While swimming at Climping this afternoon my attention was drawn towards what appeared to be a jet aircraft in the distance flying abnormally low. This turned out to be a South African Airways 747 coming straight at me at about 100ft, with no apparent engine power. I swam for the shore, gesticulating and shouting, and then scarpered up the beach to reach the safety of our small family group as the presumably stricken aircraft lurched past, heading for Barnham. We lost sight of it as it dipped below the treeline and I assumed it was about to crash land and waited for the fireball. Then, it reappeared, and circled around the area a few times, gaining a little height before losing it again. A bloke edged close to us and said the aircraft was only just above stall speed as it had come past. I started thinking ‘terrorists’, or maybe ‘jettisoning fuel’ before I remembered the Goodwood Fesitival of Speed. By this time, the 747 had begun to do some serious acrobatics. Sure enough, a quick google search on our return home showed up a load of blog entries telling the world about an ‘awesome’ display over Goodwood by a SAA ‘nutter’ pilot.
The other highlight at the beach was some ageing lothario – who I remember from last year, too – oiling about the place in an all over Kilroy Silk tan, wearing a hideous pouchlike, thong-backed affair through which he could flash his bronzed buttocks at all and sundry. When he wasn’t doing this, he was scrutinising other beach residents with his powerful binoculars, no doubt chortling at the ludicrous acreage of their swimsuits.