Into Infinity

Grand Prix, everyday traffic – noise and pollution, I hate it, bring back the horse.

…but put big fuel guzzling engines up in the skies and I love them, carbon footprints forgotten.

I don’t fly often, perhaps if I did the novelty would wear off, but for me a trip abroad begins the moment the cabin floor starts to slope upwards and the engines blast into full power. A window seat and clear sky provide the fascination of identifying landmarks, but if the plane ascends through heavy cloud cover there is still the fun of being up in a fluffy heaven.

 

My first ever flight was across the world, when we emigrated to Australia. My novel ‘Quarter Acre Block’ was inspired by our experiences; in that story none of the Palmer family had flown before, but in real life my father had been a flight engineer in WW2. He was determined we would fly rather than sail out. I have flown across the world a few times since then, but perhaps more exciting was my shortest ever trip, flying in a light aircraft from Jandacot, Perth, Western Australia across twelve miles of Indian Ocean to Rottnest Island – real flying.

But mostly I have been on the ground looking up. At Farnborough Air Show, as children, we would marvel as jets flew silently by, followed several moments later by their sound.

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Years later, living very near Heathrow Airport, we would spot four planes in the sky at a time coming into land, at night like ‘UFO’ lights. But the aeroplane we never tired of watching or hearing was Concorde. If many Concordes had been built and flown the noise would have been unbearable, but the two flights a day were an event; teachers in local schools would stop talking at eleven a.m., working in an airside passenger lounge with a great view of the runway, we watched her take off like a graceful bird. On winter evenings I would dash out of the kitchen into the garden to see her glowing afterburners soaring up. Alas poor Concorde…

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The end of August brings the Bournemouth Air Festival, now in its eleventh year. If you don’t like the noise, are not interested in aeroplanes and live near the cliff top, there is no opting out, unless you go on holiday. Roads are closed, there are diversions, daily routine is disrupted as over a million visitors come over the four days. But this does not affect me. With visitors coming I have no intention of going anywhere except the kitchen, local shops and the sea front.

 

The longer the journey your visitors have made and especially if it is their first visit to the Air Festival, the more likely it is to rain. But with the festival spread over four days there is always some good flying weather. The cliff tops make ideal viewing and the beach is crowded. You can book a place on board a boat, but if the weather turns rough you are stuck out at sea! There are hospitality tents and deals at cliff top hotels with balconies.

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It all starts tomorrow, so in next week’s blog I’ll fill you in on the highlights and weather, with hopefully some photographs.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quarter-Acre-Block-Janet-Gogerty-ebook/dp/B00A6XDUQM

8 thoughts on “Into Infinity

    1. I know, I haven’t flown for years but we are planning some big trips next year; I’m not looking forward to all the rigmarole at airports and I wonder how I’ll feel when I actually get on the plane!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes for sure, but back then I was blissfully unaware how often small planes crash and the two chaps ferrying our whole group across to Rottnest did it for a living. I’m not so keen to get in one now!

      Like

  1. I haven’t been to an air-show for yonks! … but I do remember sitting in the pilots chair of a restores WWII Lancaster, Spitfire, and a B52. The ghosts were everywhere.
    Looking forward to reading your adventures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Lancaster is not flying this year, but we have seen the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at its home, RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire – not to sit in but it was strange seeing them close up when we have seen them flying past the cliff top!

        Liked by 1 person

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