Saturday, 21 August 2010


Today was a day when Amanda had to go to Westbourne with various things to attend to. This left me with most of the day to myself, and the Bournemouth Air Show being this weekend, I thought that I may take a look to see what's going on.
After dropping her off I passed the Westbourne Arcade and couldn't resist taking a picture of the place as traders were starting to set up shop. Then it was a short drive down into Bournemouth.

After managing to park up in the main centre car park, no mean feat at the best of times let alone when the air show is on, I wandered across in to the start of the lower gardens. The 'Bournemouth Eye' balloon was readying itself for another launch, travelling hundreds of feet into the air, tethered to the ground by a thin cable. I think today though, the only views to be had will be the inside of clouds as the weather forecast is atrocious and it's already raining.

Feeling rather hungry and breakfast was calling for me at The Lampeter Hotel terrace which overlooks the gardens. I forgot to take some pictures of this place and so pulled a rather sunnier one off Google. The gardens by now were heaving with scenes reminiscent of the exodus in 'War of the Worlds', as everyone was making their way to the seafront for the display. Luckily for me this little haven of breakfast excellence is easily passed as it's only accessed by a steep flight of steps after going through a well hidden gate. I had the whole terrace to myself as everyone else seemed to need to be inside. Being sheltered by a huge cover from the rain, I placed my order and sat back with a copy of The Times newspaper. Soon it arrived, first fresh coffee, then a large rack of various types of toast with jam and marmalade, and then a whopping plate full of sausages, bacon, fried egg, mushrooms, tomato, fried bread and baked beans......totally delicious, and only £6.00!

After the very leisurely breakfast it was back down into the gardens to continue my journey with the hoardes to the front. As well as the air display, various activities are spread throughout the entire length of the lower gardens. Bungee bouncing, a kids entertainers tent, rap music and dancers at the bandstand, crazy golf....and this, a bird of prey display.
A group of volunteers who run a local rescue centre had brought this show to town to raise awareness and also hopefully some much needed funds. The vulture above got some very apprehensive looks from the younger generation, whilst the bald eagle (is that the correct name my american friends?) just simply stood there looking very proud and unphased by all going on around him.

I finally reached the pier at the seafront and my word, I don't think that there has ever been this many people in one place down here!
Where does one go for a good vantage point?....Well I will tell you! Being a bit more 'in the know' than the multitude of 'plebs' down here, I made for the Aruba Cocktail Bar special guests terrace that had been reserved for important people. This is on the upper floor of the pier head and comes complete with shelter from the rain. The secret here is to walk confidently straight through the security guards without even a second glance, and take a very comfortable seat with a table for your drink. As the place filled to capacity, the 'special area' ended up with myself and only about a dozen very important people who I had no idea of the identity of. Obviously so important that nobody knows them!

Not a bad view eh? As you can see, because of the rain that was by now coming down steadily, the Dunkirk spirit was taking hold and everyone was creating their own beach defences in true british 'we are going to enjoy this even if it kills us' fashion.

And then the weather really opened up for the rest of the day. The naval ships became less and less visible. One by one the air display teams pulled out due to the high winds and poor visibility.
I'll tell you, things got so bad I bought another beer. Finally, the main event, 'The Red Arrows' were cancelled, leaving only one member of the helicopter display doing a very brave and lonesome twist and turn all on it's own, such a shame for an event as large as this to have such a bad day. And so I slowly finished my beer as I watched the thousands of people running hither and thither to pack up all their things and try to be the first to leave the beach, walked rather briskly back to the van and made my way home after first picking up Amanda.

The evening had been planned a few days beforehand and it was back to The Rex cinema in Wareham to see 'Inception' starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Not what one might call a classic, but watchable nonetheless and quite entertaining.

We had a drink in the 1920's bar before the film and had a laugh with the lady at the bar as Amanda wanted a coffee. They don't 'do' coffee normally, but for us brought out an old machine, dusted it off, and after an initial eruption of hot coffee all over the bar top with the first attempt, managed to get a whole cup with the second. The bar is as big as all you can see!

Amanda a happy girl now! Me, I'm drinking Piddle!
After the film it was back home and off to bed.......night night.


  1. Who on earth tethered our grand American bald eagle like a cat tied to a tree ? Terribly insulting for him .I would have protested if I was there. And what on earth is a piddle ? Interesting, rainy day adventure with unusual foods for breakfast on your big plate. thanks, Gina

  2. Dear Gary, What terrible weather and such a shame for the event which clearly had attracted very large crowds. Wall to wall blue skies here in Budapest for the National Holiday when a fly past amounted to one propellered aircraft, one helicopter and three jets passing overhead once!! Still, it is good to know that the IMF loan is not being frittered away.

    The Rex Cinema I know would be a favourite for me too. I just love the small cinemas which, of course, here, in Budapest, also introduce one to the most wonderful international films.......just the Hungarian subtitles can be tricky!!

    I hope that your week goes well and that the weather is kind.

  3. Hi Gina,
    I know it looks bad with the bald eagle, But it was one rescued from a 'collector' who had it in his apartment as a pet from an egg. They now give it as much freedom as it's attained instincts allow and let it fly regularly, including later that day. It just keeps coming back to them now as this is all it knows and trusts. A really magnificent bird anyhow!
    A Piddle is a make of real ale.....very nice....Hic! As for breakfast....also known as the great british fry up.

  4. Hi Edith,
    If you check the weather for today, you will see that it was pretty much the same for the last day of the event...such a shame! It sounds as though Budapest was the place to be!
    We both love small theatres and 'fringy' films, and actually have a week in Edinburgh booked for the start of September, and so no doubt more to come. Maybe even Budapest one day.......I hope!