Tuesday, 4 August 2015

up up and away (things i have learnt about holiday-me: part 1)

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_akz'>akz / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Things I have learnt about holiday me: part 1 : My irrational fear of flying has reached ultimate proportions and is no longer receiving the sympathy and attention from GeordieLad that I believe it deserves. 

Why is it that people who are okay about flying find it unreasonable to respect the gut-wrenching emotions of those that don't? It's never been a secret that although I love to explore other countries I am absolutely terrified of flying. I don't mean the - have a couple of swift shorts before you board fear - I mean the all out - I have pictured this hunk of metal dropping out of the sky and being top story on BBC news fear.  

Years ago, GeordieLad, after being wrist-gripped all the way to our Hawaiian honeymoon, suggested that maybe I should try hypnotism or a really expensive course he read about that takes people on a tour of Heathrow and explores the hows and whats of aircraft. Here is where I wish I could spell ptthhhfffttt (the sound of me making a noise which politely translates as get lost that will never ever help of make the blindest difference). I'm not an imbecile and having asked the two aviation experts I know many questions - I am still scared. I am not ashamed. Just downright petrified. 

Once the 3G arrived I vowed to keep my worry under wraps as I didn't want them a) developing my phobia via osmosis and b) me parent, you child - yeah it's my job to do the protecting, therefore if mama is scared the chain of looking after is broken. I admit there's nothing like looking after a breastfeeding baby and two toddlers on  a long haul flight to help you forget that you're sitting in a tin bucket thousands of miles up in the sky. However long haul flight 2015 - no babes, just 3 Miss Independents glued to 11 hours of films; suddenly I am left free to ponder a multitude of imaginary catatrophes of 1970s airplane disaster movie proportions.  

Three main events usually having me gripping the armrest or the knee of the nearest passenger:

The take off: a thunderous noise which I can only imagine signals the end of the world initiates a bus-load of humans being shuttled into a domain I believe was created for the birds. We have no business being there. Remember that the next time you shoo a pigeon away from your al-fresco dining table.

Turbulence: Being placated with 'it's just the pilot getting above or below the clouds' by the GeordieLad does nothing to ease each bump and shudder forces me to emit a sound akin to a hungry cat: volume increasing if the seatbelt sign appears and worse still, if the cabin crew are asked to be seated.

Landing: Amidst the joy of being nearer to the ground still the panic rises because we're not on the ground YET. Again a barrage of unwelcome noise, as I assume breaks are applied, keeps my belt firmly buckled until I see fellow passengers stepping onto the tarmac.

Look, I stand by my anxiety although I wish I didn't have it because I did spy BigL worrying glancing over at me during a heavy bout of turbulence. But that's the way it is. Which is why I did get a little bit miffed when a leisurely stroll along golden sands was interrupted with GeordieLad's latest offerings about the cause of plane wreckages found recently. How is that helpful for the journey home?

I do wonder if my angst is the reason that I seem to be the only one who remembers that it's courtesy to clap the pilots and cabin crew once we land safely. It's certainly the reason that I'm practically hugging them on the way out.