Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

British Air Power

BA is grounding its 747s- and a good thing too. We don't need to be pumping all that toxic shite into our atmosphere. We fly too much and for reasons that are often extremely frivolous. We are going to have to stop being so self-indulgent- and now is an excellent time to make a start...

It's odd thing but I've always experienced the sound of aeroplane engines as warm and friendly. I don't understand why. If I'd ever lived in a city that was being bombed from the air I'm sure I'd feel otherwise.

Our friendly neighbourhood Spitfire just flew over- as it does most days. And, as always, I jumped up to catch a glimpse. I think it was Matt who was saying that it costs something like £2,000 to book a short ride in it. Men of a certain age and degree of affluence think that's cheap at the price. Not me. I'd rather stand on terra firma and marvel.

The other day I unfolded a scrap of weak tea-coloured newspaper that will have come out of some drawer or other and found it carried the text of a poem by Noel Coward (quite a well-known poem now) making what was probably its earliest appearance in print. The poet is lying in bed and hearing a wave of allied bombers passing over on their way to give Jerry a taste of his own medicine. It is by turns touching and down to earth and mystical- with a strong whiff of Rupert Brooke about it- and little flashes of the self-hatred the civilian- especially in wartime- is obliged to feel in the presence of the the man in uniform. I assume it was my granny who tore it out and kept it- and here it still is, passing down the generations. Coward feels for the boys in the sky- whose life expectancy is not good- but ignores the people on the ground who are shortly going to be obliterated by their payload- because there are limits and there is a war on. It's really rather good- and it celebrates what some would not consider a war crime. It's called "Lie in the Dark and Listen" and you can find it on line if you so choose...

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