Frank became obsessed by his rocket. It started when the lecturer at the Open University explained they needed to submit a practical experiment for their science degree. Frank’s plan was to build a rocket   and launch it from his garden.

Frank was constantly pouring over his drawings and calculations, ordering components and eBay, until he was ready to start assembling. At twenty feet high his neighbours no longer thought it was a joke. The planning officer called round pointing out, ‘Laying waste to  every flower, tree an garden fence in the vicinity was not something they would allow.’ Frank reluctantly agreed to move the launch site. He chose the nearby common.

Finally, it was ready. The TV crew filmed as the huge fireball exploded beneath the structure, flames spreading out as if fired by napalm crazed GI. The rocket shuddered, struggling to  break free from  the earth’s gravity.

From the crowd a woman rushed out,  her placard held high. “Save the  Dartford Warbler.” It was too late. The heath land caught fire. She went up in flames, as did his rocket. 

Frank finished his degree in prison. The Open University agreed there was no need to submit another practical experiment.