Africa, America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland

Give Bono his own airport

With all the talk of honouring James Joyce in his native city I’d suggest he defer to another Dub wordsmith… give Bono his own airport.

Now Paul Hewson (his Sunday name) may not have the classical allusions JJ has but he is inarguably the greatest Irishman.

And rather than name the city airport after the author of Ulysses, published 100 years ago, that tribute should go to the U2 man.

Now full disclosure here I’m not a fan boy.

Character: Bono

It’s only that airports, just like statues, shouldn’t be the preserve of dead people.

Not that I’ve got anything against the legends.

Leonardo Da Vinci (Rome), Charles De Gaulle (Paris) or JFK (New York) the latter where I piloted a plane into, albeit a simulator.

It’s just that the recipients don’t ever get to see their names in lights or a podium.

And Billy Connolly too

Comedy hero: Billy Connolly

And I would say the same about Billy Connolly and Glasgow and Sean Connery and Edinburgh.

So in just about the same time as it takes to Ryanair to pitch their on-flight offers.

I come around to a celebration of those living people who have had airports named after them.

Cristiano airport

Madeira whine: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Airport, Madeira: No danger of Ronnie being coy about seeing his name attached to his own island.

There is already a statue of the Great Man outside although you might not recognise him if you didn’t know already.

Clintons runway

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, Little Rock, Arkansas: And ever since he burst onto the political scene Clinton has been flying by the seat of his pants.

And Bill has been sure to give Hill equal billing ever since.

Dutch of class

Orange is the only colour: For Queen Beatrix

Queen Beatrix Airport, Aruba: Now the Dutch connections with their little corner of the Caribbean.

And you see it too in Sint Maarten and the airport that has taken Prncess Juliana’s name through her life and continues to do so.

Lech’s go round again

Lech Walesa, Gdansk, Poland: We first made acquaintance with the moustachioed shop steward in the docks in the Eighties.

Now the union man who took on the Commies and went onto become Pres has his own airport. General Waruzelski anyone?

Bob’s the job

Food for thought: Mugabe

Robert Mugabe, Harare, Zimbabwe: And you’d think that after The Great Dictator died then they’d have changed the name.

But as I found out from a Zim tracker on a game drive in the Eastern Cape in South Africa elders are respected… mmmm!

So yes, it would be the sweetest thing but deserved.

Think again

The Artist: James Joyce, that is

If the politicians pushing for Dublin Airport to be renamed James Joyce Dublin Airport thought again.

And renamed it to give Bono his own airport

Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

Here We Goa Cristiano

Here We Goa Cristiano. Ronaldo, R7, has been put on a podium in India’s Portuguese outlier.

Yes, we’ve been here before, with statues a bit of a hobby horse of mine.

Funny, because there are too many of these with empirical British generals and not enough of the gee-gees themselves.

Although racecourses are the exception.

And who else would have pride of place at Aintree, Liverpool, home of the Grand National than Red Rum?


Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, is a football thoroughbred who his native Portuguese have had on a podium for years.

All of which our tour guide par excellence Jose Madomis made clear early in our visit to Portugal Centro.

Although The Scary One has never knowingly been told who she should defer to… Signore Ronaldo or Mourinho.

The first statue

Honed and toned: Cristiano in Madeira

The Portuguesers know his value, of course, and closer to God is He.

As I found out when I saw his beach towel for sale among all the Our Lady mini-statues in the Marian site of Fatima.

And while Cristiano is lauded on mainland Portugal he is venerated in Madeira, the island off Africa, where he was born and raised.

And where the first Cristiano statue went up.

Cristiano Goanaldo

Indian culture: In Goa

And we’re thinking here that this coastline region of India is made for Cristiano.

We don’t know if in fact he owns any of it but needless to say he should be able to afford a good bulk of it.

Vasco da Gama, named after the explorer, is its capital.

And with its Portuguese culture and architecture you’d be forgiven for thinking you were still in Iberia.

For those who like to mark landmarks (guilty!) next May 30 sees the 35th anniversary of Goa becoming India‘s 25th state.

Get us there

Child’s play: In Goa

All major airlines fly from the UK and Ireland to Madeira, it takes 3 hours and 40 minutes, and our old friends at skyscanner quote £46 with Ryanair.

And we’re advised that TUI provides direct flights from London Gatwick to Goa for a return from £551pp for February.

Here We Goa Cristiano.