Today, I was in Stornoway on the sunny isle of Lewis, my first flight out west since Flybe took over the Loganair franchise.
However, most interestingly, joining the usual motley crew of overweight, balding public sector middle managers (I discount myself, naturally) on the early flight out this morning were two security contractors escorting a prisoner.
I could imagine why someone would be escorted from the islands to the court or prison in Inverness, but not in the other direction.
No matter, they seemed to be enjoying themselves – the three of them were chatting away like old friends (which of course they may well have been… what a context for a reunion). Annoyingly, they got to board first. I wondered whether the handcuffs had to be removed before going through security…
Then after a day’s meetings and a quick photo-amble around town, I headed to the airport and lo and behold, the same prisoner and his chaperones were there ready to board the home-bound flight. By this stage they were having some great banter, and by the time we were in the air again they were roaring with laughter.
Most intriguing. I have no idea what was so funny and wasn’t sitting close enough to listen in. Perhaps the whole thing was a strange bet or something. It reminded me of the mindless but enjoyable Nicholas Cage film Con Air, when a bunch of prisoners take over a plane.
Although of course the big con of the day was £200 for a flight over the Minch.
Some things don’t change…