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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Would you give this girl a gun?

It is good to try new things.
Usually I like being a beginner (I am a beginner at almost everything anyway…) but this time being rubbish actually hurt.

Last Saturday I went clay pigeon shooting in the Dutch countryside.
To be more precise it was in the Dutch Betuwe area, where I grew up.
In a way it makes sense for a shooting range to be located in the heart of the Dutch orchards… Lots of cherries to protect and magpies’ nests to destroy around the farms…

I have been at many shooting parties in the UK over the years, and have been taught to pluck and cook whatever falls dead from the sky.
But so far no one had been foolish enough to actually give me a gun.

Say Hello to my friend...

It looks so graceful and elegant from across the field… But firing a 12 double barrel pressed against your cheekbone is quite a different matter.

What force and violence in such a sleek machine!

Now I understand why some old hands at this are deaf on one side…

Luckily things did improve once I finally understood how to hold the gun and peer down the barrel properly…
You should simply hug the gun like it is your best friend, even when they have smoke coming out of their ears.

But in the end I fear that I need to admit to have little natural talent for this. (or may be my bizarrely bad eye sight isn’t helping…)

Plucking birds at the Golden Gate Ostrich Farm, from The San Fransisco Call, Apr 1913

The bruises left on my right upper arm remind me of when I started épée fencing. But now, two days on, I have to admit the adrenaline rush is addictive…

I now see there is more to the wild than just plucking it…

Pity the winter is over.

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