The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Hello Boys!

Hello Boys!  is what Goldenoldenlady calls out cheerily every time she hears a couple of low-flying RAF fighter jets go over.  They are Our Boys in Airforce Blue (well, that's the dress uniform, they are more likely in khaki all-in-one flying suits, with lots of safety paraphernalia over them) who pass overhead several times a day mid-week in good flying weather, contour-chasing their way up and down the Severn valley.

They have a big nest, these supersonic metal birds, on Anglesey.  And they often fly in pairs, a trainer with trainee.  Earlier in the week we had three pairs go over.  It is like one's very own ceremonial fly-past.

And remarkably reassuring, even though it can be a bit noisy.  The sound is a couple of seconds at least behind the sight, so to spot them one has to guess which way they are going and look ahead of what one just heard.  Often it is just too late.  They are good and GONE.

The fact that we have such skilful pilots, such very brave and clever young men, to defend our national peace and security is comforting.  I am not a pacifist.  I know from my love of history that having to fight sometimes is inevitable, so let's at least do it bloody well, eh?

If The Husband hadn't just gone off on a bike ride and to do some grocery shopping on his way back, I'd ask him which actual fighter aircraft it is we usually hear more than see.  When I find out I'll edit this to tell you and Google a couple of pictures to show you.

Meanwhile, the fact I've just heard them go over and called out Hello Boys! must mean it's a good flying day.  The sun is bright, the sky is blue, with nary a cloud.  Last night I reduced the number of hours the CH comes on for, to mark the First of May.  Today, later on, I think it will be warm enough to sit out on our small south-facing back lawn, even for this convalescing semi-invalid (that bronchitis/flu is/was a doozy and I am still far from fully well).  Well, at least for a few minutes. 

Yesterday afternoon our garden thermometer reached 15c in the shade, and the temperature inside and outside the house were so even that I could leave the back door open without feeling a draught, and The Dog could trot in and out at will for a while without having to bark to be let in and out.  Some of the time he even snoozed in a sunny spot on the lawn.

Now, isn't that VASTLY encouraging, after the winter we've had in Wales?

Addendum; they are either the delta-winged eurofighters, the Typhoons (above)
or Tornadoes (below), though how The Husband can spot the difference at that speed only he can say.  

(Oh, and for Yamini, here is a photo of The Naval Nephew under a Harrier, in Afghanistan.  We SO miss the Harriers in our family...)


Whatever the 'planes that cross the skies above our house are, all I know they are very small, very fast and very loud, and I LOVE them!



  1. When French air force 'planes used to fly they did neighbour would shout

    There go my taxes!

    1. It's funny how things strike people so differently, isn't it, Fly?

  2. Hari OM
    Woo-hoo for the boys in blue! Oh this has taken me all the way back to school days in Suffolk, with a number of bases around, the air was always pretty busy and I loved going to the open days with dad, clambering all over the hardware. I determined that I was going to fly Harrier 'jump'jets on leaving school. My folks were very supportive even though in the 1960s as a female that was WILD!

    Of course, the air force would rather I went into the secretarial corp; the excuse? "You are actually below height requirements for pilot". (.....dang just realised there's a 'post' in this - thanks for the memories!!!)

    I look forward to seeing piccies and hearing which jet is your local variety. In return I'll give you a "hoi" when I get that post written! As for the weather - how lovely to have the back door open. Sigh. Enjoy! YAM xx

    1. The Husband tells met hey are usually the delta-winged Eurofighters (the Typhoon?) and/or Tornadoes. He was in the Army for five uears so I do tend to believe him.

      I will double-check, and when I have some good photos I will edit my blog.

      The Naval Nephew, who makes a guest appearance in my blog sometimes when he is visiting us, is an aircraft technician with the Royal Navy. He has looked after Harriers for the RN and on secondment to the RAF and even done two tours of Afghanistan maintaining and arming them. He has two medals and everything, even though he's only 23.

      Now Harriers are not in use any more in the UK services(how bloody sad is that...) he has been re-trained to look after helicopters.

  3. Hari OM
    goodness - am still online to find this - it says two things - too long distracting from essays, and insomnia still a problem. That aside, Fantastic piccies both!! yes i was aware the Harriers had been decomm'd - quite some years back I think... "Aitch" was in the Air Force for 15 years yet she was the one who thought I was daft at school! Her catering career took her there.

    Zoom-boom! YAM xx

    1. Hello again, and GOOD Night. Either write that essay, Yam, or Go To SLEEP, but I do NOT want to see you on here again tonight, OK...? Or should that say tomorrow morning?

      Can't cope with global real-time chatting. I have enough trouble knowing what day it is as it is, without typing to people for who it is already tomorrow! Scratches head and shambles off...

    2. Apologies for going all teacherish on your arse, Yam, but the firm tone still creeps in on occasions, even though it's a decade or more since I last did any whole-class teaching!

      I hope you either added to your word count or got some shut-eye.

      I look forward to reading your RAF Reminiscences. Anyone with connections to East Anglia cannot but to be affected by sight and sound of all those military hairy-planes in their formative years.

      I brought up The Daughter within the airspace of Brize Norton. We had a lot of chenooks over our garden back in the day, not the prettiest of craft.

  4. We have lived for forty years with the RAF contour-chasing very close overhead. We don't get them over as often as we did (all those cuts, I presume) but still occasionally get them low enough almost to recognise the pilot let alone the plane. Sometimes we've watched them fly down the hill towards the house, skimming our chimney and continuing down the valley below us. We reckon our cluster of buildings in the middle of empty fields makes a useful target. :-)

    If you want to know when to look out for them, the Ministry of Defence publishes a handy monthly timetable of flights in the three practice areas. of which central Wales is one:

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    2. Thanks for the MOD gubbinses, Big Sis. I so remember how low the fighters came over your farmhouse in the 1970s, when the infant DS and DD would fling themselves to the ground and cover their ears if they were playing outside. DD would even crawl under your parked Mini...but only temporarily!

      In the Hafren/Severn valley they aren't quite so roof-skimming. I'd say 400-600ft rather than 200-300ft, maybe. That's a guestimate. We can't count the rivets, anyhoo. No TIME!