You stand on the lawn holding the windfall apple between your feet. Taking care not to split it, you press the garden cane clean through it, a couple of inches into the ground. Using the cane as a slingshot, you launch the apple with all your might. High over the trees and the garden wall. Over the old warehouses and beyond, to land out of sight. Possibly in the harbour. Maybe even across the water in North Harbour Street. Who cares - the fun is in the flight, not the landing. You fire another, and another. When you run out of windfalls, you shake the tree.
When the policeman turns up he doesn't believe a kid can throw apples 200 yards so you have to give him a lesson in how it's done. He's a quick learner and a fit young guy, so his first attempt goes like a rocket. But his round-arm technique doesn't give enough elevation and his apple smashes itself to a pulp against the warehouse wall. Shocked at the raw power of this weaponry, he confiscates your cane and cycles off with it over his shoulder, to practise at home. If he'd only looked in the shed, he'd have found your air rifle and the World War One bayonet. And fifty more canes.
(excerpt from Zen & the Art of Paragliding)
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At first sight, Stufital hasn't changed at all through Ramadan, but on closer inspection the tattier chairs are seen to have been re-upholstered and the table tops revarnished. The other change, which we were expecting, is the new duo, George and not-George. No guitar, sadly. George leads from a keyboard which manages to play itself when he switches to saxophone. Not-George, whose name I'll learn in time, is a sonsie lass with a nice smile but rather less voice than either of her predecessors. Otherwise, business as usual, as witness Dindsay's state of, let's say, relaxation.