Had to put this up on the blog - received this email today from Howard's brother Adrian...see blog below!
And all that.
First Officer Adrian Johnstone ESB MI5 DFC with Bars - Public, Lounge and Cocktail
PS Call me picky but the humble marine gastropod mollusk of the Melonggenidae family found in temperate waters has an H in the English spelling, making it a Whelk.
PPS Wholeheartedly agree Sweetcorn picked and popped straight in the pan for 2 minutes smothered in butter is probably one of the finest and simplest of foods that can be eaten, followed closely by fresh dug Pentland Javelin new potatoes served likewise.....
PPPS Iveagh up the road has made Jan and I some Mulberry vodka, has to mature for a few weeks yet but we will report in due course.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Plane is in for a service today, so subject to them not finding anything wrong…your Plummet Airways flight will be leaving on schedule for Le Touquet….our departure time …is.. Whenever we are ready to go….returning promptly at …when we feel like it.
Lunch will be served at… some stage….followed by gastro gourmet seafood shopping… au bord de la mer….mange tout mange tout.
Suggest we meet at 0900 at the Air Park … in the main car park near the control tower…for coffee and croissant….let me know if you do not know where it is…that’s the airfield not the coffee……don’t forget your passport…bikini…Tom Cruise Rayban sun glasses…cycling shorts…phrase book…seafood recipe book…map…book on teach yourself flying….rubber ring...kite surfing gear!!!!
Flight time approx 1hour each way…weather forecast…hot and sunny
Let me know if you need any more details at this stage
Captain Howard R Johnstone BA KLM SAS BOAC BEA BMI
Dear Captain Kamakazee BA BMI VA DANDARE CDROM
Very much looking forward to trip and will meet at 0900 hours at designated MP.
Need to know whether plane has wings...or indeed engine.
Will bring parachute.
Dear unfortunate passenger,
Wings yes…engine works most of the time…bit old and rusty now…used to be very good when it was new…so if you could bring a few spanners along …just in case…always best to be prepared.
We do have a few parachutes...but they have been used so many times they are beginning to get a bit threadbare now!!!
Dear Dodgy Captain with suspicious plane,
Ok...will bring rubber boat and oars!
Almost three months ago on the 1st of July; and probably one of two really hot days this summer I went to France for the day. The stunning weather was only the start of a fabulous and rather decadent day.
Captain Howard and his brother Adrian, both really good family friends flew my Dad and I to Le Touquet. We had arranged this about six weeks before during a decadent lunch at The Angel. The sort of lunch that brings on a hang-over at nine o’clock in the evening.
Usually events planned during a lunch like this get forgotten, but not with Howard. It was planned with military precision, culminating in the above emails a couple of days before we left.
I think these emails set the tone, give you some idea and possibly make you realise that it was going to be a good day!
Take off was quick and soon we were flying above my village, taking photos of my cottage and then we headed south past London, onto to Dover and over the channel.
Clear blue skies enveloped us, and at one point I could see Dover and Calais – you always know France is close, but you can easily forget just how close it really is.
We navigated down the coast and landed in Le Touquet. Howard arranged bicycles and we rode into the town. Lunch of mussels and rose followed with a coffee chaser. Then a cycle, an outrageoulsy large purchase of seafood, bread, smelly cheese and melon.
There was a large explosion on the way back as the Captain’s tyre burst on the bike. Obviously we were quite concerned. We thought he’d been shot and were terribly worried who would fly us back – after all we had all this seafood to eat.
On landing at the air field, and really wondering if the day could get any better, there was a Mark One Spitfire, engine running awaiting take off.
The power of the plane was incredible, and sixty years on still had us all in total awe as it took off, barrel rolled and then did a low fly past.
So kind of Captain Howard to arrange it for us.
We all trooped back to the Captains and finished the day eating our combined body weights in mind-blowingly delicious lobster, crab, prawns, langoustine, welks and salmon, all washed down with some champagne.
Days like this happen so rarely.
The sun shines; friends devote an entire day to making you happy.
Thank you Howard and Adrian for making Le Touquet the perfect time.