Like most other people in Britain I’ve been relishing the sudden quietness resulting from the closure of our airspace because of a drifting cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland. On Saturday I sat in the garden for ages, because it felt so special to be sitting under the Heathrow flightpath with a totally silent sky (see photo). Well, not really silent, because the birds were singing madly. Their chirping is often masked by planes passing overhead every couple of minutes, but today the birds had the airspace to themselves and seemed to be relishing it too.
Of course, if London were always this quiet, I suppose it wouldn’t be the busy, interesting place that it is. But I think the Guardian’s leader writers are onto something with their suggestion that we could all benefit from one plane-free day every week.