Hi Ho!

SkydiveHi ho, hi ho,
It’s off to print we go,
With a bottle of rum
and a dirty bum,
hi ho, hi ho…’

I stole those last three lines from my father-in-law. Read into that what you will.

Although, I must confess, just reading that word ‘print’ scares the crap outta me. I feel like I’m clutching the doorframe of a Beech 99 airplane’s open doorway, 15000 feet up, with the air screaming past my ears. The jump instructor’s hand is on my shoulder and the countdown has begun. Except, I’m not quite ready.
My heels are gouging a furrow into the tin floor while my fingers grasp the doorframe, mulching the metal into putty. I turn to the instructor, “Unngh , excuse me, Sir…” The grip on my shoulder tightens and my voice quavers as I recognise the steely glare of my wife’s eyes behind the instructor’s goggles. Her left cheek is starting to twitch. It’s freaking me out, man!
I turn my face back to the rushing wind and either sink my head or raise my shoulders to my ears. Either way, I’m bracing for impact….

But, in the final moments before I release my grip, as I inevitably must, I have time to ponder. How in the name of Sweet Josephine did I get to be 15000 feet up in the air? Just a few short days ago the plane was parked in the cool shade of the hanger. We cracked jokes as we admired her sleek lines; ran our fingers over the polish on her chromed props. We high-fived as she was wheeled out into the sunshine. Somebody gave me a beer. And then…and then it gets a bit hazy. I don’t remember being wrestled into a jumpsuit. I vaguely remember being bundled into the plane.
But I vividly remember the sickening lurch as she left the ground and my gut boinged like a slinky spring into my kneecaps. Who knew it only took ten minutes of climbing to reach jump altitude? That just cannot be right!
But it’s no use whinging. The time has come to abandon this craft and see if she flies! By herself….

The editing is complete! The cover has been designed! The back cover blurb has been created! The front and back matter (publishing, copyright, dedication, Author’s Note pages etc) has been done! The manuscript has been typeset! The typeset has been checked, adjusted and set again….So, to Print we go!

Book launch planning is underway. Details to follow as soon as I’ve firmed up a venue, but the date is likely to be early October.

In the mean-time, it’s time to fire up that mighty Tennent marketing machine.
To that end, amidst a rising clamour for plot details, I will be giving away the very first signed copy of the book, yup, numero uno, to the first person who can correctly ‘comment’ the book’s title on my facebook page!
I’m feeling magnanimous today, so I’ll even give you a little cryptic clue. The title is two words long. One cryptic clue for each word:

 Caged animals might go here to flush
 No pig owns it but all around it makes me shiver

May the odds be ever in your favour!

(PS Only facebook comments will be considered to win the prize!)

About iantennent

Ian was born in Durban in 1973 but grew up in Zululand and loved it. Thereafter, he got himself a degree, a wife and a child (in that order). He's lived and died several times in the UK and now he and his family are back in KZN, where they belong. He can play squash but he can’t kite-surf; he can make beer but not biltong. View all posts by iantennent

2 responses to “Hi Ho!

  • Janet Emanuel

    5-6 weeks to ponder the clue – you’re mean, real mean!

    Liked by 1 person

    • iantennent

      Ha ha.Too late, Janet! The book prize has already been won!!
      Where caged animals might go to flush = Zoo Loo Land ergo Zululand. And No pig owns it but all around it makes you shiver = no and pig(sow) are both contained in the word owns which is ‘it’. Turn ‘it’ all about and voila, you have Snow! So Zululand Snow is the book’s title. See the tab above.


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