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Notes from a Small Mind Paperback – 1 May 2002

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Paperback, 1 May 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: njur (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954228901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954228903
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,924,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Author

What do you do when you get made redundant? The most obvious thing is to find another job but that takes time. Sitting on a TGV train returning to England after a brief sojourn with the ‘outlaws' in Poitiers, France, I wrote an ‘aide-mémoire' of items to include in my book should I ever write it. I thought I may even get to about 20,000 words. That was in 1995 and I didn't really give it another thought. In June 2000 I was made redundant and had plenty of spare time. With my wife and kids away in France at the ‘outlaws' for a week again, one August afternoon I sat down at my computer and thought I'd just write a little bit and see where it goes.

Inconveniently I got a job which, grateful though I was, got in the way of me finishing ‘Notes from a small mind', and so it has taken me rather longer to finish than I initially thought it would. Nevertheless after intermittently going back to it I did manage the final push and out it popped, nearly 127,000 words later in early January 2002.

Why did I write it? I've no idea really, it seemed like a good idea at the time, perhaps it was a sort of catharsis for me? On the other hand it was a lot of fun reminiscing about the last 40 or more years and as I thought I had some interesting stories to tell, a bit of philosophy and opinions thrown in for good measure I thought it might be interesting and hopefully amusing too – well you can be the judge of that. The vast majority of the stories are my own and are all true, but if I have borrowed from elsewhere I have acknowledged the source.

I have tried as best I could to make sure that technical details are correct, but I bet there's a mistake in there somewhere, so doubtless you'll let me know – if you want to contact me then try robsawyer@zizicoco.freeserve.co.uk to save you postage.

I have written the book from my perspective of the events that occurred and these are my own opinions. In ‘talking' to the readers I have used the second person singular – e.g. ‘you' rather than the more grammatically correct ‘one' because I have no delusions of grandeur and I think it makes it easier to read. My style, if I can call it that, is as I would have told the stories verbally, but without all the hand movements – thus there are some long, poorly constructed sentences in there for which I apologise, but then I only got a ‘B' at English Language O-level and that was a retake. Be warned there are some rude expletives contained in the text – I make no apology for those but please don't get all offended by them.

Finally if there is any political incorrectness (as if) then I do apologise if people are offended by any seemingly derogatory words – at the time those were the words used and I was not going to change history.

Hope you enjoy it!

From the Back Cover

What do you do when you get made redundant? Obviously find a job, but that takes time, so why not write a book? On his fourth birthday Rob Sawyer received the Airfix kit of the Handley Page Halifax and thus began an enduring love of aviation.
During his life he has spent most of his pocket money on Airfix kits, the ‘Civil Aircraft Markings', anoraks and latterly Avgas. ‘Notes from a small mind' starts in 1959 with a ‘Beau' (his father) and ends in 2001 with an Arrow. In between these two extremes are the trials and tribulations of ‘plane spotting in the 1970's, being an adolescent in the Air Cadets and business travel for beginners

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "jez292" on 1 July 2002
Rob Sawyer takes us through childhood and adolescence to adulthood through his obsession with aeroplanes roused by his father's gift of an Airfix Halifax Bomber at the age of Four.
Via hilarious - and surely very familiar - tales of interminable family car journeys, including Father's 'short cuts' and holiday-rush-avoidance navigation, and countless other joys of childhood!
Sawyer's father had been a bomber pilot during the war but it seems his family didn't respond to orders and applied logic like his former crew. Rob recounts stock phrases he would use in response to his disappointingly ill-disciplined family!
From his first Airfix aeroplane to his current enjoyment of his own light aircraft Rob Sawyer delights with a gentle autobiography that could have been any of us that ever got Humbrol paint on the kitchen table or dreamt of being an RAF fighter pilot!
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By 40612 on 20 April 2006
This is a book for those with perhaps (dare I say) an unnatural interest in aviation! Fortunately I fall into that category and Robs description of going from making Airfix kits to spotting the real thing is unerringly close to my own development...all the more worrying in that we are of similar age. Our paths may well have crossed in the 70's in our various wanders around the airfields of south east England, albeit that since I was also using the same certain infamous airfield guide that Rob used there was probably a good chance that our paths literally did cross but never meet! I rush to point out that this will be lost on anyone who has not read Robs book.

To appreciate this book you need to have gone through that same love of all things that fly and at the same time have moved from train spotting to plane spotting. Parts of it will mean nothing to the uninitiated, many of whom could probably just jump to the learning to fly part. But that misses the fun. Robs description of assembling Airfix kits had me smiling...it reminded me of innocent days. His progress into aircraft spotting was perhaps more natural than my own (in that with Rob there was a family history in aviation), but the end result was the same, and it took me down memory lane reading through the various trips around the country in search of aircraft...Rob, we saw many of the same aircraft on very similar dates!

After the detail on the aircraft spotting it is a delight to read that he grew out of it (I didn't) and went on to fly. I am not a flyer but I found it an enjoyable last 3rd of the book. I have to confess there are no doubt better books on the subject of flying, but that's not really the point...this book comes as a package; Rob has shared with the reader a big part of his life and love of aircraft in his own style and in some detail....I'm just frustrated he beat me to it...maybe I should do a follow up to really bore the uninitiated!

Well done Rob....
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2006
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The author's own review should warn you: more detail than you might need, mopre than a conventional jacket blurb, more than an introduction might be within. Don't buy this book. Borrow it and if you survive, congratulate yourself. If you like it, buy one and lnd it to your friends.
At first, I quite enjoyed the autobiography, but as the intensity continued, I became increasingly irritated by the minutiae; I looked forward to the story of his flying lessons and subsequent activities, the main reason I bought the book.
Sadly, I could not feel any more kindly towards Mr Sawyer even when he became engaged with my personal passion: for the mostpart I was disappointed. Little of the flying described made me want to go flying with him, which is not what one wants to feel. Self-confessed 'terrible' pilots can persuade me that there's more to them, that I would want to know more, engage in hangar chat, share a flight somewhere. They can write about disasters and setbacks whilst learning and evoke some sympathy or even rage. Not this time. The hints of self-deprecation that lured me into the book don't evolve into humour. The journey towards the PPL conveys no magic. The joy of flying doesn't come across, nor does any atmosphere. Anoraks must be more impervious than I thought.
For those without any experience in light aircraft, Notes From a Small Mind is peripherally useful, perhaps, in its view of some aspects of light aviation training. I would, however, ask anyone thinking about reading this to buy Propellorhead and compare the two. One can have facts, Mt Gradgrind, or purple prose. It is also possible to write and entertain in a style between the two. One of these books is odiously, comparably successful and the other isn't.
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