For the last couple of days, the weather on the island was distinctly odd. The sea was delivering surfing-style breakers instead of tranquil bathing water and everything turned slate-grey instead of turquoise. The wind was strong and rain fell from otherwise clear skies. The hotel put up a notice saying that, very unusually for this time of year, we were experiencing "strange sea conditions" and one shouldn't bathe when the red flag was raised. Perhaps, we wondered, something far away to the north was causing problems from a great distance, since there is nothing between except ocean across which all that energy can cascade unhindered.
The other night we flew back - and some very uncomfortable things began to happen around 2am, somewhere mid-Atlantic.
The sensation that everything is shaking. The feeling that the dipping and plunging might be limitless and there's a wild ocean beneath offering more of the same. The impression that at any moment you might be turned upside down or knocked sideways out of your seat, and you don't really know what's going on because it's officially night-time on board and all that has happened in the cabin is that the pilot has turned on the Fasten Your Seatbelts sign.
We got back in one piece, just about. "Sorry about those few lumps and bumps along the way," remarked the cheery pilot.
|This is Alex. Say hello.|
On the train back from Gatwick we read this: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/hurricane-alex-is-the-first-atlantic-storm-to-form-in-january-since-1938-a6813226.html
We'd clearly flown through the effects of Storm Alex. Honest, guv, I will never understand those people who like going on roller-coasters at fairgrounds for fun.
So what do you do when you're on a plane and you think you may die and you can't do anything about it? Some people pray. I sing Bach to myself. I got through Storm Alex by imagining this.
Highly recommended. Thank you, Johann Sebastian.