It’s with slightly trembling hands I type this, somewhere above Bury St Edmonds according to the in-flight displays. The captain announced that the climb might be a little bumpy, and so now there are some fresh bruises on B’s left arm that I clung on to for dear life. It’s knackering me out being this scared of flying, so I just made the decision to stop. Just fucking stop it.
Being this nervous about it is obviously completely irrational, I know that. I once collared a British Airways captain and made him talk me through all the mechanics of it. That did make it a lot better, I have to say, just having it pointed out to me just what it would take for a plane to crash, if just statistics alone weren’t enough to convince me that this stuff is safer than drinking bottled mineral water.
Some of the things that lovely man told me:
- If one of the engines fail, you can still take off and fly safely. They don’t, just to be safe, but if they had to, they could without any problems.
- Contrary to my belief that this massive steel tube should fall out of the sky, the captain explained that air at these speeds for an object this huge, is more like flying through thick goo.
- If all engines fail, a plane can glide 20 times its altitude.
- If everything goes wrong – engines AND pilots all die suddenly – the plane wouldn’t suddenly take a nose dive. It’s designed to level out, its natural position that it would assume on autopilot.
- Nothing that Mother Nature can throw at us, can take a plane down.
That last bit means I’m now fucking REFUSING to whimper and cry because of these little bumps that the captain promised. Instead of closing the laptop and climbing into B’s lap, I have decided to cooly keep on typing, not a freaking care in the world. Hands still a bit shaky, I’ll have to admit, so there’s a lot of backspace hitting going on, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get over myself this time.
Hm, OK, that was actually easier than I thought. What next? Perhaps hit Gröna Lund when we get to Stockholm and get on the free fall ride? Or head to the zoo and snuggle up with a tarantula? If I can get through a flight without feeling shit scared, I feel confident I can play fetch with a big spider. Actually noooooooo what a terrifying thought, why on EARTH did I do that to myself? Gosh, imagine throwing a ball, have the big hairy thing scuttle off after it, then charge back at you. Jeez, that made me curl my toes just then.
Lovely, just been handed something posing as “breakfast”. It’s half a decilitre of heavily concentrated and probably orange-less orange juice, and what looks like something that wanted to be a croissant when it grew up but failed even before it was put in the oven three months ago. Because I have OCD, we are always ridiculously punctual – ‘punctual’ interpreted the Anna Way, that is. That means we are early. Always. So we had plenty of time to grab a smoothie and porridge at Pret before boarding, which means I don’t have to inflict British Airways’ take on morning nutrition upon myself.
Ah, B’s necked the radio active yellow substance masquerading as orange juice and he hasn’t choked so I might give it a try.
Wow, just handed him my not-a-real-croissant that he was eyeing up and he’s already started on his own, nutter. There’s some goo in it, just asked him what it is and apparently sausage? Eek. My honey is eating a not-a-real-croissant that was baked three months ago and it’s filled with rat meat. I keep glancing over, and I swear that the “meat” has got a very unhealthy grey shade.
Anyway! Hands not quite so shaky anymore, clearly I’m getting the hang of being a confident flyer. Time to shove a lovely snus under my top lip and enjoy the coffee, which I have more hope for than the “breakfast”.