I’d like to tell you about Claude Debussy.
Claude is well travelled. He lives in Eastbourne by the sea and is popular on Facebook with an ever-growing fan base.
He is also something of a daredevil: last year he strapped himself into a Jet Provost at Airbourne – a big air show in Eastbourne – and was flown around at huge speeds putting himself through some serious g force.
You’d think having done that last year he would relax this year and just enjoy the show. But no. He isn’t the type to rest on his laurels. So this year he decided to try his hand at wing-walking.
For those of you who don’t know this involves being strapped to the wing of a plane which then takes off and flies around for a while. So it’s pretty terrifying.
Oh and one more thing about Claude. He’s a teddy bear.
The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne had the clever idea of adopting Claude – who they named after the author who stayed at the hotel – and sending him around the local area and indeed the world for photo ops.
So far the bear has had rather a nice time visiting places as far afield as the Great Wall of China and home of Neighbours, Ramsey Street in Australia.
He is also clearly a bear with great taste having stayed at a new and rather stunning SLH hotel in Menorca Torralbenc recently.
It’s probably a little odd to be jealous of a teddy bear but looking through his photos on Facebook he seems to be having a ball, I bet he doesn’t get charged full price for a flight or need to pay for excess baggage. He doesn’t even have to worry about losing his passport or getting stuck in a huge queue at security.
And of course he had the chance to do something very few people ever get to do – wing-walking. It does sound terrifying but imagine the buzz of soaring through the air with the wind in your face and the world stretched out beneath you. I, sadly, was not invited to be strapped to a wing as I don’t have the sway, influence or access that Claude does.
But the next best thing was front row seats for the air show while having a G&T close by at all times. I was staying at the aptly named Grand Hotel which is essentially like having very plush front row seats to the whole thing without having to move more than a few yards from my room. And what a front seat it was with military fast jets, helicopters, parachutists and aerobatic teams including the Red Arrows entertaining me with the English Channel and the cliffs of Beachy Head as a back drop. Not just me of course but I felt so important sat enjoying it from the hotel grounds that it felt like a private show!
And I must say Mr Debussy looked a rather dashing daredevil up there. This teamed with his international jet set lifestyle and soft furry coat and it seems I’ve developed a bit of a crush on him. Hopefully he’ll join me on a trip one day soon.