From the window of my office I can watch the aircraft on final descent southwards into Sydney Airport. Our building lies directly under the flight path and I am in the box seat.
How many times have I been on one of those flights looking down upon my office? I have lost count.
My home lies on the opposite side of Sydney, but on some days and some nights the flight path changes. The planes now make their way down the Georges River valley, taking the East-West runway or curving northwards along the cliffs of the Royal National Park.
Both happened yesterday. During the day I watched shadowy apparitions of aircraft suddenly emerge from the grey cloud overheard, only for them to once more disappear into another.
I took a late night swim alone in our pool, cool, but soothing against the humid air. The pool and garden lights were on, a citronella tea light danced in its glass enclosure, orange against purple.
From the west a bright light would illuminate the clouds. Then the growl of the engines as they descended through the low cloud and along the river.
Sometimes I would hear other flights high above us, heading outwards to the northwest, to lands far away. Through breaks in the cloud I watched their lights flash and thought of the passengers trapped inside for a long uncomfortable night.
I am going through one of those phases where the thought of the flight is of less excitement than the destination. So I visualise other feelings, try to recapture the joy of the skies.
I think of the passengers descending into Sydney Airport so late in the evening, emerging to find the shops closing, the airport getting ready to sleep. Do they want to hurry home or to their hotel. I’m sure they do.
And on those other flights heading out. I know what they are like all too well. Indeed our next bookings are overnighters to Japan. The impossibility of sleep, of watching videos through the night when even the worst movie can seem an artistic triumph to an addled brain. Of arriving so early the next morning and spending the day in a zombie daze until at last your hotel room is ready and you can catch the most delicious sleep there is.
Far better to be landing, but in that different country, where what I would like to be doing is close to what I am. A swim in a tropical pool, torch flames flickering. Even better, a hot grill with satay or yakitori nearby. Then the weary sleep after the long day. Yes, that is the fabric of dreams.