July 11, 2013 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith published in the Littlehampton Gazette July 4th. 2013
LA ARMED Forces day this year was even better than last and that really took some doing. Great stalls, attractions, displays by marching bands, motor cycle riders, Ferret scout cars blasting away, tank rides for the young and the not so young and literally above all, the morning fly past by the iconic Hurricane wetting appetites for the afternoon’s display by the graceful Spitfire. Thousands of people watched, necks craned, as the sleek aircraft repeatedly turned and dived, weaved its way into the sunny sky, swooped across the beach, looped and finally did a victory roll as it headed west and home to a safe landing. It never fails to bring a tear to my eyes and I was not alone in that.. On a curious note though, I watched three youngsters, maybe ten or eleven year olds, pass me by, chatting away and not once looking skywards to the wonderful sound of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine at full revs just above their heads. Go figure!
I REALLY do regret bringing to your attention the dozen or so venomous spiders wandering about in the UK most of them not even native to this country. I have had them brought to me in jam jars, had close encounters related to me and even pictures shown me asking if this or that is the false black widow. For identification I refer you all to the internet! One thing is certain while it is not a good idea to adopt one, make one a pet or in any way encourage spiders as drinking buddies, neither is there a need to reach for the Raid or a house brick as the great majority are harmless and do a good job insect eradication-wise. Just be aware, check your gardening gloves and wellies before putting them on, particularly if stored in a shed and remember, it is claimed we swallow a great many of them in a lifetime especially when safely asleep in our warm, soft beds…
SO LONG and thank you, Mick Aston. You opened up a whole new world to my family. Your flying gray hair, your colourful gear and your glass of white wine while the rest of the gang gurgled their ale, will long be remembered. Time Team was never quite the same or as good without you.