The Flying Machine
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Follow along as Grandpa Ramsbottom and his grandson Timothy build the ultimate flying machine in Grandpa's magical shed while they plan their adventure to Algonquin Park, Canada.  With twists and turns and a little magic, Grandpa and Timothy embark on a trip of a lifetime with far more excitement than they anticipated.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 juin 2010
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9781773627946
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The Amazing Adventures of GrandpaRamsbottom
The FlyingMachine
Book 1

By Ronald AdyCrouch
Digital ISBNs
Amazon Print ISBN978-1-77362-798-4

Ronald Ady CrouchCopyright 2010
Cover by MichelleLee
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rightsunder copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, ortransmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior writtenpermission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher ofthis book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, placesand events in the story are either a product of the author’simagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance toactual people, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicatedto my three children, Oliver, Melanie and Alaister.
My love for you is asbig as the universe.
Chapter 1
“Do you thinkit will work Granddad,” asked
“Of course itwill work,” laughed back his grandfather. Grandpa Ramsbottompositioned the next aluminum section onto the capsule. “Pass me therivet gun Timmy, would you please.” Timothy handed the gun to hisgrandfather.
“Thank yoooou,”came the tuneful reply.
“How long doyou think it will be before we take off
“I should thinkwe’ve got about another three months’ work ahead of us. If we getgood weather I reckon we’ll be taking off about the end of July,Timmy my boy,” replied Grandpa Ramsbottom enthusiastically.
“It’s gettinglate now, we’d better call it a day. Have you done your homework?”Timothy nodded. “Good boy. Right, let’s clear up, lock the shed andcreep back indoors for dinner. Now remember, not a word toanyone.”
“Course notGranddad,” replied Timothy indignantly.
They clearedaway the tools, scraps of metal, bits of rubber and Perspex, putaway the glue, swept the benches and floor and turned out the shedlight. Grandpa Ramsbottom locked and bolted the shed door and bothhe and Timothy walked slowly back up the garden path towards thehouse, too exhausted to speak. Through the kitchen window theycould see Mrs. Ramsbottom, Timothy’s mother busy in thekitchen.
GrandpaRamsbottom was eighty-five years old though he looked a hundred andfive. However, despite his looks he was as sprightly as a youngman. He was a short, skinny little man with a cheery, mischievousface, rosy-red cheeks and long silvery-white wavy hair thatcascaded over his shoulders. He wore wire-rimmed spectacles thatperched on the end of his nose. He looked like a wizard and Timothylong suspected that he was, as many people did. It was not uncommonfor Grandpa Ramsbottom to be working in his shed for weeks on end,ably assisted by his grandson Timothy. New projects were constantlybeing developed. There were more failures than successes, butGrandpa Ramsbottom was not a man to give up easily and when he andTimothy were successful, what marvelous inventions they wouldproduce. Many times he would remind his grandson that, “Fromfailure comes success Timmy. Every time you fall down, you getright back up again and keep on trying. There is no such word as,can’t.” Apart from Timothy, everyone thought he was eccentric andhumoured him. To them he was nothing more than a silly old fool,but to Timothy he was his best and most trusted friend.
