May 27th, 2008

Husky Airways

Just Right

Three days, it seems to me, is just the right length for a weekend: one day for chores, one for fun and socialising, and one for bugger-all.

I spent much of Saturday cleaning the kitchen accompanied by James Bond on Radio 4, then headed over to silvante and insofox's for a Thunderbolt Black gathering.

We had the entire UK contingent, plus a bonus trukkle, which made for a jolly afternoon of barbecue and in-jokes.

The plan was to get an early start on Sunday morning and head off to Southend Airshow. Instead we sat around for an hour watching the rain and debating whether we should venture out at all. Eventually our spirit of adventure prevailed and we hit the road DLR, Jubilee Line and C2C, arriving too late for the Red Arrows but in time for our traditional fried brunch.

Southend is the first major event of the airshow season and always a bit of a gamble weather-wise: some years you burn, some years the whole thing gets rained off. This year lay somewhere in the middle, T-shirt warmth and sunshine alternating with dark and threatening clouds. Some acts were cancelled due to the low cloud, but we enjoyed the lovely Catalina, Team Guinot, various helicopters and the Mustang/B-25 display.

Besides, the day was more about the company than the aviation action - as this photo shows.

(Some photos, on the other hand, just turn out plain unfortunate.)

On Monday it rained all day, and I was rather grateful for the enforced downtime. Inspired by a conversation at Southend with silverwindblade about our respective backlogs of model aircraft and self-imposed embargoes on buying any more, I decided to crack on with my balsa-and-tissue Chipmunk. I spent two hours doping the fuselage and much of the rest of the day feeling slightly drunk. I also watched a DVD, made a pizza and didn't speak to a human soul until I rang my mum at half-past four.

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