Thursday, 28 September 2017

Revealing Obsessions.

When I was a kid I had an oddly persistent obsession with parachutes which lasted from as far back as I can remember up to my mid to late teens. I was forever drawing them, and here is a drawing of a JJ parachute:

Not very good, is it? There are no rear shroud lines showing.

If there was an upcoming TV programme which promised to show parachutes, I would give up all other pleasures to watch it. On one occasion I was told that I’d missed one the previous night and I remember feeling quite livid about it. That was at age 10. And I played with toy parachutes right up to the age of 14.

The best of them was a real miniature parachute designed for dropping small parcels which was given to me by a friend’s mother. She had once worked in a parachute factory which supplied them to the armed forces. My favourite place to play with it was a bridge over a disused railway line close to where I lived. By launching it over the line from the bridge, I got the longest fall I could manage. I remember being ever fascinated at the point where the chute opened, and almost mesmerised by its slow descent. It was a damn nuisance having to go down the embankment to retrieve it every time, but the fascination was worth the effort.

I also used to spend time poring over pictures of them, and in so doing came to have some knowledge of how they’d developed down the years. I took an interest in how the packed parachute was worn in different situations, and learned the different way in which British and German parachutists respectively were taught to land. And when the opportunity came to test my knowledge of landing technique at a public display on one occasion, I was the first one jumping off the platform to do the knee bend and roll.

Of course, all this might have had something to do with the fact that my older brother spent three years in the parachute regiment when I was aged between 5 and 8, or then again it might not.

When I hit my twenties I stated drawing different pictures, like this:

Amateur psychologists might wish to comment.

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