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On flying

September 14, 2012

I don't think I will ever really tire of flying.  I sometimes think its the modern equivalent of a retreat.  Instead of going away to a remote monastery for a week, you struggle through an airport and then settle into an aluminium tube with perfect strangers and simply relax.  On a longer flight, assuming something more than cattle class I admit, settling back to a RomCom with a Gin and Tonic, drifting in and out of sleep (hence the RomCom, it really doesn't matter if you miss it); maybe clearing some email; reading a book without interruptions.   On shorter flights if I can get an exit row next to a window I do.  BA have one configuration where the rear exit row window seat has not seat at all in front, so you have all the benefits of an aisle seat in terms of getting to the toilet, with the views.   I took this picture coming back from Amsterdam today along with a whole set of the Olympic site.  I confess that (in airplane mode) I kept the iPhone on after I had been told to switch it off, but the shots were simply too good to miss.

Over the previous weeks I have flown around the world (London- Singapore – Melbourne – Auckland – San Francisco – Houston – Rio de Janeiro – San Paulo – Newark – London) which involved two double red eyes in the last week.  There was bustle at times in the airports but the flights themselves were small havens of peace in an otherwise busy schedule.  Now I realise this may all seem perverse to many.  But a period in which no one can phone you, email you or bother you (other than to offer you food or another G&T) is rare in the modern world.  I think I should do the retreat again, its been years and I need it.  Mind you a long walk has the same effect.  There are times when we need not to be always on.

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