I try to keep this blog as a little corner of the world that is just about knitting, and gardening, and cooking, and sewing and my little crafty domestic life. So much of the planet is a pretty rough place, and there’s plenty enough about that for people to read elsewhere.
So I apologise in advance for going off topic, and also if this seems a little trite, compared to ‘the big picture’, but to hear about the death of Red Arrows pilot Red Four Flt Lt Jon Egging today was somehow particularly shocking,
When I was a kid growing up in Cirencester we often saw the Red Arrows fly.
They were based a few miles away at RAF Kemble and practised regularly over the town. No matter how many times we spotted them, and it was many, we would stop in our tracks and stand transfixed, face to the sky. My abiding memory is of standing in the playground at lunchtimes, fastened to the spot by the incredible aerobatics above.
We knew one of the Red Arrows pilots a little bit, for a little while – his daughter went to a local school and my parents were friendly with him. I remember him just ‘having a go’ on my favourite computer game, which he’d never played before, and getting the highest score I’d ever seen. He – and the rest of those pilots – were superhuman to us kids.
In the summer it felt like they flew every weekend, trailing coloured smoke and dancing through the stratosphere. They were simply awe inspiring. We had heard stories of pilots dying (there were a few over the years), but that seemed like something impossible when you saw those red flashes in the summer sun.
The whole town was sad when they moved away to RAF Scampton in the mid-80s, and I was just crazy thrilled when one of the Red Arrows from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta display flew low over our house last weekend, so close (and so loud), crimson against the sky.
So RIP sir. I never knew you, and yet, in a small way, you were a little part of me.