March 17th 1941

I now own half a horse. Braybrooks and I were after one and asked Evans, the stable manager, if he could get one. He says “Oh yes, Finjan, £10, take over on Saturday”. I arrange to ride on Thursday but when I get there I find someone else out on him and Evans asking the fellow for £12.

I get most disgruntled, but in the meantime Braybrooks goes to the owner and offers him £10. The owner says Evans is selling it to someone else; Braybrooks thinks it’s me, and says we are both in together. That gets us the horse, which Evans has in the meantime sold for £12 to the other chap. He settles it, however, by getting posted so we get our horse, and arab chestnut and fairly tame. It’s 8 months since I last rode, in Wana.

Yesterday met one Stoney, Armoured Cars, in the Mess and stood him a few drinks, despite his protests, whilst his taxi was coming, and eventually he takes me off to dinner. There I meet Hilliard (also Armoured Cars) who knew Hugh, Cottingham (Gloucesters) an O.H. (JDW: Old Harrovian like my father), and “Boozy” Bons in the R.V.R. I have alot more whisky before dinner and shoot a line about India. Then half way through dinner I realise suddenly that if I have another drink I can’t be held responsible for the consequences. Not a comforting thought, but I preserve a calm and sober front, and manage to tell one of the bearers to get me a taxi, without anyone noticing. I stand firm against whisky, liqueurs and port and get the taxi when it arrives at 10pm, my excuse being early flying at 5.30 am.

A messy “decontamination” when I return and no head this morning. I go I.F. (JDW: anyone know what this means?) and am unable to fly “straight and level” under the hood, performing two complete circles in 15 minutes. Shocking!

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4 Responses to March 17th 1941

  1. Jagan says:

    IF stands for Instrument flying.In this case the pupil is under a canvas hood, cannot see any outside visual references, and had to fly just by instruments…

  2. paul stamp says:

    IF stands for Instrument Flying, hence the hood so that the pilot cannot see the horizon and must fly on instuments.

  3. Moggy says:

    This picture of life at Habbaniya just before it all went pear shaped, is quite priceless.

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