Sunday 11 July 2010

The Airshow Treasure Hunt!

Remember how I mentioned in this post that James had been instructed to set me a treasure hunt to keep me amused while at the airshow last weekend?

Well, in case you've been having sleepless nights about how I got on .... here's an update which I've accompanied with some treasures I found for myself.

Treasures such as this photo of a plane-free sky:
... quite some achievement an an airshow wouldn't you say?

Amongst other things, James had challenged me to find:
  • A bad tattoo: that was easy. It was a very hot day, there was a lot of flesh on display and a lot of bad tattoos unveiled. In contrast, my mission to find 'a good tattoo' was not so successful...
  • A painting of a plane that I wouldn't mind hanging on the wall: Yeah, nice try Mister. The moment I find a painting of a plane, on sale at an airshow, which I'd happily have ... we can hang it right next to that photo of me posing with a unicorn and Lord Lucan.

That said ... I did find a rather handsome vintage model box that I would've given house room to:But he didn't buy it! There's just no pleasing some people. ;)

I was also meant to count:

  • How many model stalls there were: I counted 3 before they all started to blend into one. This one however, stood out for special attention:

James fair nearly fainted with delight when he saw all that rammle awaiting his scrutiny. And judging by the amount of men jostling for position around the tables and in front of the boxes, he wasn't alone.

I can't really I blame him, everyone likes a good rummage for a bargain don't they? But honestly, I had to step over a veritable river of man-drool around that stall to take that photo!

I also had to:

  • Find out how much the fruit cocktails were: £3.00... in case you're wondering.
  • Locate the 'Sleaford Sausage Man' stall [the stall from which we've often bought lunch in the past!]: But he wasn't there so, my best guess at his location? 'Still in Sleaford'.
  • Spot a child carrying an inflatable Red Arrow: Check!
  • Correctly differentiate between a plane from WW1 and WW2: Tri-plane. Spitfire. Result!

At one point, when I voluntarlily slowed down to take a closer look at a particular plane, even going so far as to take out my camera ... I think James was hoping he had converted me .... but alas not:

"What are you doing there?" he asked ... intrigued.

"Errr ... it says 'manhandling'" I replied... smirking sheepishly:If only I'd been able to find a sign mentioning an 'undercarriage' or a 'cock-pit' I'd have been in risque-word-play-nirvana!

There were other quests, concerning Burberry caps, carrier bags and helicopters but I don't think you need to know all my failures. Something I did manage to thoroughly and exhaustively investigate though was this, the most bravely posed of all the challenges:

  • Identify the nationality of the sexiest pilots: Well, let me just say that it was a dirty job ogling all of those capable men in uniform in the name of hunting for treasure. And I will admit that, at times, I had to agree with a comment left by Jo [from the blog Mrs.Beee ] in which she stated that many men in uniform tend to look like Postman Pat! [Thanks for that image Jo!]. Plus there were others who were just plain funny, for example ...

....this Czech pilot and his furry friend may not quite have made it to the top of the sexy list - but he did give me a fantastic photo opportunity: So 'which country did have the sexiest pilots?' I hear you ask.

Well, the results of my, purely objective and scientific, survey showed that it was, incredibly, the British! There were quite a few rather handsome RAF men on display alongside their planes this year. A discovery which I did indeed, dutifully record on my treasure hunt sheet and pass on to James. Well, he did ask ... I was just following orders.

He took the news very well but, just in case he hadn't and always keen to plan ahead, earlier in the day I'd taken note of the whereabouts of this particular tent on the concourse: It's the 'Relate' tent.

The tent of the charity which used to be know as 'Marriage Guidance'. Well, it can't hurt to have all your bases covered can it?

So, there you have it, the third [and probably final] post on my airshow exploits for this year.

Now don't get me wrong, despite all my suggestions to the contrary I really did have a good time.

After all I got to [a] eat chips out of a polystyrene tray and [b] freeze in horror when, after returning to the car to read Wolf Hall [no ... I haven't finished it yet!] while James went to watch the Battle of Britain re-enactment there was a huge explosion. Then, after I spotted the subsequent clouds of black smoke and heard the sounds of machine-gun fire I had to reassure myself that there was no need to panic, everything was fine, that it must be part of the show and not some horrible incident or accident ... so what was not to enjoy?

Oh .... RAF Waddington International Airshow does the fun just never stop?

So, in 12 months time will I be there again, hand in [sweaty] hand with a grown man who gets excited about P51 Mustangs? ....

Most definitely.

I'll be the only one with a notebook and camera who isn't actually making notes about or taking photos of the planes!

Maybe I'll see you there?

Julie ;)


  1. It all looks like fun Julie but what I want to know is where are the photos of the sexy pilots???? xx

  2. Brilliant! You have kept me smiling and chuckling for a good five minutes - just love your writing style! By the way, what's a rammle?

  3. @Beki - yes, something of an oversight there wasn't it? I'll put it as the first task to photograph a sexy pilot for you next year!

    @Alexa - Oh - I'm *so* pleased it made you smile. Seriously, my work is done, that's all I ever want!

    As for 'rammle' I think I got it from James's Lincolnshire Nan - it means stuff/rubbish/clutter ... or at least that's how we use it!


  4. I'm glad I now know what "rammle" is..great word. There is an equivalent round here which I don't think I can even render authentically in print. It's sort of "pruckgh" where you start off like "shuck" and end up like "lough". Why did I start this?? Good post.

  5. Oh Brilliant post! I still stand by my position of never attending an airshow again as was brought up in RAF but this is a wonderful piece - worth sending into a magazine! Hear me Julie?

  6. Great post. I love the thought of you and your notebook on a hunt. You do realise you probably looked like a plane spotter. I'm pleased you explained what a 'rammle' is :) Please tell me that he didn't want the box at the bottom of the rammle?

  7. Excellent stuff. My man is off to the Fairford airshow this weekend. Am almost tempted to attend purely for the treasure hunt opportunities, but I have a feeling I'd rather leave the boys to their toys.
    We saw a DC10 just flying past our house the other day; apparently that's a rarity. Go figure :)

  8. Great post Julie, looks like secretly you enjoyed yourself :)
    Your style of writing always males me chuckle :)

  9. Please miss, please miss - come to our house next year for the Biggin Hill airshow! We spent a whole Saturday afternoon the week before last catching the odd glimpse of red arrows and . . . well, other planes that were old and fancy and probably not flying people to Malagar for a fortnight. But was all from the comfort of our back garden a few miles away - no traffic jams, queuing, parking, model stalls or iffy tattoos! Sadly, a bit short on the sexy pilot front, too, but you can't have everything.



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