Monday, 24 October 2011

Of The Hot Seat


It was my Mother who taught me I should be scared of flying. As the old Channel Islands Viscount would hurtle down the short runway at Exeter Airport with its deafening propellers going full pelt, she'd grip her seat in terror like she was sitting on an electric chair.
I was cured of my aerophobia only decades later after reading John Simpon's book "Strange Places, Questionable People". Here he explains that he flies all over the world often in the most ropey of aircraft and he gets on thinking "If your number's up it's up so there's no point worrying about it".
On Thursday evening I took a flight from Southend Airport to Waterford. As the plane taxied into view through the departure lounge window I was reminded of the old planes I first experienced all those years ago. It had two windmills attached to each wing and its pockmarked skin suggested it had seen many many miles.
Practising my John Simpson attitude to flying all was well until about 40 minutes into the flight when I heard a slight thud and watched a circular object make its way down the isle and stop spinning just in front of me. I picked it up keen to identify it and a possible owner. As I did so a lady three rows behind me declared with an ironic smile"That's actually my reading light which has fallen out the panel above me. Could I have it back I've a chapter to go?!" "Certainly you may" I replied but be careful. It's very hot".


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