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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Fear of flying

I only flew for the first time at the grand old age of 37 but have gradually got used to it. It now doesn't faze me at all. What I can never get used to is the fact that all the flights I need to catch go at unearthly hours of the night or morning. Hence I left home this morning at 5am to catch the 7am flight from Cardiff International Airport to Edinburgh. The whole of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Group is on a two day fact-finding trip to see how devolution is progressing in Scotland and what we can learn to take back to Wales. We are also being joined by the two Welsh Liberal Democrat MPs. I suppose I shouldn't complain about the journey, after all Lembit Opik is reportedly flying here straight from Australia, where he has been supporting Sian Lloyd in something or other. Clearly he has read Nostradamus' prediction of a comet brushing Northern France and raining debris onto Europe in August and is seeking a refuge from which he can emerge later on to tell us that he "told us so"!

Update: I have spent a very fruitful day in meetings discovering more about devolution in Scotland, which I will hopefully be able to put to good use back in the Assembly. Lembit showed up at about mid-day after travelling for 36 hours. The problem is his luggage was still in Frankfurt, having allegedly been lost. Actually, this is quite disturbing. If memory serves me right the Locherbie bomb was meant to have been planted in Frankfurt. One would have thought that procedures would have been tightened up since then, especially after 9/11. The fact that an airline can 'misplace' somebody's luggage and possibly put it onto the wrong plane does not fill me with confidence that another tragedy like Locherbie can be averted in the future.

Update 2: OK I have now seen most of Lembit's 500 holiday snaps. Apparently, the airlines did not think it was necessary to misplace these in transit. There are a disturbing number of Sian Lloyd's cuddly toy tiger in action poses. I know that Mr. Bassey, as he is called, became a cult figure during the filming of "I Am A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here", but enough is enough. Apparently, this toy is named after Shirley Bassey who, of course, comes from Tiger Bay in Cardiff. Sigh!

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