind Uncle Wal, mother Beth, then Aunty Joan.

Aunty Ollie, Warwick and scarecrow. Warwick.

The old Hillman….

Farm cats near the tank stand

On property of eccentric friend way up in the hills from Braedene…..

W’s mother, Beth, father, George, and Aunt, Joan at Braedene

Brother Allan

Rest from building the “new” house

George shearing sheep. Warwick later did a painting of his father from this photo.

Warwick pillioned his father on a road-trip to Cairns from Cowra

Warwick on the MZ250. Photo taken by Warwick on his round-Australia roadtrip at Julia Creek in late 1975.

In Bed with an Elephant

 

Reading In Bed with an Elephant: A Journey through Scotland’s Past and Present by Ludovic Kennedy, 1995. This book is from Anne’s library; I recall her telling me years ago that she was reading it with pleasure.

Sir Ludovic was a well-known British broadcaster and a writer regarding miscarriages of justice. As a young child, he believed he was English, and was shocked and delighted to find he was totally Scottish, on both sides of his parentage. He inherited a Baronetcy via his mother following ancestor Sir Patrick Grant, the Scottish Attorney General, some 250 years earlier, agreeing to help subsidize the colony of Nova Scotia.

Ludovic gives a very easy-read interpretation of Scottish history, interspersed with his own life anecdotes. The elephant that Scotland is in bed with is England, as well as insidious anglicization within Scotland.

Wonderful opening paragraph, which explains why Highland hills, Island hills…my land hills, are as they are:

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE ICE. IN PLACES THE ICE WAS TWO MILES HIGH. I’ll say that again: the ice was two miles high. It covered most of the northern hemisphere, it spanned the Atlantic. In America, it stretched as far south as the latitude of Washington DC, and in Britain, as far south as London. All of Scandinavia and of Scotland lay inert beneath it.

Warwick and I had Ancestry DNA done recently for this years birthday. I was surprised at mine, which had a heavy concentration of ancestry over the last few hundred years in Scotland, the Orkneys and Western Hebrides, Ireland, (no English dots!?!), all confirming the known family histories. What was the biggest surprise was the number of dots on Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, no doubt arising from the Scottish migration to those colonies from the late 1770s, again, no doubt related to the Scottish Clearances, after Culloden. For interest, I have found that there are plenty of Halleys in the current Nova Scotia phone book, and also in the Perth, Scotland phonebook. Love the link to Prince Edward Island, since providing the Anne of Green Gables books to Jenny nearly 30 years ago, and feeling kindred spirit with that island myself since….no wonder, fellow genes were calling….

With respect to more ancient genes, Scandinavian origins indicate the Viking inhabitations of the Orkneys, and Hebrides in the more modern gene alignments. There is  a little German coverage (one German great-grandparent). And 2% “European Jewish” confirming the research finding by Keith Halley, written in a letter to Anne forty years ago of the Jewish refugees from Spain to England many years ago. On relating this last fact to a Jewish friend recently, she was very unimpressed, shrugged, and said, everyone has got some!

The Moonlight State

In May 1987, Four Corners presented Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption, which reached all the way up to the Police Commissioner, Terry Lewis. An inquiry was announced the following day, becoming the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over a hundred covictions, a jail term for the Commissioner, and the end of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Premiership. Dear Andrew Olley, long since departed from a brain tumour, was the presenter.

Recently, Four Corners presented a programme called Breaking the Brotherhood, which, now, thirty years later, brought to us the whistle blower police and investigators who gave their stories to Chris Masters. It also explored the frightening consequences for those se whistle blowers, at the time, as well as the severe impacts on their subsequent lives.

Four Corners remains part of the essential eternal vigilance.

I received 2 tickets to Joh for PM, the musical for my  birthday from M, R, H, and M, and had J accompanying me. We watched from a front row table…..’glorious fun’ as described by one reviewer…..apparently Mike Ahern, in the audience, now 75, was laughing his head off.

James Dobinson was the one man band….at Stage Right, doing the musical direction and orchestration. Sitting so close to the front it was an added embellishment watching the music production so closely.

 

The Song List included:

Accidentally (Member for Nanango, then Premier)

Feed the Chooks

We don’t do that nonsense here!

Don’t you worry about that!

Pumpkin scone diplomacy

Slush

and finishing with the rousing I will stand, complete with all characters in Maroon t-shirts and calls of “Queenslander”! with the audience responding in unison with an identfying standing ovation.

For more serious review and reflection on this era, Matthew Condon’s books are fascinating…….a review of Queensland politics and corruption through most of my early and young adult life. Condon is a Brisbane based author and journalist. Brother J put me on to these.

 

 

 

 

Gloriana, Hallelujah!

Gloriana, Hallelujah, the principal soundtrack to the series gets into your head, sung by The Mediaeval Baebes…….

