On a Sunday morning, I go shooting. At a club local to Northampton, called Sywell Range, which accommodates clay shooters, full-bore pistol and rifle indoor and outdoor shooters, and outdoor airgun shooters. And it is the airgun rifle shooting that I participate in. Not at anything live, I hasten to add. At ‘tin-chickens’: which are silhouettes of live game, but with a kill-zone within each profile, which if you hit, the target falls over. It is a sport discipline called Field Target shooting, or FT for short. It is very popular in the UK.
I am, admittedly, a very poor shot. In fact I am probably the undisputed most crap shot in the whole of the airgun section of the Sywell Range. But that means that I am under no pressure to perform to a particular standard. Or indeed, to any standard at all. I am free to just turn up; and enjoy myself amongst a bunch of like minded people, whose company I enjoy enormously. And being out in the fresh air on a Sunday morning, whatever the weather, makes it all worthwhile.
In fact, according to Neil, the clubs possibly longest serving member, and Range Officer, and one of the hardest working amongst all of us, in terms of keeping the club operational, I am there for everyone else to ridicule, and delight in, at the appalling results of my shooting. (I generally reckon that if I hit half or more, of the forty targets, I have had a very good day.)
Which, you may consider as being a fairly harsh and unnecessary thing to say to anyone.
But I can assure you that it is not either said, nor intended, in a derisory manner. (Well, not very derisory, anyway. )
Good, wholesome banter is an essential part of the clubs ethos. Though admittedly not mentioned in its Articles of Constitution. Most of the stick which I receive, I probably deserve: and what I don’t deserve I receive anyway – because it is always so graciously provided.
Neil, Phil and a number of other notables within the club, are also incidentally, some of the people who have helped me most in terms of my transition from an utter novice with no idea, to the most crap shot in the club, with no idea. So I have much to be grateful for, from Neil and his fellow proficient members, who have been so instrumental in my dismally appalling progress.
I have related that because, this morning, I was talking to Phil, a good friend at the club, who told me that he had been reading some of my latest blogs. And he stated how much he enjoyed reading them.
But he didn’t leave a comment.
And I do wish he had. It Would Be So Nice …. to hear his thoughts.
And the same is true for everyone who reads my blogs.
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