Friday 9 July 2010

Overheard: Airshow special

Last Saturday was the annual airshow at RAF Waddington which James has been dragging me to taking me to for almost as long as I've known him.

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?

Julie :)


  1. Daniel O'Donnell? On her head? And how do you know who Daniel O'Donnell is anyway?

  2. Excellent post! I love those "overheard on the bus" type of stories anyway, but yours are truly great!
    Glad you had a good day out too.

  3. Brilliant! Yes, people watching and overhearing have to be the best ways to cope with shopping queues, medical waiting rooms and...air displays.

    I was brought up as an RAF child so admit to not having been to a single air display sine I grew up. I let their father take my two lads until they allowed him to know they didn't want to go any more. It'll be interesting to see what happens if/when they procreate!

    Lovely stories, Julie.

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  5. the Daniel O'Donnell comment really made me chuckle ( you should see the ladies queueing outside the winter gardens for tickets, deckchairs, sleeping bags, flasks, the lot!) Dread to think what the plucking the eyebrows conversation was about :D

  6. Heehee, that appeals to my sense of humour too. Love it! Keep on keeping on!
    J :-D

  7. Three-year-old perspective is a marvellous thing. My wee nephew (also three) has just learned how to insult people. I spent three days with him recently being called things like 'Mr Noghead', 'poo pants', 'foo fants', 'big bum', and we're not entirely sure, but think he may have called my mum 'top slut' at one point!

    My favourite, though was when he turned round in his car seat, poked me and said 'you silly sat nav'...

    And my sister had the audacity to insist that we didn't laugh at any of this 'because it only encourages him'. Am sincerely hoping it's a phase he's going through, because keeping that much sniggering in cannot be good for your health.


    PS. What's that on your head? Daniel O'Donnell.

    PPS. Ick...

  8. Hee hee. I love listening to starngers conversations. It probably makes me look a bit mad when I'm sniggering to myself on the bus. My fav recent one was on a bus into town between two students -
    girl (australian) : we usually wear just thongs when we're going into college back home
    guy (english) : thongs? really? (going bright red)
    I'm pretty sure she meant flipflops and not what he was thinking!


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