Neill told me last weekend that he was pretty sure I'd be finished before January, the way we are progressing at the moment. He says he envies me these days of training, because just as people say that our schooldays are the best days of our lives, learning to fly - going through that huge learning process - is a rite of passage, flying-wise. He urged me not to wish it away, but to enjoy it. I'll miss it when it has gone, he says. And I know he is right.
It isn't just about me. It is very much a two man effort, and I really don't think that I could be doing this with a better bloke. I don't know why it is, but we totally click. What impresses me is that he said that because I am dedicated, he'd be dedicated to me...and so it has proved. Neill is no 9-5 instructor. He is there with me until the sun sets. We squeeze every ounce of flying out of a day.
He is a hell of a nice chap. He is obviously a fine pilot, as I saw from the back seat (went along for a met check) on Monday when he landed the Quik in what was the beginnings of "severe weather", yet he is self-deprecating with it. I respect the way he speaks admiringly of other pilots.
The training is going very well indeed and the end is now not so terribly far off, and Neill is right, I must not wish it away because these have been an absolutely fantastic couple of months and I know I will miss them when they are over.