Saturday, 6 August 2011


Author, Tony Parsons, has moved into Heathrow Airport. For a week, he has been awarded unrestricted access to the busy international airport.
From the air control tower to the departure and arrivals halls, Tony Parsons is allowed to roam the terminals seeking inspiration for a series of short stories.
What an opportunity.
A single glove on a wall; an individual at the end of a busy bench; fractured and fraught families: I find airports painfully full of possibilities.
Just walking through an airport disturbs clouds of possibilities, all emotionally swarming and endlessly buzzing.  
Diverse business are becoming involved in projects where they engage an artist-in-residence.
Imagine the painter James Hart Dyke – sketch book, pen, and camera in his hands – spying on MI6. 
Picture the efforts of artist Neville Gabie as he captures the transformation of east London during the run-up to the Olympics.
London Zoo had an artist-in-residence too but they probably didn’t notice when I went to measure the tiger enclosure to see how hard it would be for Lucas – in STARRING – to break in.
Where have you found inspiration?


  1. Airports are always good for people watching! So are hotels and beaches - I caught lots of good moments in our recent mini vacation :)

  2. I love the idea of Heathrow having a novelist in residence. I've had lots of ideas sitting in airports (but probably not Heathrow, which is so vast and confusing I'm usually too anxious to think clever thoughts.) My best ideas come to me when I'm walking along the beach. The white noise of the waves seems to clear my head of extraneous stuff.

  3. Even the local grocery store is a bedlam of interesting characters and potential stories. Airports are even better for tense stories. Trying to catch flights. Worryign if your luggage will make the transfer. Getting to your connecting flight on time. Add personal drama on top and you've really got something.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh I love airports too. I'd love to live in one for a week. I find inspiration everywhere.

  5. Hi Jemi
    I love the range of behaviours people display when they are under stress :)

    Hi Anne
    I can see you absorbing energy at the beach. I stood and watched the sea by moonlight, when I was travelling Highway 1, the black sea was awe inspiring.

    Hi Lindz
    The local supermarket has a family drama on every aisle. ;)

    Hi Karen
    I think it is a great idea to live in an airport for a week. I'd love to see if you could do it for real... without the operators finding out ;)

  6. Ooh! I love airports and busy places in general. The train is a special place to find inspiration. People are so genuine when they are irritated. It makes for good characters.