Sunday, 23 August 2009

Their today's for our tomorrows

Hello and welcome to my blog. If you're a regular, I hope you had a marvellous week. If you're a newcomer, come in and make yourself at home.

It's been another glorious weekend here in the Independant Republic of Shoreham Beach. The sea was exhilarating, and the cloudless sky was the perfect backdrop to the weekend's aerobatics. If you've never been to Shoreham Airshow, go next year. It's a wonderful day out. This year was it's 20th anniversary so the Red Arrows did a quick flypast. Blink and you'd have missed it.

We went on the first day and were thrilled by the pilots' skill, winced at the sound of the fast jets, and were gently reminded of the human cost of aerial warfare. Of the many facts relayed to us, two stood out. World War 1 pilots only had 10 hours training on type before they were sent into battle, (Pilots today need about 50 hours on type just to get a Private Pilots Licence), and the Battle of Britain flypast is treated with great deference. All the aircraft have to be on the ground before it starts; the helicopters turn off their rotors, and the spectators are asked if they would like to stand. No other display has the same type of build-up; not the Blades, the Typhoon or the parachute team.

As we shlepted back to the car park, I was reminded of why we should treat that particular display with such solemnity. A gleaming 4 x 4 was clearing the road behind us. We stood to the side in anticipation of a courtesy car carrying celebrities. A mini-van from The Royal Star and Garter Homes glided past carrying elderly disabled ex-servicemen and women. As I watched them pass I thought, these aren't mere celebrities, these are ordinary people who rose to do extraordinary things. In that brief moment, they reminded me that the airshow is more than a wonderful day out; it's a tribute to those who gave their today's for our tomorrows.

Now, in case you're wondering if I managed to beat Rameses Revenge last week, well I did. It was a hands down victory - not a plea, not even a whisper to go on it. I wish I could claim that my cunning plan had worked, but no, it was down to the crowd of spectators watching the ride and playing, who's going to vomit first/have a fit/get off half way through? All I had to do was join in with my little darlings and let them watch. Words were unnecessary.

Unfortunately, what Rameses Revenge and all his might could not do, the same little darlings could, effortlessly. That gang of tireless, excitable, and determined 4,6 and 9 year olds have done me in. After a week spent visiting Chessington, Legoland and Hampton Court, I have been beaten. No victory wave this week, just a wobbly stagger to the nearest bed and a plea for mercy.

So I'm afraid this spot will be blogless next Sunday as I convalesce, but I promise to return reinvigorated in a fortnight with another post.

Have a great two weeks and see you on the 6th September.

1 comment: