A long-awaited child-free few days in Malta with the girlfriend I married has turned into one night in Eric Tweddle’s caravan over in the Lakes. Now, not that I have anything against Cumbria, but swapping a 5-star press junket for a night in a stationary tin tent located in England’s wettest county doesn’t seem the most equitable exchange. OK I know, mustn’t grumble, at least we’re not stuck in Bangkok, Bishkek or Ballarat – though two of those would at least have offered the sniff of a good story and taken my mind off the oncoming train of an impending tax bill. I have to admit feeling not a little satisfied that the wind has now changed and those cod-swaggering sons and dottirs of Iceland are now ash-bound themselves – see how they like it.
However, all this aerial drama has spawned a thought. How about amalgamating a few of the year’s Bank Holidays into an annual no-fly week? Advance notice and the occasional exception for emergencies would turn an uncomfortable and inconvenient drama into a celebration of our island nation. Timed accordingly it’d give domestic tourism a boost, increase consumption of local-produce, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, lend those Radio 4 listeners living under a flight path the chance to listen to the Archers uninterrupted and allow pilots and cabin crew the rare chance to have a few drinks and party… In addition, consider the collective benefit to the mental and physical health of low-cost air travellers by eschewing, even for a short time, exposure to yellow and orange aircraft cabins, just saying ‘No’ to metallised ‘baggies’ of vodka, and kicking the scratchcard-eating habit – Britain would surely be a better place. Perhaps I should suggest Nick Clegg adds my no-fly initiative to the Lib-Dem’s election manifesto, somewhere between pledges for a rural fuel duty discount and scrapping council tax.
Anyhow, all these televised political sideshows are enough to drive a man to Dushanbe, which is exactly where I’ll be on the 6th May.
Have a good weekend.
Weblink of the week is… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmhgeIKSRUc