I’ve not felt too well for the last few days. It’s OK, I’m not looking for sympathy, it’s just one of those silly little summer infections that sometimes hit you from out of nowhere and make you feel a bit low. I have a small ear infection, I think, that has made one of the glands in my neck a little bit painful and although I don’t think it’s worth bothering the doctor with (I’m not one to dose myself up with antibiotics if I can avoid it, at the best of times) it has made me feel a bit off-colour. Enough to make me cry off from dinner with Victor and Madeleine on Saturday before they left for Belgium for two weeks, and from a fly-in to a barbecue at a local ULM airfield with Wim on Sunday.

So I’ve not been doing that much with myself, even though ever since my last posting we’ve been enjoying lovely weather with temperatures in the low to mid-30’s degrees Celsius. I did, however, go across to Galinat and re-do the top loop on 56NE’s fuel flap to stop it coming off in flight, and also removed its right-hand joystick and throttle lever in readiness for our west coast flight, as I want to make as much space as I can for storing stuff in the cabin without interfering with the controls.

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I’ve also found out how much I still have to do in preparation for our flight. I’ve not been camping for quite a few years and although I have fond memories of the old equipment that I thought I still had stashed away in boxes, when I looked a couple of days ago, it turns out that much of it has now disappeared. I still have several sleeping bags and I found a single air bed, but it’s only today that I’ve blown it up for the first time and I’m keeping my fingers crossed in the hope that it will stay inflated long enough to get a good night’s sleep on!

I also thought that I still had a set of aluminium camping pots and pans, but that’s gone too, so I ordered a swish new one yesterday from a supplier in Germany due to the old problem with buying French – too expensive and taking much too long to deliver. They will never, ever learn. Same with an air bed inflator – I ordered that on UK Ebay. So it’s just as well that we didn’t leave last Thursday, as we were originally due to. Although the weather in fact turned out great, I would have been right up the creek without the items I’ve now ordered and will hopefully get this week 😕

I made a special trip across to Galinat today to find the best places to store all the stuff that I’ll be taking with me. I have adapted two cardboard boxes to fit on the floor on the right hand side of the cabin. They work well and fit very snugly and although the storage space they offer is not huge, that’s as much as I’m going to get. I will be strapping two jerry cans of fuel in on the passenger seat as I did when I flew MYRO down from the UK, probably with my air bed folded underneath them, so no problem there, leaving just my tent and sleeping bag to find places for.

It turned out that both look as though they will fit in nicely and safely above my head, with the sleeping bag scrunched up between the covers in the space between the wings and the tent held firmly against the underside of the main fuselage tube with bungees like a flying saucer. Clearly I’ll have to fly with it like that beforehand before I commit myself, to make sure that it’s safe and doesn’t affect the handling of the aircraft, although I don’t see how it could.

There’s no chance from the weather forecast that we’ll be able to get away this week, though. Patchy light rain and associated thunder are forecast from Wednesday evening through to Saturday. However, although the temperature could dip as low as 19 degrees Celsius next Monday (15th June), thereafter it looks as though things will improve and we may even be in for the long-awaited period of stable high pressure with temperatures back in the low to mid-30’s. That being the case, we might get away on Thursday 18th June, by which time I should have all the stuff together that I need for the trip. So here’s keeping my fingers crossed 😉