A glorious break from the daily nonsense -- HP decides to fly a group of journos down to Cornwall, launch some new digital cameras and leave us in the Eden Project to test them by snapping various exotic plants. The Eden Project is a huge set of greenhouses filled with climate control and appropriate vegetation, a sort of zoo for plants: I get a bit hot and bothered in the Tropical zone, but the Temperate area is very pleasant. Highly recommended: I'd been to Kew a couple of weeks before so was a little overplanted , but the site is amazing.
Almost everything about the day goes swimmingly. Our departure in the world's smallest 18-seater turboprop is enormous fun, as we take off from RAF Northolt to the sound of various hacks humming the Dambusters theme. Cornwall is fifty minutes away, which to someone used to hacking his way down there for five hours on the Paddington-Penzance Scrumpy Special seems nothing short of miraculous. The cameras are very cute, and work well no matter what zone we're in (watch for full review soon), and I get dangerously nostalgic for my West Country days as we drive through the country lanes back to Newquay airport.
Back in London, the one small blip on the radar of frustration is the non-arrival of the cab to take us back to the tube station. While hanging around, I have occasion to find out that the RAF is the last place on earth still using toilet paper that could do duty as lining for cake tins. I mention that to some online chums from Her Majesty's Airways: "Oh yes," they say. "That's John Wayne paper." Pardon? "Yup. It's rough, it's tough, it don't take no shit from nobody."
Curious sense of humour, the RAF.