Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Yesterday was a Bank Holiday, and I was busy doing the traditional Bank Holiday activity of cleaning out the garage. All of a sudden there was this enormous roar overhead. Now, we get our fair share of light aircraft down our way - we must be the last stop on Salisbury Flying School's circuit, plus we frequently get buzzed by low-flying helicopters, courtesy of the MoD. But this just sounded like raw power, and very low. As I emerged out of the garage, I was greeted by the sight of an old Spitfire just disappearing from view. I shouted to neighbour's boy Jack, who had volunteered to help me in the garage (his definition of the word "help" being unique in the English-speaking world) - this was, after all, a piece of history. Obligingly, the pilot turned the plane around and made another pass, right over us. Wonderful. By this time I had my wits about me and dashed inside for my camera, and sure enough managed to get a couple of shots as the plane came back over again.

Excellent experience. I once worked with a very switched-on guy who in a former life had been an RAF pilot. He trained in the fifties and told me he trained on Spitfires, but even so, that would make this plane at least fifty years old, possibly more than sixty. Such a beautiful piece of machinery.

So I wonder what that was all about? There were no air shows, to my knowledge, and in any case that's not really the kind of thing that happens down our way. I couldn't help thinking that it is the anniversary of VE day this week, I wonder if there is a connection?

Fortunately, not all of yesterday was spent plane-spotting - that would have made me very dull indeed. In addition, we had a decent pub lunch over at the Parish Lantern in Whiteparish, with Jack and his parents. Its a good pub especially when dry, because there is an outdoor play area which the kids love, enabling the grown-ups to have a little peace.

And, I should announce, we are now the proud owners of a Wii. A little late, perhaps, but just in time to enjoy the thrills of the new Wii Fit before the fad dies down. All that can be said so far is that (a) we're all very overweight! And (b) if we can keep up use of this thing it won't be long before the pounds start dropping off.

Went on a bike ride on Sunday, the first of any distance on the new bike. Everything fine, and did a 12km circuit in about 3/4 hour. We set off as a threesome, but Alice and Acqueline dropped out after just a couple of kilometres. But I'll keep at them. This time, we just did a circuit beginning and ending at home, but there are plenty of dedicated cycle paths up in the forest that would be fun to try.

Oh, and we visited the Cuckoo Fair in Downton on Saturday, mainly at Alice's behest. I went there, saw thousands of people walking past stalls of absolutely no interest, and made a mental note not to bother next year. But I think I said that last year too...

Beautiful weather today, by the way. The first really summery day I've noticed this year.

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