Monday, October 18, 2010

A Quiet Week For Norman?

If you had just spent the last six months flying a tiny aeroplane half-way around the World, facing many dangers, extreme conditions and interminable bureaucracy, it would surely be expected that on returning to your hometown in Northern Ireland, at a time when Atlantic gales turn summer into autumn quicker than in most parts of the British Isles, a few months spent sitting in front of a roaring fire enjoying a well deserved rest before resuming the flight next spring, would be on the cards…

That would be a normal reaction, unless of course your name is Norman Surplus!

Immediately following his return home there were not only the obvious media interviews and TV and Radio appearances that Norman was happy to do but there was also the debriefing of the flight so far. Miles of video footage had to be sorted and hundreds of images from around the world had to be downloaded from the many memory cards Norman has used during part one of the journey. Add to this the necessity to stay in contact with agencies and supporters around the world, who will become major players in the second part of the venture, you would think Norman wouldn’t have time for much else…

But…Norman, being Norman has managed to fill his ‘spare’ time with many other activities and here we have some photos of just what he has been getting up to!

First off…how about a bit of horseback riding. Or to be exact…Fell Pony Riding. Here Norman is sat astride Juno, one of two Fell ponies owned by his wife, Celia. It certainly is quite a difference to go from his 115 horse power Rotax engine on ‘Roxy’ to a one horse power mare called Juno, but at least his feet are off the ground again.
Norman and Juno

Maybe you would think Norman would get some rest on a Sunday? Think again…this is when Norman puts on his ‘maritime’ hat and takes part in ‘Sunday Morning Training’ at the Larne lifeboat station. As you may know, Norman is 2nd Coxswain on the Larne lifeboat and as such is very involved with activities there and can be called out, ‘on a shout’ at any time day or night.
Here you can see Norman (against the rail) on the larger Trent Class Lifeboat, the ‘Dr John McSparran’ briefing the crew of the smaller D Class inshore lifeboat, the ‘Hannabella Ferguson’.

Trent Class Lifeboat: The Dr John McSparran
Both lifeboats are based at Larne Harbour and you can find out more about this busy RNLI station here…RNLI Lifeboat Station: Larne

So how does Norman relax at home? Well, with his son Felix’s 12th birthday coming up it was time for Norman to show off his culinary skills by baking this birthday cake in the shape of a skateboard.

It looks delicious but maybe Norman should only have a small slice considering he needs to worry about the all-up weight for ‘Roxy’s’ take-off next spring!

And to round off a busy week? Slippers on, cup of cocoa, DVD and an early night? No chance!

It’s that time of year again where Norman and his friends take off for Biarritz in France for the Heineken Cup Rugby Union match between Ulster and Biarritz. And although the match was played yesterday (17th Oct) and Biarritz beat Ulster 35 – 15, the game is only a small part of this annual outing and we can rest assured that Norman will be smiling anyway. Check out the photo of Norman at the game last year and you can see that the enjoyment comes from being amongst friends and is much more about the event than the winning.

Add to all these activities the fact that Norman is back at work with B9 Energy Group, the company he co-founded with his brothers, and you may be wondering where he gets all his energy from. But it does show that come next spring we can expect Norman to be raring to go in his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in an Autogyro.

         *     *     *
The Gyrox Team

         *     *     *

Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Check Out The Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

         *     *     *


  1. It's great to see you in your home environment Norman. Many thanks for sharing with us your comings and goings since you have been home. Your life seems every bit as exciting in Northern Ireland as it has been going around the world.

  2. Where on Earth does he get the energy from...I would be tucked up with that cocoa and DVD until February at the earliest, lol. But loads of respect for your get up and go Norman. Make sure you save some of that energy for a little thing you have to do next spring ;-)