Friday, 16 April 2010

When did you last see one of these?

Take a look at this and try to remember last time you saw one of these. Not the dark triangle top left, which I caught by mistake, but the rest of the picture.

What you see here, my friends, is sky. Just sky. Not a contrail to be seen. And isn't it magnificent?

I can't remember the last time I saw sky like this in the UK. Sadly, it'll be over all too soon when the winds change, the dust plume blows over someone else and the jet planes start to fly in and out of UK air space once more.

It's deliciously quiet, too. We live beneath one of the Stansted stacks, so we have pretty constant aircraft noise during the day.

I shall continue to revel in it as long as it lasts. With any luck it'll still be here tomorrow night when we plan our first barbie of the year. Think of that! A barbie without the constant roar of jets overhead.

To be fair, planes these days are much, much quieter than they were in 1970 when I was at university. I was at Westfield College in London, and we were under the Heathrow flight path. It was normal for the lecturer to have to wait while a plane taking off cleared the area before carrying on, as the noise was so loud (s)he couldn't be heard.

So we complain about noise pollution, but actually it's better than it used to be. Lots and lots more planes, but much quieter than before.

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