The Furlongs watched Michael Palin’s Sahara last night on TV. I have a Sahara memory of my own….
I have loved every cigarette I ever smoked. But one comes to mind that was so memorable.
I was on a plane when smoking had just been banned on long haul flights but they were still using fresh air on planes. In the middle of the night, on a quiet plane, I woke to find I could smell the faint whiff of cigarette smoke. So I got up and followed it to the back of the plane where staff were sitting chatting in a curtained off section, a small staff room, smoking.
One of them offered me a cigarette and I smoked it. But that is not what made the situation magical, although I felt hugely blessed as smokers do when they have a cigarette after hours of denial. What was stunning is that we were flying very low to conserve fuel and take advantage of air currents over the Saharan desert.
Down in the dark, were not electric lights, but little fires sparkling in clusters where people were camped, or where there were small settlements. It was stunningly beautiful to my eyes.
Lonely, secret, and beautiful while everyone else was sleeping through it on the plane. I felt hugely priviledged.
And the cigarette tasted great too!