Just so long as there's sun on my back, people to watch and a notebook and camera in my bag he's learned that it's safe to ask me to amuse myself all day while surrounded by all those aeroplanes and model stalls without him needing to feel guilty.
On the other hand, if it's cold and rainy, and this being England-in-summertime, it often has been precisely that, well that's a different story ... one which usuall involves me sitting in a car. But luckily for James's mental health, this time around the sun shone all day. And luckily for me, as it's estimated that 100,000 people attended on the day we went, there were plenty of conversations being held for me to listen into ... and you know how much I like to do just that ....
Here's my pick of the best in reverse order of my favourites!
4. Perplexed grandson [about 11 years old]: Grandad? How come all of the warplanes have paintings of ladies on them?
How're you going to answer that one? Something about young men at war ... away from home ... facing death ... finding a morale booster in the form of paintings of scantily clad pin-up girls ... ? Or would you just say 'because it looks nice?'.
I didn't get to hear how Grandad handled that, nor did I hear what the exact topic of this gem was:
One woman to another: You do get used to it though. Like plucking your eyebrows.
I wonder if we ought not to speculate about what it is they were discussing ...
At one point, while watching an aerobatic display [not the one pictured above, but one with 4 planes doing some rather swish flying which actually impressed me .... don't tell James ....] we were only one row back from the barrier positioned behind a family on deckchairs. All the while I maintained one eye on the overhead display and one on the teeny tiny talking toddler standing on the deckchair in front.
Wearing large red ear-defenders he watched the aerobatics with rapt attention and mimicked the planes' movements making full graceful circles with his little arms.
After one of the planes had flown by he turned to his mum and said:
2. Can I just say .... they are beeeauuuuuutttifuuuuul.
How adorable is that? [And sounded very much to me like something Little S would say H!] It was nice to view it all from his 3 year old perspective which certainly helped me see the beauty in the planes for a change!
That was the cutest thing I heard that day ....and now finally, here's the most random ....
We were behind a middle aged woman [wearing a cap] who slowed down to greet a young man approaching her, who looked to be her son.
1. Son, scornfully, to mother: What's that on your head?
Mother, reaching up to touch her head, replied matter of factly: Daniel O'Donnell.
Yes. You heard correctly. He said: What's that on your head? And she answered: Daniel O'Donnell.
I know that if we could have seen her from the front we'd realise that she must have been wearing a Daniel O'Donnel tour merchandising cap. Bu tthat's not nearly as much fun as the image the original non-sequitur conjured up for me!
The day I stop smiling at that image in my mind is the day I hang up my overhearing ears, notebook and pencil. Ahhhhhh I do love me some real-life 'found' comedy! Will you allow me one last go before I leave? OK then, here goes ...
What's that on your head? ..... Daniel O'Donnell.
Yep, it still does it for me!
How about you? Heard anything that made you smile lately?