Watching Season 1 of Victoria has been an absolute treat, dare I say it, even better than The Crown. (BTW, Men, eg W and TG, seem to really enjoy these royal biodramas!!). The settings of Buckingham Palace and Westmister Abbey and Windsor Castle have been substituted by other breathtaking palaces and churches. As with The Crown, the cast, the costumes (royal dress, mens and womens, and jewellery), the transport – in this case, horses and carriages, are outstanding; the politics of the day, fascinating to get a take on.

Jenna Coleman, recently from Dr Who, is more classically beautiful and slimmer than Victoria was, but similarly small at 5 feet 2 inches, whereas Victoria was 4 feet 11 inches, some 11 inches shorter than her reasonably elegant Prince Albert. Victoria was not a classical beauty, and was not driven by a focus on matters of her own physical appearance. However, she was very taken by Albert’s appearance, in many scenarios……

‘He is so sensible, so kind, and so good, and so amiable too,’ she writes, adding: ‘He has besides, the most pleasing and delightful exterior and appearance, you can possibly see.’

‘He is extremely handsome, his hair about the same colour as mine. His eyes are large and blue and he has a beautiful nose and very sweet mouth with fine teeth. But the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful.’

‘I just saw my dearest Albert in his white cashmere breeches, with nothing on underneath,’ – her journal recollection of inspecting a military parade in Hyde Park!

And Albert to Victoria prior to marriage:

Dearest, deeply loved Victoria,
I need not tell you that since we left, all my thoughts have been with you at Windsor, and that your image fills my whole soul.
Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth. How that moment shines for me when I was close to you, with your hand in mine. Those days flew by so quickly, but our separation will fly equally so. Heaven has sent me an angel whose brightness shall illumine my life. Body and soul ever your slave,

Albert

……every girl’s dream……..

Rufus Sewell plays Lord Melbourne, with whom Victoria had an intense and adoring relationship, in the first two years of her reign, prior to marrying Albert. The series suggests it was romantic, but Victoria’s letters relating to that period, (the ones that DID survive the redacting and burning of originals by her daughter Beatrice upon her death) affirm it was not romantic on her part. Lord Melbourne was forty years older than Victoria, and overweight in this later part of life. There is no doubt he was charming to her, as well as instructive and supportive, all very appealing to her as she had not known her own father, and had been cosseted from society til then. However, one biographer suggests that HE WAS romantically involved with her, and suffered from it to the end, some 11 year after her ascension to the throne. He had, earlier in his life suffered the scandal of his wife’s affair with Byron, (and the death of his son). He had had many liaisons since then, but never allowed himself a committed love again, til his role with the new young Queen (not to suggest the romantic notion in the head was ever enacted in any way – safe it was within the constraints of their roles). Melbourne managed to live at the Palace for a couple of years during this early time, and was devasted as Victoria became otherwise focussed following his retirement and her marriage. She wrote to him regularly for several years then, but this, too, faded, discouraged, as seen inappropriate.

Victoria was a very good horsewoman……..Jenna looks wonderful at side-saddle rides for pleasure, often daily (later dining) with Lord Melbourne, as well as for ceremonial parades. She was an accomplished drawer and painter, having been taught as part of her education, an accomplished musician and singer (sometimes with Albert), able to speak German (first language), English, French, Italian, and Hindustani (learning in 1876, on becoming Empress of India).

Queen Victorias Scrapbook online has been provided by the Royal Household, with compelling excerpts of her letters, her and others art works.

 

There is a surfeit of potential further spin-off reading…..

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (script-writer for the Series)                     The Victoria Letters: The Official Companion to the ITV Victoria Series by Helen Rappaport

Victoria: The Queen. An Inimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird (Also of The Drum, Our ABC)

Victoria: A Life by A. N. Wilson

Melbourne by Lord David Cecil, incorporating Young Melbourne and Lord M

ANZAC DAY 2017

For two peas from the same pod, John and I are somewhat different……he has no fear of flying, and does it for work and pleasure; whereas I have always been somewhat nervous about it, exacerated by experiencing lightning strike and moderate turbulence during flight and landing. The relevant genes for flight and courage must be on the Y chromosome!

Recently John sent two video clips of very moving aircraft tributes for Anzac Day Commemorations – one taken from Caboolture Airport, with others, but in particular, featuring John and his brother-in-law, Rod, flying their Chipmunks. The other is a moving fly-by filmed from Mt Mee.

Mt Mee fly-by

 

ANZAC Day 2017

For two peas from the same pod, John and I are somewhat different……he has no fear of flying, and does it for work and pleasure; whereas I have always been somewhat nervous about it, exacerated by experiencing lightning strike and moderate turbulence during flight and landing. The relevant genes for flight and courage must be on the Y chromosome!

Recently John sent two video clips of very moving aircraft tributes for Anzac Day Commemorations – one taken from Caboolture Airport, with others, but in particular, featuring John and his brother-in-law, Rod, flying their Chipmunks. The other is a moving fly-by filmed from Mt Mee.

Mt Mee Fly-by