Thoughts of a funeral-goer

Charles Cowling

 

 

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.

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Quokkagirl
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Quokkagirl

How awful Lyra. And how desperate as Evelyn says.

I’m afraid I’m guilty of being in Mr M’s camp on the exercisers dropping dead on their treadmills though. I can’t help a smug smile as I light another fag.

Evelyn
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Goodness, Lyra, I had heard of this tragic event – but how shocking to be so close. I can’t imagine how desperate someone must be to even think that this may be a way out. As The BBC article explained, the poor man was likely dead already from hypothermia and lack of oxygen, before he fell from the plane. A very sobering tale indeed.

Lyra
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Lyra

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19562101
This is the latest report. It asks, ‘How often do plane stowaways fall from the sky?’ Daisy said she didn’t hear a thing until the police arrived. We’ve all been feeling very subdued this week.