A couple of posts ago I mentioned the FT Weekend as being one of my favourite papers. Among the many excellent columnists who write for it, Harry Eyres’ weekly back-page column rarely fails to come up with food for thought, something to ponder on for a day or two. Without wanting to make him sound too sanctimonious, Eyres often manages to give a new perspective to problems we all face or questions raised by today’s rushed society – it’s no coincidence that the column is titled “The Slow Lane” [note: it’s twin back-page column is “The Fast Lane” in case you feel the need for something with a little more material dash and verve].
This weekend, Harry Eyres used a twin launch pad, one to attack what he sees as a new peak in the “zero-tolerance attitude to snow”, and the other to lament the plight of passengers when their flight is delayed – the two are connected because Eyres had been due to fly from Malaga to London before the flight was suddenly cancelled because of snow, resulting in rescheduling and a full day’s delay.
The best part of the piece comes in the form of some lines paraphrased from Horace – clearly a favourite with Eyres since he referred to him only a month or so ago. Leaving aside the reason why Eyres felt they were applicable to the extra day he spent near Malaga airport, they certainly strike a chord for me.
“All power and joy to that man who can say, ‘today, in this day, I have lived’; tomorrow may bring rain or sun, but nothing can undo, or render worthless, what the fleeting, unrepeatable hour has brought.”
Some people may already know the Ode (Book III, 29) in the translation by John Dryden, but Harry Eyres bring it succintly up to date.