Timothy wasonly ten years old and very small for his age. His face held anexpression of perpetual shock; eyes wide open like a deer caught inthe headlights. His spiky-blonde hair helped to convey this look.Because he was, a little different, he had been bullied at school.When Grandpa Ramsbottom got to hear about it, he was so angry, hedecided to invent something to protect his grandson and came upwith the idea of an electric force field that would surroundTimothy. As soon as the bullies got close to him, Timothy wouldactivate the force field and they would receive a small electricshock, enough to scare them off, but not enough to harm themseriously. Grandpa Ramsbottom had added an additional feature, ared button on the control which increased the electric shock powerto a disabling level. Timothy was told that this button was only tobe activated if he was ever grabbed by a stranger. Fortunately hehad never had to use it. There was also a control marked, SkunkSpray. Actually it was ten times smellier than the real thing.Bullies sprayed with, Skunk Spray had to stay outside for ten daysuntil the smell wore off. Each day they would be hosed down withcold water, then covered with tomato juice and finally scrubbedwith a stiff brush. Timothy had only used this feature once, sincethen he had never been bullied again. Timothy would provide thesame protection for other children who were bullied. Timothy’sfavourite weapon was the Wind Gun, another invention of hisgrandfather’s. Once hit by the Wind Gun, the bully would beginpassing wind for a week. This normally resulted in suspension fromschool until the condition cleared itself up. Timothy had used thisfeature many times. He once used it on a man in a shopping plazawho was shouting nasty things at his wife. The man could still beheard exploding, running and jumping across the parking lot. Peopleat the car plant where he worked got to hear about it and gave himthe nickname, Windy, which I believe they still call him to thisday.
AcademicallyTimothy was not brilliant; he was only good at sports, biology andwriting stories in English class. He struggled with mathematics,particularly algebra. Once he got a friend to do his art homework.His friend drew a beautiful picture of a church. When asked by theteacher if Timothy had sketched it, Timothy lied and said that hehad. “Well then,” said the art teacher. “I want to see every pieceof art homework done as well from now on.” This was very difficultfor Timothy to do, because he wasn’t good at drawing. Now he had tospend hours on his art homework, so that his lie would not bediscovered. He learned his lesson the hard way and has never liedsince that day. His artwork did improve as a result. What Timothyhad, that set him apart from the rest of his peers was imagination.He was really the creative mind behind his grandfather’sinventions. Timothy would provide the ideas and Grandpa Ramsbottomthe technical ingenuity. This latest venture was one of their mostexciting and adventurous to date.
GrandpaRamsbottom and Timothy entered the kitchen to the awful smell ofboiled cabbage and fish and were greeted by Mrs. Ramsbottom in herfamiliar way.
“Where the heckhave you two been? In that shed again I suppose. One of these daysyou’ll blow yourselves up, as if I should care. Now go and get yourhands washed. Dinner’s been ready for hours!” Her voice boomedafter them along the hallway, causing the house to shake, herscreechy voice echoing in their ears. Every time she shouted, thepictures hanging on the walls would move and have to bestraightened again.
Timothy lookedback down the hallway at his mother, standing there with her handson her hips, bellowing at the two of them. So large was she thatshe filled the doorway, blocking out the light from the kitchen.She was so big that she reminded Timothy of a bull dog, the way thefolds of skin hung down her face. The stained apron that she worelooked like a small handkerchief on her, even though it was extra,extra large. Her legs were like two short tree trunks, turnedupside down. Her huge arms looked like they had been inflated witha bicycle pump. She had bright red, curly-permed hair that lookedas though it had been stuck on as an afterthought.
Without a word,Timothy and his grandfather crept into the bathroom to wash theirhands before dinner. As was normal when they were late for dinner,their meal was practically thrown at them and was stone cold.
“There’s yourdinner now eat it. You two are nothing more than time wasters. Makesure you clean up after yourselves. I want the whole kitchencleaned, that includes scrubbing the floor. Don’t use the mop, getdown on your hands and knees to clean it. I’m going to watchtelevision and I don’t want to hear a sound out of you two!”bellowed Mrs. Ramsbottom. Then she left the room.
GrandpaRamsbottom and Timothy were at last alone in the kitchen. Mrs.Ramsbottom had gone to the living room to watch her favourite soapopera on the television. As usual Grandpa Ramsbottom scraped theinedible dinner into the rubbish bin.
“I always feelguilty about doing that Timmy, what with all the starving childrenin the world, but the last time I ate one of her meals I was sickfor a week. Break out the eggs and cheese and let’s make us acheese omelette. I’ll put the kettle on for tea.”
“Sure thingGranddad.”
Over dinnerTimothy whispered to his grandfather. “I can’t wait for ourexpedition to begin Granddad.”
