A Lot of Sky by Jonathan Meades

Jonathan Meades

A Lot of Sky


I thought Max Beerbohm's dictum that premature greyness is the sign of a charlatan was a generalisation born of a particular dislike till I flew by Royal Air Maroc. Now I see that he must have suffered some experience peculiarly precursive of mine on flight 914 B, Tangiers to London. Two dozen or so of us got on to the already crowded plane. I sat at the back beside a septuagenarian cockney called George. He had very little hair, but what he had was impeccably Reaganed, it shone like a prize rook. It was most unlike the hair in the three rows ahead of us. This belonged to twelve or so men travelling together and was strikingly homogeneous - it was the colour of dirty snow and it lay on top of faces not half as old as George's.

Now we've all seen parties of the blind, and there's often a fair chance of meeting a caravan of wheelchairs in the pedestrian precincts of the south-coast exciting fascination of equal parts pity and ghoulishness. But the prematurely grey? Are things so rough that the pigmentarily anomalous must now stick

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