Monday, 15 September 2008
So there I am, hanging out the washing (on the Siegfried line). Sally's at school, Charlie's in bed, Sarah's at work. The sun's out, so I'm making the most of it by doing Sally's bedding, when.... Out of nowhere, in a clear blue sky, it's the Last of the Few, and I'm ducking (yes!) even though it must be a couple of hundred feet above my head. I swear I could see the pilot laughing. And, of course, I realise later when I'm passing hordes of chinking medals and unfeasibly long moustaches that it's been the annual Battle of Britain parade. One of the advantages (or not, maybe) of living close to RAF Coningsby is that whenever there's a military occasion, Boston gets a flypast of its very own. I once did an assembly on Guy Gibson, and thought that I'd be clever and introduce it with some music. But as the strains of the 'Dambusters' march began to fill the hall I looked down at the rows of upturned faces and I thought, 'none of them will have a clue what this music is about.' Until, that is, I heard the first faint 'rat-tat-tats' of gunfire from the lower sixth! There's something sinister, but also thrilling, about the rumble of the engines of the Lancaster, especially flanked by Hurricane and Spitfire. You can bet your life that Ginger, Pongo and the rest weren't doing the washing when their country needed them (thank God). And although I'm not a 'twitcher' (well, not so that you'd notice if you don't know where to look) I still like to see these old planes in the air. But not quite so low, and not - please not - when Charlie's sleeping. The Luftwaffe will just have to wait.