Saturday, 7 April 2012

Tanks and Top Gun

The last time I wrote about how I'd given into my son's penchant for all things related to warfare I lost a follower. So goodbye, if you feel the need to leave after this post.  It's been nice knowing you.   However I'm sure that 99.9% of mothers with boys will understand the predicament I'm in.  Even though I'd love him to spurn killing machines and take up floristry instead,  there is something instinctive in the manchild's nature which means that armament is a constant fascination to him.  For example when I gave him a pound so that he could go wild in the 99p store he had to whittle down his selection from six items which all banged and exploded until he settled on a rather nasty plastic hand grenade.

We've moved on in our travels and now in my childhood home town of Southend-on-Sea where we've been three nights now.  However on the way down from Norfolk,  Louis pleaded with me to stop at the 'awesome' tank that we'd seen in Thetford Forest.  It turned out to be the memorial to the Desert Rats, the 7th Armoured Division that fought in every major battle in North Africa in World War II.  I'd tell you more but I'm afraid my level of interest in military history is so low that I couldn't get past the first paragraph on Wiki without making my own 'Great Escape'.

Further along the A1065 I have to admit that I was a little more invigorated by our stop at the viewing area at RAF Lakenheath, a misnomer for a very large US airbase.  I was  more enthusiastic here as we arrived just in time to see wannabe Tom Cruises mosey on down the runway in their F15s and take off ready to play in the sky.  Locals told us that arriving early morning and at two in the afternoon gives you a very good chance of seeing this spectacle which so noisy you can feel the vibrations   rippling through your body as the planes take off.  Much to my surprise, I found that you're allowed to take photos through the fence.  Playing at secret agent gathering official secrets added to the frisson.

While we were on a warfare roll I thought I'd treat Louis to a visit to the National Army Museum in London.  Old and young military aficionados will love this free informative attraction and the coffee shop's nice too!  If you're in the London area this weekend and stuck for something to do with small lads it's especially worth going as you can catch the hilarious Captain Clean the caped connoisseur  of conservation.   He'll equip your little darlings with white coats, grabbers and collection bags and take them on a whirlwind trip around the museum fighting the agents of decay to the bemusement of those there for a serious museum experience.  Hurry, though he's only there until 9 April although a troll through the museum's archives suggests that he makes return visits during other school holidays.

No comments:

Post a Comment