Daughter flew home from Lanzarote on Friday.
Being the sad person that I am, I decided to track her progress. I knew the flight number and the airline so it was a simple enough task.
I sent her a text just before the allotted time, and sure enough she said she was in the airport in a wheelchair waiting to be shoved onto the plane. I fired up my Flight Radar and zoomed in on Lanzarote. There was her flight at the boarding gates. I entered a filter so only her plane was displayed.
After a while she started to move but stopped on the taxiway. I removed the filter and sure enough, there was a plane in front waiting to take off to Bremen. It took off but Daughter’s plane moved a few yards and stopped again. Ah yes – a flight arriving from Las Palmas. After that, things went as they should do. The flight took off uneventfully and I left my laptop on the table beside me so I could take an odd glance.
The only odd thing about the flight was that over the Bay of Biscay it began to change course in a somewhat erratic way, veering a few degrees either way. I fired up my weather map and sure enough the plane was travelling through the edge of some very windy weather.
I got a text from Daughter some time later asking if I could see her. I told her she had just crossed the coast of Ireland west of Tramore and was flying at 24,475 feet up.
Eventually she landed and some time later arrived at the Manor in an ambulance. Something for the neighbours to wonder about? Daughter was in a right mess, looking like The Terminator with her leg encased in a frame, but was delighted the journey was over.
Now the thing that struck me was the incredible power of the Interweb. Here was I, sitting on the side of a mountain in Wicklow yet I knew more about Daughter’s flight than she did. At all times I could read her exact position, her speed and her altitude which was more information than she had, and she was on the damned plane!
Home computing arrived on the scene when I was in my early thirties, so I knew well what life was like without a computer. Then the Interweb arrived and we stared in amazement at text that had been written by someone the other side of the planet. A few of the sites actually had pictures in them! Imagine that! Wow!
Nowadays the Interweb is everywhere and people just take it for granted. They don’t appreciate the wonders of it and just take for granted the millions of videos and billions of photographs, not to mention the information on any topic under the sun. I can’t take it for granted and still wonder at it every time I use it.
Forty years ago, who would have thought that one day I would be scribbling my brainfarts and that at least six or seven people could read them instantaneously around the world?
They would have said I was insane.