It occurred to me, trotting along the Liffey earlier, that Dublin looked great all lit up. That man-made luminosity can actually be quite inspiring and – even though totally artificial, can disguise the mediocre and dull.

Can you think of examples? Driving in over the hill from Kinsale at night and seeing God’s city laid out in lights is one such. Taking off at night in a Trislander over St Peter Port (Guernsey) is another.

In fact the most inspiring sights are to be seen from the air. In my case these are rare as I hate flying and avoid it whenever I can. But I will always remember

1. Any flight into Ireland and catching my first glimpse of the Emerald Isle.
2. Many years ago, a noise abatement takeoff out of Cork which involved a steep climb and wingtip turn with me looking straight down at the city.
3. A takeoff out of Jersey on a clear day with the port of Cherbourg laid out on the right.
4. The easterly takeoff out of Geneva on a bright, clear afternoon along Lac Leman with the mountains away to the right.

But I’d still as soon be on the ground!