It’s British Grand Prix weekend, so I’ve spent most if it at home. I like to watch Grand Prix when I get the chance. Normally, this means I’ll stay at home unless there’s something more interesting or important going on. Monaco and Silverstone are the exceptions to the rule though – everything stops for them and I won’t miss them in anything other than exceptional circumstances.

It’s funny, but this year is the first when I’ve really considered the fact Silverstone is an ex.airfield. I doubt somehow that there’s much evidence of the fact left these days though, save for a couple of hangars.

Friday evening, I got home and set about relaxing in front of the TV. As I did so, a prop powered plane came over at low altitude. I dashed to the window, but it was too far over the house to see what it was. If I had to guess, I’d lay money on the old Dakota that overflies sometimes.

Saturday early evening, another low flyer, but this time I knew what it was the instant I heard it. The sole remaining Lancaster left in the UK, from the Battle of Britain memorial flight. I dashed to the window just as it passed overhead, sounding as though it was on full throttle. My grandfather flew a Lanc and earnt a DFC doing so, so it has a kind of magic whenever I see it. I’ll never, as long as I live, tire of seeing it- even if the pilot could have done with feathering the engines a bit better on this occasion, as she was flying like a crab despite the relative calm!

Sunday, following a less than dramatic Grand Prix, I headed out for to check out a couple of places I’ve had on my list to visit for a while now. Didn’t want to be out for too long, so these were just local and not especially interesting – more picturesque than dramatic.

The first site was out in the Fens near Guyhirn. Whilst access was relatively easy, it was clear the local farmer has made a distinct effort to stop people gaining access, so I respected his views and passed on taking a closer look.

Next on the list was a spot out in the middle of nowhere near Wimblington. I’m now going to have to investigate this a bit further, as it’s clear from the surrounding area that the aerodrome used by the local parachuting centre must have been something more significant in WW2. There are several building which are clearly WW2, but I’ve not been aware of anything in the area until now.

The building I’d come to see turned out to be pretty unspectacular, but a good chance to practice my photography skills without too much concern of anyone taking offence at my being there.

As I stopped to take pictures, I could hear something flying overhead that was clearly out of the ordinary. Glancing upwards, it was immediately obvious that it was the Battle of Britain Lancaster’s regular companions – the Spitfire and Hurricane. It was lovely to see, but nowhere near as emotive for me as the Lanc.

Having taken a few shots of the derelict farmhouse, I went back to the car, noticing something standing out on the horizon in the distance. Grabbing the binoculars, my suspicions were confirmed – Ely Cathedral. I’ve lived in the Fens for years now, but it’s only relatively recently that I’ve come to realise just how far the horizon reaches in some places.

Whilst I had the binoculars out, I stopped for a while to watch the lunatics chucking themselves out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft nearby. I say that but, secretly, I think I’d probably love to do a parachute jump. It’s another of those things like scuba diving though where, if I actually tried, my body’s survival instinct (which I think is probably a bit stronger than average) would kick in and stop me.

Bet the view’s great though!


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