Monday, 2 April 2012

Perfect timing

Yesterday I came home from the supermarket just in time for the Red Checkers flyover to mark the 75th anniversary of the RAF. There are some great photos on the Stuff website. I could have taken a photo but couldn't bear to miss a second of the spectacle to go inside for the camera. Five planes twisting and turning in perfect formation over a perfectly still harbour under a cloud-speckled sky. Every so often they would go zooming off over the hills (once right over the top of our house, their shadows falling on the deck) and then return to their acrobatics over the central city.

Perfect timing, I thought - getting home just in time, but that pales in significace to the timing the pilots display. I wonder how it feels, spiralling away up there, or if they have to concentrate so hard on what they are doing that they don't have time to notice where they are. Or are they so good at it that they do it almost by instinct? I couldn't help thinking too of those brave pilots in the First World War, when the life expectancy for a pilot over France was about nine days. If you've read the Flambards series by K M Peyton, you'll have an idea of the bravado and exuberance of those early flyers.

As well as the flyover, Wellington was also visited by a pod of dolphins on the south coast and a meteor that flashed through the skies at about 7pm. What an amazing place to live!

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