Posted by Lyra Mollington
We’ve lived in East Sheen for almost ten years. It would be perfect if we weren’t living under the Heathrow flight path. Even on a Sunday they start flying over very early in the morning. When we sit out in the back garden, conversation is impossible whilst the planes are flying over.
It’s a nuisance. But I had recently started to think that the noise and pollution of aeroplanes flying overhead could be bad for our health. Mr M says I worry too much. He stores up examples of ‘reprobate friends’ (smokers and drinkers who eat too much and/or eat the wrong things and never exercise) who are hale and hearty. And it makes his day when he reads about keep-fit fanatics who drop dead on their treadmills.
Then, last Sunday morning as yet another plane flew overhead, something terrible happened. Mr M and I were eating our sugar-free muesli with skimmed milk – completely unaware of what was going on just a few streets away.
A tragedy of the most shocking proportions.
A man had dropped from the sky.
He had plummeted thousands of feet from a passenger jet and landed in the avenue where Daisy lives.
Daisy told us what she could over the phone but it was only when we read the newspaper the following day that we discovered what had probably happened. A young man from North Africa (desperate to find a better life?) had stowed away in the undercarriage of a holiday plane. He may have died from the cold and then, when preparations were made for landing, he fell from the undercarriage. More recent reports say he was from Angola and may have been in his twenties.
We haven’t complained as much this week. And Mr M is eating his muesli, and even his vegetables, without his usual harrumphing.