This morning I headed into town leaving Mirinda, Bob and Adele (who stayed the weekend with Mirinda and loved our garden so much she spent an hour in it doing yoga) to fend for themselves while I went hunting for dog food. At Starbucks I was told that Charlotte had just left work on Friday saying she wasn’t coming back.
Poor Manager Sue. She’d just returned from holiday to discover she was a staff member down who didn’t even bother giving notice. I thought it was a shame because she’s a right cack and I’ll miss her. I also didn’t get to say goodbye.
Sue didn’t have much time for Charlotte commiserations, obviously. She had just returned from her holiday in Turkey. It was her first overseas holiday…EVAH. She’s always been afraid of planes, having never been on one, and had been dreading it. I asked her how it had gone and she gave me a grim smile.
The holiday itself was great, she loved the place, but the trip there and back was a real test of her nerves…and drugs. To round it all off, she landed at Gatwick to the news that Turkey had just had an unsuccessful coup and there was some ridiculous number of people involved in rioting and street fighting. I told her she should be grateful for her excellent timing. She wasn’t convinced and was still recovering from it all.
It’s a good job that planes hold no fears for us because today was our Farnborough Airshow day.
It all turned out to be a wonderful day but didn’t start particularly well.
We had decided to park at Aldershot Station and catch the free shuttle bus. While this was far better than sitting in traffic for hours, it did mean a very long walk from the main gate to our viewing spot as well as the ridiculous situation with the car park.
Okay, I’ll accept it was my fault that the RingGo app on my phone needs to be renewed (since having my phone rebuilt). This, had it been operating, would have made things very easy. But, no. I had to use the ticket machine. But the first ticket machine I visited wasn’t working. There was a big sign stuck over it saying as much so it hadn’t just happened. I then walked the mile to the next machine to discover that this one was broken as well.
It wasn’t just me either. By this time there was a growing group of unhappy parkers stretching out across the car park. We all made our way to the ticket office where the miserable little man behind the glass gave us all tickets.
I wouldn’t have minded all this inconvenience except for the ridiculousness of the charge. It’s £1 on Sundays. I mean, seriously? I spent an age phaffing about for just £1. Stupid South West Trains. Then, of course, we had to sit on the hot, stuffy bus for half an hour while we waited for the London train to arrive. Then, when we did leave, we just went around the block in order to allow the bus behind us to get out. It was not a good start.
Arriving at Farnborough, we realised we’d cut it a bit fine to make the beginning of the actual air show and had to hotfoot it down to the Runway Enclosure which was situated about five miles from the entrance.
Sophie and Tom met us at the main gate and we all headed out, passing the planes on static display. Bob said he was ‘all planed out’ given the amount of aeroplane museums he’s visited over the last month so there was no stopping. I headed in a roundabout way in order to cool down from the hassles at the station. By the time I reached the others and plonked myself down on the grass I was well chilled and ready for a bit of high flying antics.
And it was superb. As usual. It was a pity that the Vulcan didn’t put in an appearance (apparently it’s too expensive to fly) and the Red Arrows were limited to a fly past but, overall, it was excellent.
It’s difficult to pick a favourite though the wing walkers are always amazing.
I also loved the F35B stealth jet. What an extraordinary example of modern technology. It amazes me that we can build something as incredible as the F35B and yet a large part of the world still lives in the dark ages…by choice.
But, of course, everything was excellent. The commentary was as hilarious as last time (I’m sure the main guy is related to Jonathon Agnew) and, after one single downpour that lasted about five minutes, the weather was almost perfect. We all had a thoroughly good time.
Naturally there was the hot and stuffy wait in the bus before we headed back to Aldershot but that was of minimal consequence. A lovely day.