Shining a light on easy travelling

THERE was a time when air travellers had to put up with a limited choice of light when they boarded a plane.

Either it was daytime outside and they got whatever natural light came through the porthole windows or it was dusk, dawn or somewhere in between and they had to endure harsh white light from the tiny overhead bulbs or near darkness.

Not any more, it seems. I learn that new mood lighting has been installed into the cabins of Virgin Atlantic’s latest aircraft.

This encourages relaxing, stress-free air travel for its passengers, I’m told, while also making them look more attractive.

How on earth can this be done, I wonder, and can we look forward to such initiatives becoming a familiar feature of home life?

Research has found that apricot is the most flattering for skin tones. But beware of yellow – it makes people lose their tempers more often and causes babies to cry.

Pink is highlighted as a relaxing, tranquilising colour but red is the most emotionally intense and stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing so probably best to avoid it.

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A “palette of colours” has been chosen to create a relaxing ambiance on board. Lighting changes colour during the flight to help passengers relax (there’s that word again) and unwind, fall asleep and even adjust time zones.

Here’s how it goes. On boarding, a soft “rose champagne” colour de-stresses people while encouraging them to ease into their journey.

This then subtly changes into “purple haze” which is designed to be cosy and comfortable. Then it goes into “amber warmth” which is said to create a candlelight environment while dining. After the grub goes down, the yawning travellers are encouraged to drift into a deep sleep as “silver moonlight” is introduced to reflect a starry night sky.

It all sounds a bit over the top to me but I’m all for it as long as they also make the seats more comfortable and the food tastier.

Another mode of transport has just sped into the headlines and grabbed my attention. This involves driving and the new “game” of GPS racing. Never heard of it? Neither had I until now.

Apparently, it involves drivers setting their satnavs for a destination and then dashing there to beat the predicted arrival time.

Research reveals that nearly 3.6 million motorists admitted to breaking the speed limit when indulging in this new sport in the last 12 months.

Double that number have owned up to putting their foot down to beat the machine.

Other antics noted in a bid to outdo the GPS are driving through amber lights as they change to red, driving too quickly when coming up to a crossroads or roundabout, undertaking or overtaking when not allowed, tailgating other vehicles and trying to get other drivers to speed up by gesticulating or flashing lights.

Come to think of it, I’m sure this sort of behaviour has been around long before someone dreamed up the concept of GPS racing.

It just goes to show that there are – and always have been – a lot of hotheads out there. Happy motoring.