Friday, 6 January 2017


I was in London for a quick day trip this week.  The choice of travel was by air rather than by train as the reason for the visit was a funeral which was only a short drive from Gatwick airport. The weather was clear and fair and flying EasyJet, I have to say, was easy. The whole trip was smooth and pleasant.

Our flight home was on a clear, starry night.  It was great fun to look out of the window and see the lights of London - Birmingham - Manchester as we passed overhead. It was 1 1/2 hours Gatwick to Glasgow, then a 25 minute drive home as I had parked the car at the airport (very expensive!).

The joy of flying reminds me of the time I flew back from Canada to Glasgow some years ago. I was coming out of Toronto this particular time. About an hour out the stewardess announced that there was a wonderful display of Northern Lights that evening.  If anyone wanted to see them, they could put their hand up and be selected to view from the cockpit. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?!

I put my hand up. Some hours later I got a tap on the shoulder and was beckoned forward.  I was shown into the cockpit where it was very dark.  I became aware of the backs of two men and was told to kneel down on the ledge that was between the two and look out the window.

There was a glorious display of white aurora reaching to the zenith all along the port side of the cockpit window.  Absolutely thrilling!

 After about 5 minutes I was escorted out again.

I returned to my seat and replaced my Air Canada headphones ... and this is what was playing... the Hallejulah chorus from The Messiah.

This is my copy of a 1943 edition. I was unable to attend a performance this New Year but there is plenty from which to choose on YouTube.  (I am a great fan of YouTube!)

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