Out of the Blue: The Sometimes Scary and Often Funny World of Flying in the Royal Air Force, as Told by Some of Those Who Were There

Out of the Blue: The Sometimes Scary and Often Funny World of Flying in the Royal Air Force, as Told by Some of Those Who Were There

Out of the Blue – The sometimes scary and often funny world of flying in the Royal Air Force – as told by some of those who were there.
Foreword by Air Marshal Cliff Spink CB CBE FCMI FRAeS RAF R’td.
After Amazon charges @£1.60 will go to the charities

There’s a saying in the Royal Air Force: if you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined. It’s a perfect example of the wry humour that permeates the mind-set of Service personnel, and it resonates throughout this book. Whether the tale is set in the air or on the ground, it offers a glimpse of what life was, and probably still is, really like in the RAF.

Over a period of two years, three ex-military pilots, who joined the RAF on the same day and have been life-long friends, collected the stories. Sometimes terrifying, occasionally outrageous, and frequently funny, they show that the business of flying military aircraft sporadically throws up challenges that even the most capable of aviators struggle to meet. Without exception, the stories are related with a refreshing candour that acknowledges the failures as well as the triumphs on each author’s part. Equally importantly, they are presented in a way that anyone can enjoy, regardless of whether or not they have any knowledge of flying or military life.

Many of the events recounted here happened during the Cold War, when the surreal world of potential nuclear conflict was the backdrop to day-to-day operations, and nearly all the stories appear in print for the first time. Indeed, it is true to say that, from an aviation perspective, they are frequently more remarkable for the fact that the protagonist got away with it rather than demonstrated great flying skill.

Amount going to charity £3.32/.43 (at current rate)

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Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe (Bryson)

Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe (Bryson)

Bill Bryson’s first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither Here nor There he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backback, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.

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