If you were a Greyhound and getting to be a bit less supple, it would be nice to think, somewhere there was a comfortable chair, near a fire when necessary, out there, waiting just for you. If you were a Donkey and you had spent a long and profitable life in one of the countries of the Mediterranean region, it would be nice to think that somewhere in the Chilterns, there was a cosy stall with a door looking out onto a field, that was knee deep in lovely, green grass. From the jungles of the Congo basin to the islands of the Philippines, every Gorilla or or Orang-utan, as they get older, must be keeping an eye out for a naturalist or TV crew, come to carry them off, to a peaceful old age in a zoo somewhere in Europe or America.
But what do you do if you’re a helicopter? Say you are a Westland Sea King and you’ve been in service in the far corners of the world, for over forty years. For more than forty years you have picked up and put down people in the jungles of Borneo, the South Atlantic, the Arabian deserts, or the foothills of the Himalayas. You’ve picked people up off the decks of sinking ships or sliding mountains – when they’ve been lost and when they’ve been injured. Wouldn’t you think you’d be entitled to a decent retirement?
This chap is due to retire in 2016, I wonder if he’s just looking around, thinking of settling in this area, maybe.