Yesterday, whilst Anita and I were preparing to put a tail mount on Heckle's newly hard penned deck feather, I stubbed my big toe. This wasn't any old run of the mill stubbing, this was full speed walking with flip flops into a concrete step. I'm sure the nail flipped all the back, I was doubled up in agony. I was carrying Heckle at the time, in fact she was being cast so I couldn't even do that thing where you hold your toe in the hope it alleviates some of the pain. I just had to suck it up, take it like a man, In fact I would have to say that this was the most pain I've felt in a long time, maybe even ever. Ok a touch of the man flu syndrome, but it REALLY hurt. The toenail is now blue and getting darker by the hour, I'd say it's a gonna for sure.
Today, whilst preparing all of our equipment for Heckle and Jeckle's inaugural Parahawking flights at Cabo de Santa Pola today; being really careful not to inflict any more damage to my poor big toe, I gently flicked off my flip flips, reached down to slip a pre-rolled sock onto my left foot, then put my back out. I don't know what I've done but it hurts to breath, not at the moment though as I'm all jacked up on Nurofen Plus. Anyway, I was about to fly Kathy Pollet on her first ever Parahawking flight and Jeckle's first Parahawking flight at our new base in Alicante, Spain. It wasn't looking good, I could barely walk, talk or breath, let alone fly a tandem. And whats more, the wind was on the light side. I had a feeling that this wasn't going to be a gentle float along the beautiful sun kissed cliffs with the turquoise Mediterranean shimmering in the background, this was going to be a workout, I was a broken man, this is just what I needed!
I set the bar pretty high when it comes to training and flying birds, I expect the best, all the time, anything short of that generally isn't quite good enough. This has come from having amazing Parahawking flights in Nepal for the last 10 years, where nowadays things seldom go wrong. I've now had Heckel and Jeckle in re-training for just 2 weeks, with a few set backs due to the weather, it's not been a straight run. Today we flew with Jeckle, he was ready, but we just wasn't, we had a plan but it was difficult to execute due to the light winds. We still had a nice flight, nothing went wrong, in fact in retrospect he did pretty well, everything that was asked of him really. Jeckle came into the glove once during the flight then returned to Anita on the takeoff when he was called, In fact some might say a perfect training flight, new site, new wing, new people, new feathers, new everything, what did I expect? We didn't end up flying Heckle, the winds were dropping off so we'll try her tomorrow. I hope Kathy enjoyed the flight.
I'm praying my back feels better tomorrow and that I don't randomly walk into any other inanimate objects left foot forward. Why does that always happen? A series of mini stubs follows the big stub always on the same toe, like aftershocks reminding you of your clumsiness... and they hurt almost as much as the original stub.
Onwards an upwards, this is just the beginning!