August is often referred to as the silly season, typified (according to the Wiki) 'by the emergence of frivolous news stories in the media'. This weekend has provided the media with an opportunity to forget the frivolous as there has been quite a bit of real news, some good, some bad.
Sport featured quite heavily, what with the fifth and final test match and the world athletics championships. Australia trounced England in the cricket, but England regained the Ashes having won the series 3-2. Personally, I was quite pleased that Australia won that match as it was the last test that will be played by the retiring Aussie captain. There was good news coming out of China, where two of Britain's favourite athletes won gold medals, Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres and Jessica Ennis-Hill in the heptathlon. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton led from the front to win the Belgian Grand Prix, his sixth win of the season, and extend his championship lead over Nico Rosberg.
Belgium also featured in another news story as it was in Brussels that a Moroccan boarded the Amsterdam to Paris express with the intention of committing mass murder. It was the courage and quick thinking of American off-duty servicemen, especially Spencer Stone, that saved the day, although the would-be assassin's gun had jammed anyway. Not that Mr Stone knew that.
But since Saturday afternoon the British media has been mainly concerned with the tragedy that happened just a few miles away from here at the Shoreham Air Show when a vintage jet fighter crashed onto the busy coastal trunk road, killing at least eleven people. Police warn that they are still sifting through the wreckage and when the plane is lifted today they may well discover more bodies.
This was Britain's worst air show disaster for more than 60 years. The worst ever was at Farnborough in 1952 when 29 people were killed when a De Haviland 110 exploded in mid-air. I was there on the day, although I have no memory whatsoever of the tragedy.