Sunday, July 18, 2010

Misleading signage

A long time ago in a galaxy far away my job involved being picked up by a helicopter at a moment's notice and this often involved making a temporary helipad at the nearest school oval, open, flat space or sometimes, amazingly, an airport. Sometimes we just flew around a bit and then landed but sometimes we had to stay out for days so we set up our own helipads wherever we happened to be in the bush. A relic of those days was put on the gate to the only flat spot we have, the former pony arena, now vegetable garden.

It was a joke, of course. The area is also the only one transversed by high tension power lines, right next to the house and surrounded by steep hills, fences and trees. A worse helicopter landing site is possible, but not by much. However it became surprisingly useful in the early days when the vet lived here... er, came so often that he'd go straight out to whatever shed, paddock or yard the animal catastrophe was occurring in based purely on our brief description over the phone. "In the top shed, up the drive and past the helipad..." When a new vet joined the practice he was clearly briefed, we are now known to all of them as "The place with the helicopter landing site" despite a helicopter never having set foot here.