Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A clear spring day. Sunday morning and in this part of the hemisphere the sun has been up since before 5am. It now glances white light off the American Airlines 777 sitting beside us. It is a marked change to the inbound flight last week when the day was overcast and the feeling of depression was only exacerbated by the abruptness and churlishness of the airport staff who conducted themselves in the finest “British Rail” service which was legendary in the pre privatised world we know today for its appalling indifference.

This used to be the busiest airport in the world. It still may be. Certainly the experience of not having enough gates for the aircraft arriving here underscores that claim. When I was a kid the closest airstrip was a sharply inclined strip of grass which ran to the top of a small knoll (used by an agricultural pilot sowing super phosphate) the notion that an airport handled an aircraft a minute was nigh on incomprehensible. So it is with some satisfaction and irony that I note the guy loading this aircraft sitting down on the luggage escalator and taking it easy. It is Sunday morning after all. Heathrow or not.

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