“Me neither,”replied his grandfather. “Now, I estimate,” he continued, “thatwith an angle of forty- five degrees that will give us maximumdistance, allowing for wind strength and air pressure. If we launchon a hot dry day the air will be less dense, thus reducingresistance; according to the theory of thermal expansion. Bybuilding the capsule as small and as aerodynamic as possible, thatwill reduce air resistance too. Ah, another point. We cannot affordto expose the stabilizers until we have reached maximum altitude.The best time to launch will be about an hour or two after the sunhas reached its zenith, in other words its highest point for thatday. One of our major problems to overcome will be the spinningeffect of the capsule. That’s where the stabilizing fins come intoplay. Mind you, the more we can do without them the better.”
“Yeah, the lesswe use the stabilizers, the less drag we’ll have to contend withGranddad.”
“Quite so,”replied his grandfather. “It will also be fitted with a parachutein case of any emergency.”
“What happensif things go wrong over the sea Granddad, will it float?”
“Timmy my boy,have faith in your old Granddad. Of course it will float, like acork, which unfortunately will make us sea sick. Better put motionsickness tablets on the list,” added Grandpa Ramsbottomthoughtfully.
Timothy pulledout a dirty sheet of yellow notepaper from the breast pocket of hisplaid shirt, unfolded it and began rummaging through the pockets ofhis very faded blue jeans for a pencil. He spread the paper on thekitchen table, pushing the ketchup bottle aside to make more room.The paper was headed, OPERATION GTR, which stood for, GrandpaTimothy Ramsbottom. It contained a list of useful items to takewith them on their adventure: first aid kit, water purificationtablets, windproof matches, candle, scissors, penknife,lifejackets, flashlight and spare batteries, water containers,world atlas, ball of string, compass, duct tape and toffees. Tothis growing list Timothy added, motion sickness tablets. Timothyquickly folded the list and stuffed it back in his pocket, just asMr. Ramsbottom walked into the kitchen.
Mr. Ramsbottomwas the assistant manager at the local branch of the, Royal SaveMore Spend Less Bank, in the village of Chippingsodbury. He was thecomplete opposite in looks from his rather large wife, in that hewas very short and very thin. He always wore a black suit,waistcoat, blue tie and a bowler hat. He even wore them when he wasmowing the lawn. The lenses of his spectacles were so thick, theylooked like the bottoms of glass milk bottles. They looked exactlylike those joke spectacles you can buy at the store called, OldGeezer Glasses. He sported a small, thin moustache as though togrow a bigger one would be extravagant. Except for a ring ofgreasy-grey hair on his head, he was bald. He tried to cover thebald area by growing the hair long on one side and sweeping itacross the top of his baldhead, as many balding men do.
“Don’t eat allyour dinner now you two,” barked Mr. Ramsbottom, in a voice thatsounded like someone scratching their fingernails down achalkboard. “Keep some for tomorrow’s dinner, which will saveanother meal. Better still, save some for the next two days,that’ll save two extra dinners each.” He turned on his heels andstomped out of the kitchen, leaving Timothy and Grandpa Ramsbottomsmirking at one another.
“This hadbetter work boy. The sooner you and me have a vacation, thebetter,” whispered Grandpa Ramsbottom.
“No schooltomorrow Granddad. We’ve got the whole weekend to work on OperationGTR.” said Timothy eagerly.
“Right, we’llstart first thing in the morning, nice and early. As soon as thesun peeks over the horizon,” replied Grandpa Ramsbottom.
That nightTimothy had difficulty sleeping. He had so many ideas spinningaround inside his head. The sound of his grandfather snoring fromthe adjoining bedroom didn’t help much either. However, eventuallyhe dropped off to sleep, dreaming about the silver capsule lyingdormant in the garden shed.
