the magic of flight

People pack the long aisle of the plane looking hauntedly for seat numbers. Club class is full of very old Americans, smiling with satisfaction as the losers shuffle past towards sub-steerage.

“I’m Ronald Ramsay, your captain for today. We will be flying north first, then turning left and taking up a position in the middle of the North Sea.”

“I’m not sure I want to take up a position in the middle of the North Sea,” says someone. “Not in an aeroplane.”

The 737 makes a noise like a tumble dryer, then suddenly goes backwards. Soon it has set off at a brisk jog into a tangle of well-kept little runways, alongside which you expect to see flowers in brightly-painted tubs, lock-gates and barge-keepers in blue shirts. Nothing of the kind: parked aircraft; a motorway; some raw earth; a Volkswagon van travelling fast between a chainlink fence and some corrugated sheds.

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3 responses to “the magic of flight

  1. uzwi

    No, straightforward mimetic reportage. I mean, ok, I left a lot out…

  2. Once the wings start flexing on the taxiway, I close my eyes. They only open when my fingers get prised off the back of the seat in front of me after landing. Flying is a wholly aural experience as far as I’m concerned; and never a happy one.