So there I sit, on the first of four flights that will bring me home from New Zealand, with a baby keening in the row behind. Fifteen minutes in, a vivid fantasy takes over and the plane is spinning towards earth while the mother screams, “Weeee!” like one does with children on roller coasters to persuade them that it’s fun, rather than scary. The logic was clear: she wanted her child to die laughing. I just wanted some peace. The landing was surprisingly gentle.