|choros' stag do
||[Friday 4th November 2016 at 11:05 pm]
I keep meaning to make more real life posts here - I've oodles of bloggable experiences ranging from the mundane (computer upgrades) to the exotic (clay pigeon shooting), and yet I never get round to actually posting them. The height of my everyday blogging was during my university days, and since then it's largely declined. There was something of a resurgence in posting over the last couple of years, but still far less than in 2006 during the middle of my degree. That and this year has been downright pathetic as far as posting goes, and even if I post every day for November and December I'll end up with the fewest annual posts since 2003 (and that year doesn't count as that's when I created this blog!).
So in an attempt to breathe some life into this blog and fill it with more than just Let's Play's of Zelda games, here's a long overdue post of choros' stag do from err... sometime last July. Now, all stag dos have a certain element of what happens in the stag do stays in the stag do and so I'll remain quiet about the choice of silly costumes (other than to mention us getting honked at by a fire engine while walking to the pub - so props to Surrey firefighters!). But before the pub we ended up going to one of these outdoor activity places and split into groups to take turns at axe throwing, power turns, and clay pigeon shooting.
Our group started with the axe throwing - basically, you throw an axe overarm at a target. Sounds simple, but it's actually quite hard - you have to be the right distance from the target such that the axe rotates once and then hits with the corner of the blade so that it sticks in the wood. It's all too easy to misjudge the distance and have the wrong part of the axe hit and bounce off, or not be straight on to the target and end up with the flat of the blade hitting. And that's before you get into trying for the bullseye. Something about the level of concentration needed made it all rather relaxing - if you try to take out your frustration on the target you'll just fail entirely at getting the axe to stick, so you have to approach it with a sort of Zen-like level of calm. It became something I could have easily spent the afternoon perfecting, trying to get the motion of the arm and wrist just right to score a reliable bullseye.
Anyway, next the Zen-nature of the day was entirely broken with what they called "power turns". Imagine an oversized off-road go kart with two seats, two engines, two throttles... and no steering wheel. It's completely bonkers to drive, almost entirely uncontrollable, and terrific fun. We initially went in pairs - I paired up with pleaseremove - and took it in turns to fail at a course marked out in the field with rather battered flags while shouting incomprehensible directions at each other. As it happens we had some time left over and so went round individually (they had combined hand brake/throttle controls so one person could control both engines). Those things are mental - when it was my turn I decided not to mess about and so gave it full throttle on both engines, at which point it reared up onto the wheelie bar and hurtled off the start line. I think I took a few corners on maybe two wheels!
The final event of the day was clay pigeon shooting. This isn't your modern laser clays, but proper clay pigeon shooting with actual shotguns that go BANG and fire a cloud of metal pellets downrange with actual recoil. It's another of those things that seems easy but is surprisingly hard - you have to spot the clay, lead it as unlike a laser (or Wii Play's target shooting) the shot takes actual time to travel, compensate for the effects of recoil, and try not to throw your aim off when squeezing the trigger. I did well at first, but then lost my concentration for the last few. The second round was trickier as the guy running it started to mix up the different launchers so you didn't know where the clay would come from, and I ended up with a lower score from the ten clays in the round.