Environmental costs of travelling by air
Thank goodness the Government has at last recognised that air travel is a major source of carbon emissions and pollution, and might need to be curbed as part of the overall carbon reduction plan.
Nothing is more polluting than a jet engine at full thrust on take-off, as although the mechanics inside are precision made, the principle of how they operate is very crude compared to an internal combustion engine of any road vehicle.
There are really no means of cutting those emissions, other than reducing the number of actual flights.
Today much air travel is for trivial reasons, with the expansion of budget airlines increasing pollution dramatically.
I believe a serious re-think on all modes of public transport is needed, not merely a tax penalty assault just on road vehicles, which seems the only answer to today’s growing pollution problems.
How times have changed
Growing up in the 1950s and the early 1960s for me was not quite ‘swinging’ or Carnaby Street fashion, rather it revolved around one word -’football’.
Every waking hour involved thinking, watching or playing it. It was my whole life (this was only rudely interrupted by the distraction of the introduction of girls, a major irritant).
I think it affected me because I was pretty woeful in interacting with girls while, with football, I knew how to “play the game”.
I was the headcase who was the goalkeeper and was quite fearless in diving on concrete or getting drenched in pools of murky mud, my stupidity knew no bounds.
The hazards of my fanatical chosen sport were continual bruised knees and elbows and a local resident threatening to put a knife through our ball if it went into her garden one more time.
(Bless her, she never carried out her threat).
At that time it was an offence to play football in the street and you could be prosecuted.
The local bobby walked the beat and the number of times we jumped walls to evade him could not be counted on two hands.
On the one occasion I was eventually caught, I remember receiving a whack across the head with his leather gloves and sent off with a caution ringing in my ears.
Wherever a patch of grass could be found, me and my friends would play.
I recall one wet winter’s day we found a patch of ground near our street and collectively we decided we could make it into a pitch.
I vividly remember carting large paint tins packed with sand, transporting it in the pouring rain to mark out the touch lines.
I should mention my dear mother had forbidden me to go out that day as conditions were so bad. Of course, I sneaked out of the house while she was doing the washing.
I don’t know how we summoned the energy but conducted a game on our newly formed mud heap – the cold driving rain seemed to be a minor issue.
At the end of the day, we trudged home, forgetting my mam would be waiting, ready to give me a thorough tongue lashing and probably a clip around the ear.
I ran the gauntlet of her fury, as she instructed me to get out of my filthy clothes and into a bath (we did not have the luxury of a shower).
I am aware this might come across as sounding like the proverbial sentimental ‘Hovis’ advertisement but later I sat in front of our roaring open coal fire, eating my tea.
I comforted myself with the thought there would be many more occasions when we would all grace our new humble venue.
Isn’t it ironic when today we can’t get kids out of the house?
Mixture of makers for D-Day visit
I am attending the 75th anniversary of the D-Day commemorations in Normandy and will be decking myself out in Union flag attire.
I have invested in a baseball cap, made in China; mock spectacles, made in Taiwan; a shirt, made in India; shorts, made in Vietnam; and socks, made in Turkey.
It makes me proud to be British.