On Shoreham air show

I’d just started drinking a pint of Spitfire at Shoreham air show in the moments before the Hurricane crashed, killing its pilot. In between the third and fourth sips, a little girl who was sitting in front of me, comfortably nestled between her parents, turned round and spoke to me. With the messy beginnings of a FAB all around her mouth, she announced “I’m eating a lolly; it’s got sprinkles on it”, before turning back to watch the planes in the sky.

The Hurricane came down vertically, and a plume of black smoke billowed up. There was a shocked hush, and then people turned to each other to ask if what they thought had just happened had really happened. A police van set off across the concrete, followed by an ambulance.

“These things happen” someone said.

And we are obliged to notice, and to know, and to go on thinking about what we saw.

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