My month of September – 2017 edition

September heralds the start of autumn, my very favourite season, so this month has been all about recommencing various autumn rituals, like lighting the log burner at the end of the working day, and photographing pumpkins at the local farm shop.

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The view from my office window is also looking decidedly autumnal as the apple tree turns various shades of orange and yellow.

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The Firework Champions event at Ragley Hall seemed a nice way to kick off the autumn events calendar early in the month. I wrote more about it and shared lots more photos here.

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Despite being extremely busy with work, I’ve been doing lots of flying of both the fixed wing and rotary variety. Since I wrote about my first 20 hours of helicopter training, I’ve been working on a few new things like flying sideways and backwards, turning around the nose and tail, etc. I’ve also fitted in some more solo flying, which is exciting.

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On top of that I have been sitting ground exams, and I’ve got two out of the way so far (Principles of Flight and Operational Procedures, both passed with 83%). Three more to go!

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I’ve not been neglecting fixed wing flying too much this month. On the 4th anniversary of my first ever solo, I took the Robin off for a solo flight and flew over Broadway Tower, one of my favourite Cotswolds spots.

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Yours truly. Still wearing the exact same sunglasses as on my first solo four years ago!

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Another solo Robin flight I did this month was to Croft Farm, where it goes for maintenance. I had to deliver it for its aeroplane MOT, and I had a lovely flight over there. Lee came over in Wilhelmina and I flew us back. I’d not flown a motorglider for absolutely ages, and couldn’t believe the difference from the Robin.

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I also took a friend’s stepson flying, who was actually my first ever male passenger. Strangely, I’d only ever taken female friends flying before that! But he wants to be an airline pilot and had never been in a light aircraft before, so it was great to be able to introduce him to the Robin. You can even see a video of my landing here.

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On one of our rare days off this month, we had to pay a visit to the pilot shop at Oxford Airport. This was the perfect excuse to stop for a little wander around Charlbury, the idyllic Cotswolds village that I used to call home. I miss it so much and really wish we could afford to live there again.

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This is the Bull Inn, looking resplendent with red autumn foliage and bunting.

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On the subject of the Cotswolds, here’s a snap I took on a solitary drive near Winchcombe this month. The views round there really are stunning (and I do think my car is rather pretty too).

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And another one, taken near Broadway, of a magnificent sunset. In the distance you can see rain over the Malvern Hills.

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Another excursion this month was to beautiful Bath, as I won tickets to Thermae Bath Spa in a photo competition on Instagram. It was my fifth visit and I loved it just as much as the first time. The Georgian architecture, of course, never fails to impress.

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After our spa session we headed over to Abbey Green, where I was keen to have some tea and cake at The Foodie Bugle, a lovely little tearoom/shop I follow on Instagram.

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It didn’t disappoint! The Cherry Bakewell was particularly wonderful, as are the bow windows.

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Finally, I’ve been busy as ever with cuddling puppies over at Guide Dogs. Here’s a highly unflattering snap of me with the pups on a gloriously sunny early autumn day a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been volunteering there for over two years now (three if we include the training school in Leamington where I volunteered for a year before that), and I can honestly say that the novelty of their cuteness never wears off!

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