A couple of days ago, DH and I went on a ‘date night’, something we try to do every few weeks. Usually, we have dinner, sometimes we really push the boat out and see a movie too.
This time, we went to the cinema to see the film ‘Flight’, starring Denzel Washington. We often struggle to find a film we both like the sound of (“I’d rather watch paint dry,” I’ve been known to say), but ‘Flight’ ticked all the boxes that need to be checked for a cinema date night.
There was an aviation theme, obviously. A lot of human interest. And a crash scene at the beginning – for me.
Yes, you read that right.
I can’t explain it (I really can’t), but for some reason I’m fascinated by air crashes. They terrify me, but I always want to know more. What exactly caused it, did anyone survive, what was the chain of events leading up to it?
The film ‘Flight’, I thought (wrongly), might even be a full-length feature version of one of my favourite programmes, Air Crash Investigation, which DH and I have been known to watch in bed.
But the funny thing is: I’m the last person who should be watching these shows, because, there was a time in my life, when I was petrified of flying. I must have been in my mid-20s and it got bad enough that I even considered doing a fear of flying course run by British Airways.
Little did I know what fate had in store. I married my first love, a pilot, who gave me a couple of flying lessons in Florida. I nearly landed – and would have done if it wasn’t for the fact the ground was coming towards us way too fast (and I wasn’t his worse student, apparently!)
Air travel now is obviously all about the children and tending to their needs for eight.long.hours means there’s no time to think about the fact you’re in a metal tube hurtling through the sky. But, every now and then, I’m reminded that I’m a nervous flyer at heart.
Specifically, when there’s turbulence.
On our flight to Hong Kong recently (which DH was co-piloting), we started bumping around about half-way through. To me, it was as though things had gotten really choppy up there – and I started feeling anxious.
My champagne was sloshing around. The seat-belt sign pinged on, and stayed on. I was sure I could see the wing bouncing up and down in the dark. I scanned the flight attendants’ faces to make sure they didn’t look worried. My heart rate quickened, my palms became sweaty.
Should I write a note to DH saying ‘I love you’ and wave it in front of the on-board camera, I wondered? No, that would be silly – if there was a problem, he’d be very busy (how my DH laughed later).
And, in my mind – even though I kind of knew the turbulence wasn’t that bad – I could imagine the Air Crash Investigation commentary: “Among the 530 passengers on the ill-fated flight was the first officer’s wife” – the camera panning to a blonde, skinnier version of me sipping wine upstairs, followed by a wedding photo. “Just before the aircraft went into a nosedive, she penned the last words she would ever write.”
I’ve really got to stop watching documentaries about air disasters, haven’t I? Reacting like this to a few air pockets isn’t normal, is it?