Kafka wrote the prototypical airshow report with his 1909 piece "The Aeroplanes at Brescia" which I just re-read. Of course he had Italians to write about - a rich seam. With the stout folk of Somerset it's safer perhaps to let the pictures speak for themselves.
What I wanted from the Fleet Air Arm at Yeovilton was low, exceedingly noisy, very fast jets. They were mostly there - though they seem to veer away from breaking the sound barrier over the runway at fifty feet, to my intense disappointment.
Stall after stall sold fish 'n' chips, pies, AA membership, aircraft DVDs and Mr Whippy. There was a bungee trampoline and a Eurofighter simulator; static displays of vintage cars, military vehicles and heritage aircraft. The grass beside the runway was thronged with thousands of picnickers; and here are the pix.
|As I mentioned: Glastonbury with guns|
|The author: with helicopters|
|A woman with an ice-bottle on her head|
|A Vulcan bomber - as used in the Falklands|
|An F16 'Fighting Falcon'|
|The F18 Hornet on a fast, low pass|
|Not a huge fan of airshows .. but enjoyed the picnic|
Our car was parked maybe a kilometre from the runways. We trudged back laden through the mid-afternoon heat - and hilariously, we couldn't find it. We split up and after ten minutes or so I managed to locate it - hundreds of metres away from where I had thought it was: no sign of Clare.
I carefully climbed onto the bonnet and looked around
" ...like stout Cortez when with eagle eyesShe was wandering a couple of hundred metres away, tired, hot and dispirited. I shouted and hollered, clapped and waved - to no avail. Finally I drove through the heavily mown grass to the dirt road and caught her up, to her extreme delight. Going home, we were in aircon heaven.
He star'd at the Pacific — and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien."
Update: Back home I said to Clare, "There's got to be an app for that. You know, click when you park and then later you just fire up the app and it shows an arrow and how far away you are from your car." She replied, "Well, write it and you'll make a million!"
Sadly, the Google app store has 'quite a few' already and I downloaded this one - My Car Locator - which functions just as I had imagined.