As my flight from Singapore to Hong Kong came in towards the runway last night as I was looking out of the window, wondering how cold it was. The approach is over the sea, and when the clouds are low the plane emerges late in the descent, so sometimes you look down wondering when the runway lights are going to appear, we seem so low over the water. But the runway lights flashed and we were descending, a little fast. Midway through the descent, at the point when I was bracing for landing, the engines suddenly surged and we abruptly changed direction and started ascending again.
Clearly the pilot had aborted the landing, but no one said anything for a few minutes - playing it cool - until I turned to the guy next to me and we appraised each other nervously to see how scared we should be. After about 10 minutes the pilot laconically announced that we had been unable to land on that runway and were going around again to try another one. That was all.
I had been thinking earlier in the flight about how you should really tell everyone you love that you love them at the earliest opportunity, in case anything ever happens: I'm not really a nervous flier anymore, I have done it too often, but for some reason it crossed my mind while I was gazing idly at the tiny screen in front of me (watching, as it happens, an amazing performance by Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises).