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Vulcan in flight at Farnborough


Originally uploaded by ikj

Against my protestations (traffic jams, kids being terrified, crowds, expense, forecast rain, logistics, laziness) Vicky booked us a “day out” at Farnborough Air Show.

Mr Grumpy helped make the picnic and we “sped” the 3 hours of nose-to-tail traffic to Farnborough, finally coming to rest with 61,000 other cars in twelve playing fields’ worth of parking, over 2 miles from the gate. Joy.

After that, things turned miraculously fun. There was an efficient bus straight to the air show that took 10 mins. That was painless. Vicky’s then booked us into the “Diamond Pavillion” – a fenced off bit of grass with (joy) deckchairs, (elation) a little cafe/tent and (ecstasy) decent portaloos – ideal for incontinent kids!

We were also in ‘just the right place’ and got a fantastic, if noisy, view of all the flights, including the weird practice of waving at the pilots as they taxi after landing.

Leaving aside that most of the planes were designed to kill lots of people, the flying was spectacular and the noise was a gut-thrumpingly tremorous bass smack: the kids (with their earplugs in, of course) were transfixed.

I managed a good kip while Vicky took the kids to the playground (all free) and then we left finally about 7pm. Rather than sit in another queue we played frisbee and had a second picnic in the (now emptier) fields and then had a lovely cruise back home in an hour.

Tips for next time: leave super-early and get there for 1000; take a portable bbq and plan to have supper there too; pray for sunshine and a fresh breeze!

In all, then, a surprisingly good day out, with my very low expectations totally reversed.