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I believe I can fly Nov 24

I flew down on Easyjet to London last weekend. For frequest fliers this may not seem out of the ordinary, but it was the first time I’d flown in over four years. While I’m not afraid of flying per se, I do get uneasy when I haven’t done it for a while. And I’m not a fan of heights.

The trip to Edinburgh Airport went smoothly and I was pleased to discover I could use my bus pass on the Airlink bus – £3 saved. I was early and so went for a quick walk around the car park (with no CNPS success).

Checked in and passed the time in the departure lounge doing the crossword and watching TV. Everything was going to plan until I lost my passport twenty minutes before I was due to board the plane. I hurriedly retraced my steps but there was no sign of it, so I wandered back towards the security area, looking for a desk to which it might have been handed. There was nowhere obvious and I tried to think what where I would take a passport I’d found.

“Will William Howells please come to the British Airways hand luggage desk?”

That answered that question. I somewhat sheepishly reclaimed my passport only to discover the boarding was delayed by half an hour.

This, the pilot explained once we’d taken our seats on the Airbus, was due to problems at Amsterdam. He reassuringly used the phrase “a cunning plan” to describe his attempt to make up time on the previous flight from London but had been help up further by a 160mph winds. These winds, we were told, would now help us reduce trhe flight time southwards to a mere hour.

Before we watched the safety demonstration, complete with obligatory emergency exit semaphore, the pilot asked us to pay attention. He was, once again, reassuring: “If the cabin is on fire, it’s not time to be asking silly questions.”

I got a small thrill when the velocity down the run way turned into lift-off, but was mildly perturbed when we banked to the lift and I found myself facing the ground. We passed over snow-topped mountains and after a short while the co-pilot announced that we were about to start out descent into Gatwick.

I was more comfortable on the return flight on Sunday, hiding inside The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll, safely ensconced in a seat away from the window. I even had one of those bijou cans of coke you only get on aeroplanes. For the price of a normal sized coke on the ground of course. No doubt something to do with high speeds affecting physical dimensions in the Theory of Relativity.

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