Warming up for the weekend
Thanks to Des, who emailed me to say that there ARE such things as two seater Spitfires. I was telling everyone the story of how my Dad trained as a Spitfire pilot during the war. But they wouldn't let him fly in combat because they found he had a Physics degree, and they made him go and join a team of young scientists developing radar.
Anyway, my Dad once took my Mum up in a plane, and frightened her half to death. I thought it was a Spitfire, but then thought it cannot be - since Spitfires were single-seaters.
Des emailed in almost immediately with a picture of a two-seater Spitfire. So, he said, "it is entirely possible that your Mother did do a loop de loop in a Spitfire!"
Well, that started a fire. Bob in Tilehurst texted in to say he's seen a two-seater Spitfire at air events - and he reckons it's owned and flown by a woman, what's more! Now I'm told the phones have lit up with listeners offering more info. I'll track it down!
With the weather hotting up, however, it has been a grand day to talk about cricket. My guest this morning, David Morris, director of Berkshire Cricket, says the season is going extremely well thus far - and he's looking forward to a weekend of great action. He never takes a summer holiday, of course, since it's his busy time, "but Barbados at Christmas isn't such a bad option!" he laughed. Sounds like the perfect plan. Why do so many of us go away in July and August, when Britain is at its hottest?
My other guest, Crispin Fairbairn, has just flown back from China, where he has been building an orphanage for disabled babies. As David then surmised, "that puts all our jobs in perspective."
It's Friday. If you want to know how to get the best out of your weekend, here's my Weekend WarmUp.
Our Big Ticket guide to the best arts events, came from John Luther:
- "It's Like He's Knocking", tonight at 8pm at South Street, Reading - a performance by Leo Kay, with just a couple of tickets left.
- The controversial movie "Four Lions", showing on Saturday at 3pm and 8pm at Norden Farm, Maidenhead.
- Also on Saturday, at 8pm at South Street, "The Thin White Duke", a tribute to the music of David Bowie.
- On Sunday, "Fusion Asia Bracknell", a great family event in the open air at South Hill Park, 12 noon until 6pm
The Insider's Guide featured the Woodcote Rally, a festival of steam, vintage and veteran transport which attracts over 20,000 people every year. As well as the cars, trains and tractors, there are also craft stands, trade stands, protected animals, a fun fair and CAMRA's famous Festival of Ales. Woodcote is about eight miles north of Reading, up the A4074, or you can catch a bus up there - the X40 stops in the village and then it's just a short walk away. It's in tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday.
And don't forget that the Henley Festival is in full swing.
Movies? Here's what Hills Evans, from the Regal in Henley, recommends:
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Teenagers absolutely love it. The rest of us wonder why!
- Heartbreaker. Highly recommended.
- Predators. One for the guys. Mmmm.
We also gave you the Perfect Day Out for Music Lovers: There's some lovely music events in wonderful settings. You've just got to know about 'em. So I learned the latest from Natalie Houghton from Berkshire Maestros, a charity which encourages local young musicians. So how about these?
- The Beiderbecke Brass Band will be playing at the Market Place in Wokingham tomorrow (Saturday) at 1.30pm
- The Corelli Orchestra performs at 7pm on Sunday at Wellington College in Crowthorne - fantastic orchestral music in a traditional setting.
- Flutes and voices at Douai Abbey from the Berkshire Youth Choir and others. It's at 7.45pm Sunday evening. That should be gorgeous.
Have a super weekend. I'll be celebrating the 23rd birthday of my eldest son, Oliver. Yes, 23 years ago this weekend, I became "Britain's most famous unmarried mother" (as several newspapers put it). Never mind the headlines, it was the most wonderful event of my life (apart from giving birth, of course, to the other four children!) and my family has been my inspiration ever since.
That's why I can understand why the Queen is apparently really excited at the prospect of becoming a Great Grandmother. Her grandson, Peter Philips and his wife, Autumn, are expecting a baby. Which will make Her Majesty a Great Nan. Fantastic!