Pink and White Stripes: Waddington Air Show 2009

I write this post with a degree of physical discomfort, self-inflicted, so please don’t read that opening statement as a plea for sympathy.  Somehow, despite being raised in the southern hemisphere with its skin blistering heat, I have managed to succumb once again to the agony of sunburn.  This irritates me somewhat as I’m usually (which is nearly always) really careful with the sun.  But no, not on Sunday and now I’m paying the price, sporting red shoulders, strap marks and a red déccolletage (with a pale pink spot were my necklace’s pendant was hanging).  Am I bringing sexy back?  No.  Do I look like a human pink and white coconut slice?  Yes.  And why did I throw my usual caution to the wind?  Because I had spent the day immersed in the spectacle of RAF Waddington’s International Air Show.

I like flying machines: they fascinate me to no end.  As a child my family would go and watch planes land at Wellington Airport (anyone who’s ever flown in during a southerly can attest to how interesting that can be).  I could wax lyrical about how taking to the skies speaks volumes for humanity’s ingenuity and tenacity or I could quote awesome facts, figures and feats.  But ultimately it comes down the fact that aircraft are just cool.  Like MacGyver is just cool.   That’s just the way it is. 

And there were some very cool aircraft and displays at Waddington this year.  I even had better luck with the camera, which despite its severe limitations (it’s not one of those fantastic cameras that dedicated plane spotters use) actually took some passable photos. This one being one of my favourites:

Red Arrows 7 Split

Least favourite moment (aside from the sunburn): having one of those teeny-tiny flying beetle type insects fly into my eye and get stuck under my lower eye lid, then having to wait five minutes for my eye to flush it out.  Yuck.

Most favourite moment: finally getting to see the Red Arrow strut their stuff.  Although the other display teams and the Typhoon were mad-brilliant, these guys and girls really do have one of the coolest jobs on the planet.


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