A mild cardiac arrest usually grips most passengers flying into London as the plane reaches the south coast of England.
Up to this point, whether travelling from the east, south or west, one is afforded a view of the brightest light blue sky and a clear view of the terrain or sea below. Clouds, if present, are bounded entities with amicable personality, drifting ethereally, enjoying the sun’s rays.
It feels as if the world over is a delightful place to live.
However this delighted sense is quickly compromised as one approaches the doorstep of the British Isles, for no sooner does the south coast come into view than it quickly disappears underneath a confusion of fog, mist and cloud.
As the plane’s tranquil trajectory gives way to a rude buffeting, which it needs to ascend out of, one finds the clouds coalesced into a formidable mass, a continent that stretches for as far as the eye can see; unlike any cloud formation you might witness anywhere else ten thousand feet above the earth.
A shock envelops one’s soul, one feels an immense betrayal, a being taken for a ride, by clouds, who had earlier affected to be bon-viveurs with a pacific intent, who served no more purpose than an adornment to the searing blue atmosphere. Here those same clouds are ruthlessly and mercilessly hell-bent on colonising and imposing their will on these sceptered isles.
Its as if whilst you were away, enjoying the sun, you completely forgot the years of oppression that Londoners and the British have endured, under the rule of the clouds. Its as if an occupying force stealthily stole into the city whilst you were out.
The clouds, like an aggressive mould covering a loaf of bread, appear to be slowly feeding off and digesting the land below. Their position of dominance seems absolute, as if no stone below has been left unturned.
As you survey this mass of cloud, you are horrified by its thickness, its impenetrability, there is no chink in its domination.
You find it hard to believe that there is a life underneath this mass, that there are survivors. But there is life and there are survivors, and as the plane plunges into the cloud and then emerges to reveal the metropolis, you sigh both for relief that your countrymen still abound and that you are returning to that familiar place called home, but also in sorrow at the fact that you too are returning to share that yoke of a sunless existence.