I visited the Datchet folk last night. Datchet is directly under what used to be the Heathrow flight path, about two miles out. The first time I went there, twenty years ago, was a hot Sunday in July, a barbeque lunch. We sat around sipping our Pimms and chatting. Suddenly a 747 roared overhead, so low you could have reached up and spun its wheels. I had to stop myself clutching my ears (and I've heard loud in my time, believe me) - but everyone else just carried on talking - they didn't even notice it! I thought then: what is this doing to these people's long-term mental equilibrium?
Last night, it wasn't like that. It was so quiet you could hear the racket of the birds as the sun set. And I thought: is the equilibrium being disturbed here? Are these folk going to suffer from this unexpected sensory deprivation? Will they be able to cope with the quietness?
They've gone to Jersey now, on a boat, to be introduced to a new puppy.