Saturday, July 22, 2006

Okay, I haven’t put anything in here for a while because Caroline and I have been sunning ourselves in Skiathos. I said nothing about this before going because I feel no overpowering urge to advertise to the world that our bungalow is empty for two weeks. However, I was keeping a journal while away and here’s a little bit:

On the anniversary of the London tube bombing it’s nice to see the good people at Gatwick firmly controlling the really dangerous people: those damned smokers. The smoking pen in the middle of the upstairs shopping area, with its curved over Perspex screens (presumably to prevent escape) and its central location, seems placed to put on display and shame the underclass of nicotine addicts. It’s almost a refugee camp. While inside it, I half expected passers-by to start lobbing over aid packages.

Now I’m crammed into a space on an aircraft which, had I been a dog, the RSPCA would have considered cruel confinement. They would have rescued me from this aircraft and provided me with a bowl of water and some Bonios. Very shortly we’re going to hear all the bull about the exits and life jackets. Does anyone for a moment believe this matters? When was the last time you saw rescue boats picking up life-jacketed survivors from a crashed passenger aircraft? When was the last time anyone picked up passengers from such a crash without the aid of a shovel and some black bin liners?

I just read in the paper that when asked by John Humphries about his other alleged affairs John Prescott replied, “People must judge me by what I do on the job.” You have to wonder if his foot-in-mouth disease is a charade. While people consider him a clown they're less likely to boot him out of his cushy non-job.

When leaving Gatwick I spotted the mock-up aeroplane the airport fire crews practice on. It’s made of steel and about the same size as the real thing. Upon our arrival at Skiathos I spotted a similar plane that appeared to be made out of dustbins. I could see that fire practice probably involved a Greek guy sauntering over with a bucket of water.

As we disembarked the ‘safety demo kit’ – used by the stewardess to tell us all about the intricacies of life jackets – fell out of the hand luggage locker onto Caroline’s head.

More later.


Anonymous said...

All this cheerful holiday stuff is of course quite fascinating--even slightly endearing. But unless you tell your captive handful of readers toot sweet exactly what fate befell poor Max, I swear I'm gonna refuse to change my preternaturally vindictive tomcat's litterbox until you do. You've been warned. Please, for your own sake, don't underestimate the fury of a Persian pussy confronted with a polluted toilet. He WILL track you down. (Wasn't Dickens whacked by the pet of an American reader driven mad by something sadistically episodic? Yes, they may have assumed, "back then," that it was so-called natural causes that finished him. But what did they really know "back then" about the finer methods of madness? They certainly weren't watching CSI.)

Neal Asher said...

Well, there's nothing quite like and angry pussy to get my attention.

Kirby Uber said...

if i had a nickle every time... said...

You got me thinking about air safety. Like you, I can't remember ever seeing footage of where an airliner has crash-landed on water and the inflatable exits/lifeboats have been deployed. Does this ever happen?

A more likely scenario is the plane hitting the surface of the water at speed and everyone dying...

Unless it breaks up in mid-air and everyone tumbles to safety near a convenient island, as in Episode 1 of Lost.