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The Longest Day

It’s officially the Longest Day today. Which means you can moan about the fact it feels like it with justification, if you’re so inclined. Midsummer’s Day, or the Summer Solstice. It’s okay. I’m not going to go all hippy on you or anything, I just wanted to share this photo of the sky over my back garden earlier this afternoon because it represents summer to me.

One of my favourite summer pastimes is to lie in the back garden, stare up at the sky and trace the plumes left behind by aircraft passing overhead and, even though flying’s no longer considered particularly eco-friendly or green, I still continue to do it.

When the recent Icelandic ash-cloud grounded flights in and out of Britain for 6 days, the skies above me were eerily empty. We had the most beautiful sunsets at the same time – marzipan, marshmallow and rose turkish delight all glowed on my horizon – and that could easily have persuaded me that some catastrophic event had taken place and the outside world had ceased to be. (If it hadn’t been for Twitter telling me otherwise, at any rate.)

So it was reassuring when the vapour trails started to reappear.

And now that summer is here, I can spend time outdoors, tracing them, tracking the aeroplane making them until it goes out of sight. I imagine who might be aboard all those miles above me, where they’re coming from or travelling to, and what their stories are. Like an extreme form of the sort of people-watching you do from buses or trains. No? Just me, then.

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