Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Phobias and flying


"Flying is probably the safest way to travel, go to any airport and count the planes going in and out in an hour and  there is the proof,"  how many times had I told my friends that; I lost count. And yet, here I was at the airport, shaking like a leaf as I waited to be called onto our plane.

 "Strange how the change of circumstances transformed my thoughts," I thought as I paced nervously, "we made the plans and I couldn't back down now, how would I explain to Jenny that I didn't meet her because I was afraid to fly?"

 I had been in the Royal Air Force and travelled many times, mostly by train or boat; the only times I had flown was out to Germany and both ways to and from Ireland; none of the flights were more than an up and over lasting more than an hour and here I was waiting for a nine hour flight.

 I hadn't eaten for hours and the early arrival at the airport meant a long wait, all this added to my tensions about the flight; I was hungry and thirsty but dare not eat or drink in case I was  ill on the flight.  The flight wasn't due to take off until 7:30  which meant I had a six hour wait even allowing for the hour before take for passenger loading. 

 The six hour wait seemed endless, unable to sleep I paced the floors and glanced at the boards showing schedules and flights and wondered where everybody was going.

  Then the strangest thing happened, I saw her. A lady who was the image of one of my best friends, this lady was walking along the lines of sleeping travellers. Her appearance calmed my nerves for some reason, I had tried all types of remedies but until now nothing worked.  The flight went well and I had no problems with jet-lag as I don't have a pattern of sleep being a writer. 

 A few days after my return, I recalled a dream I had months ago about being stranded during a flight-good job I didn't remember earlier or I may have backed out and missed the voyage of a life-time.

 The picture is one I took at Edmonton International Airport, Alberta, Canada on the first of my trips.

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