Chapter 2
The Capsule TakesShape
At five o’clockthe following morning, Timothy and Grandpa Ramsbottom stolesilently out of the house and tiptoed down the garden path to theshed. Timothy was still clutching a slice of thickly butteredtoast, while his grandfather carried down some extra tools,balancing a mug of tea on top of his head. Carefully placing thetools on the ground beside the shed door, Grandpa Ramsbottom puthis finger to his mouth and whispered, “Shush,” to Timothy. Withouta sound, well, not that could be heard from inside the house, theyremoved the padlocks, slid back the bolts and opened the shed door,taking the tools in with them.
“Where did Iput my tea, Timmy?”
“It’s on yourhead Granddad,” giggled Timothy.
GrandpaRamsbottom placed the mug of tea on the workbench and tuned in theshort wave radio to the BBC World Service.
“Got to knowwhat’s going on in the world Timmy. There seems to be wars all overthe place. Don’t want to go somewhere where there’s trouble.”
They justcaught the tail end of the shipping forecast as they sat down on acouple of old stools, Grandpa Ramsbottom sipping on his tea,Timothy nibbling on his toast.
South eastIceland. Wind. Variable six or seven, becoming southwesterly galeforce eight. Sea. Moderate becoming rough. Showers. Good.
Timothy lookedat his grandfather, a puzzled expression on his face. “I don’t seewhat’s good about that?”
His grandfatherlaughed. “It means, good visibility, Timmy. Professional marinerswould know that.”
They were bothlooking at the gleaming silver capsule before them, each thinkingtheir own private thoughts on what the launch would be like and howwell it would fly.
“You knowGranddad, after seeing those Challenger space ships blow up inspace, you won’t be mad if I tell you I’m a little scared? Don‘tget me wrong, I want to go, I want to go more than anything in theworld.”
“My dear Timmy,I love you with all my heart. I would never be mad at you. That’svery brave of you to tell me that. I’m a little scared myself and Ibet every astronaut is scared. But like them, we can’t help who weare and some people like us are willing to take on challenges andnew risks because they excite us. We need to feel that adrenalinrush to survive happily on earth. We would never be happy justsitting watching television all day and working in an office likeyour dad, but then he’s happy doing what he does. He wouldn’t likewhat we do and we would hate what he does. There’s a place on thisearth for all of us, the secret is finding where we belong. Somepeople never find where they belong and end up unhappy and bitter.You are very lucky Timmy. Right from an early age you knew whereyou belonged; doing things that are exciting. You and I are verymuch alike. We like taking risks; however, we only take calculatedrisks. We plan everything, we take our time, we test things outfirst and then and only then do we take the challenge. That soundspretty sensible to me. Remember, I would never be ashamed ordisappointed in you if you told me you didn’t want to go. All Iwould ask is that you help me finish the project. I would neverthink any less of you and I hope you wouldn’t of me, if I told youI didn’t want to go anymore because I was scared. Now, does thatmake you feel any better?”
“Well that’ssettled then, let’s get to work.”
GrandpaRamsbottom jumped to his feet and began attaching another shinymetal piece onto the capsule. They worked hard without so much as arest for the next two hours until the radio announced, The longdash, followed by ten seconds of silence indicates seven o’clockGreenwich Mean Time.
“Breakfasttime!” shouted Grandpa Ramsbottom and Timothy in unison, as theyhad done so many times before on these special Saturday mornings.By now a ritual, they cleared away a spot on one of the benches.Grandpa Ramsbottom slid back a secret panel to reveal a smallfridge from which he extracted four large brown eggs, eight rashersof bacon, some homegrown tomatoes and some field mushrooms that heand Timothy had picked when out for one of their long hikes throughthe countryside. Timothy was busy with the coffee percolator andcutting a large brown loaf of bread into thick slices for thetoaster. In no time at all the shed was filled with the deliciousaroma of fresh coffee, toast and sizzling bacon.
Now you have tounderstand something. Grandpa Ramsbottom’s shed was like no other.For one thing it was immaculate. It was so clean you could eat offthe floor. The most amazing thing about the shed was how deceptivethe size of it was. From the outside it looked like a normal,everyday garden shed.

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