Thursday, December 05, 2002

Dine another day

Yesterday I went to meet the management of a software company at Nottingham to get a feel of their products and services. Yes it's the same Nottingham that was famous for Robin Hood and his Merry Men. In total about 10 of us analysts went to see the company and we were pleased with what they had to tell us. But the best part of the whole visit was the post noon session - when the company had hosted a bit of entertainment for us. One of them was clay pigeon shooting and the other was off-road 4x4 driving.

Around half past noon we all got into a bus-coach and headed to Derby which is about half hour ride. From there we took a detour to The Yeaveley Estate which is nudged between the rolling hills of East Midlands. The weather was cloudy and by the time we got into our civvy clothes it had started to drizzle. But that didn't dampen our spirits. We headed straight to the mounds from where we could do a bit of shooting.

I had never done clay pigeon shooting before but I had seen it in Olympics. I wondered how in the world could someone shoot a disc flying so far and so fast in just on shot. I had doubted that I could get a shot, even if I had a machine gun firing rapidly. We were first taught the basics of handling a shot-gun (I didn't need that coz I have used shot gun back in the village where we hunt wild pigs - don't worry we have forest office licence). Then we were on our own - facing a large green field. There were three types of shooting - disk moving from behind me and into the horizon, disk moving from left to right, and disc coming from horizon staright at me. And I played my shots in that order.

The guns were heavy - heavier than the one I use back home and much heavier than long range rifles. We used the 16 calibre bullets. The first shot I fired missed the target as it flew away before I could even pull the trigger. A bit of advice from the estate manager and I got into position again. Since I knew the trajectory by now I was more cautious. **Bang!** The disc shattered :-) And then it went on bang bang bang ... some I missed and some I hit. But I got the hang of it. My weakest division was when the disc flew right over me because I just couldn't lift and chase the gun fast enough.

From there we went and got into 4x4 Range Rover vehicles. It had been pouring heavily for last 24 hours and so the tracks were all slushy and slippery. But that won't stop a freak like me ;-) I just pumped in the revs and went for it. At one point I skidded so much down the slope that I thought I would crash into the tree but I stopped just 2ft from it. Shaken but not stirred :p

The day ended with all of us heading to the country pub within the estate. We had a lovely hot meal and apple pie and toffee for desert. I could barely lift myself at the end and our hosts asked us to stick around for another couple of hours and we could all enjoy dinner at the city. But we were all tired and wanted to head back to London before it got too late. But I don't like putting off dinner invitiations and so I told them let's dine another day :-)


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