Thursday, May 29, 2008

Being European

What does it mean to be proud of ones country? This is a question that I never really asked myself until I moved here to France.

When I joined the Royal Air Force many years ago, I swore allegiance to the Queen, but at the tender young age of 17, I saw it as swearing allegiance to the country. I went on to serve 24 years in the RAF doing what was asked of me and willing to defend my country come what may. Now, as an outsider, I have come to see things a little differently.

It was not the Queen who sent the armed forces to the middle east to fight for something that is not British, but the Government. I doubt if the Queen even had any say in the matter. In fact does the Queen have any say in anything? I believe that the whole of the royal family are just bloodsuckers on a country that is being brought to its knees by a government who love the power.

Another gripe is the national anthem. Why do the English sing about a Queen and not about a country? The French national anthem is about the united citizens of France and is much more appealing in these modern days.

I am sometimes asked, by French people, what team I support in the six nations rugby. The answer has to be France. Why would I support a team that comes from a country where the people are overburdened buy taxes and petty laws, with CCTV trying to catch the innocent on every street corner. No I support the country that has let me come to live here, and welcomed me with open arms.

I meet other Brits around the area who ask how often I go home, the standard answer is that I am at home, I don't intend to visit the UK again in a hurry. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti the English people, but anti the English government whose aim seems to be to oppress the population.

I found it interesting that the UK prime minister, a scot, met with the big UK oil companies to discuss increasing oil output to try and bring the price of fuel down. Hang on a minute, most of the fuel price is tax! There is an easy way to bring the price down, didn't anyone tell him?

Why is it that in the UK, many institutions have the power to fine people? Try putting too much rubbish in your dustbin, parking in the wrong place, driving slightly too fast, not taxing your car exactly on time, or many other things. Can an individual fine the local council for something that they don't get right? If you should go overdrawn by a few pence on your bank account you will get a letter that will cost you around £25 for making a mistake. When the bank makes a mistake can you charge then £25 for writing a letter to point it out?

If you live in the north of England and receive a penalty charge for the London congestion charge, when you have never visited London in your life, you would think that you could ignore it, but no, you have to appeal against the charge. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

I know that I will get many emails from people who do not agree with what I am saying here, but you must remember that this is my blog and I can write what I want. If you are one of those people, feel free to start your own blog and write what you like!

Friday, May 16, 2008

3 axis microlights

Our friends, Wim and Regis are the joint owners of a 3 axis microlight. The yellow one in the picture below is known as a sirocco and is the aircraft that they have flown for a while. After too many heavy landings it was found to be a little bent, so they decided that they should scrap it and invest in something else.
This is Wim after a landing.

Here is the new microlight, a Weedhopper as seen for the first time over the airfield at Cendrieux.

And the same machine after the landing, it was immediately named the flying Tomato, but is to be renamed the Red Baron.

Once again Wim after a landing.Note that they have fitted the bigger wheels off the last aircraft to the Weedhopper as it makes life easier on the grass strips. Wim and Regis are off to make some spats (mudguards) for it this afternoon as their small airstrip is in the middle of a cow field, and the cows tend to leave sloppy brown stuff on the runway for them to drive through. Makes a mess of the wings with no spats fitted!