Speaking as a person who has comparatively little experience of travel, I Have to say I rather enjoy the novelty of undergoing conveyance by aeroplane. It is a constant source of amazement to me that man of engineering such a form of travel, and merely unfortunate that what preys on my mind as I actually sit aboard it is the fact that it is also a continuous surprise to me that the one I am on is still in the air. I notice then, that the experience of air travel is full of contradictions. For instance, having never been aboard an international flight before, I found every little thing that happened to be novel and, frankly, quite exciting. However, for the 90 percent of the time that what was happening was absolutely nothing, I struggle to think of a more boring experience. Compounding the problem was a massive headache caused by pharyngitis, contracted on the night before the flight, and compounded by the lack of sleep following the same nights gig. I had substantial difficulty concentrating. Even the most Mark Knopfler-related entertainment offered by Qantas was hard to watch. I remember thinking (something which now seems unlikely to my somewhat more lucid mind) that seconds seemed to be passing in clumps rather than one by one, as is customary. Fortunately I assumed that this was their own problem and not mine, and that they would sort themselves out which, I suppose, they must have.
I leave you with a short passage I wrote while quite tired and ill well into our day long plane journey.
‘It is the middle of the night. A perpetual night caused by the travel of our plane in the same direction as the sun. Rather like staying slim by running slightly ahead of a fat man, but not quite enough for that analogy to stand up to any scrutiny or indeed, any reading. I realize that I have a substantial flaw in the shape of my inability to sleep anywhere other than in a bed, at night. The only exception to this had hitherto been when I was ill, and yet one of the defining features of my present deluxe illness is a combination of cold sweat and an inability to swallow without intense pain which together make sleep almost impossible. Even so, I think flying may be my sort of thing…’
Love, Thomas J Williams