“If I could just get Broom to cooperate, we could fly, Glo said. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about traffic. Harry Potter didn’t have to worry about traffic.
You realize Harry Potter isn’t real, right?
Of course, but he could be. I mean, maybe not Harry Potter, but someone like him. Who’s to say?”
― Janet Evanovich, Wicked Business
I still vividly remember going out in the backyard at a certain time during the week with a cup of tea, watching the Concorde flying over London and descending into Heathrow. It was the highlight of my week! Honestly.
If you’d asked me, I couldn’t tell you what my fascination is with aeroplanes, because I’m “pissing my pants” (am I allowed to say that publicly?) every time I’m in a plane taking off or getting ready to land – more so when only a few days earlier the rest of the family has watched this program “Air Disasters” with enormous interest.
My first flight was at a tender age of eight – flying from Frankfurt to Bucharest in Romania. My memory is that at the check in the guy said “Oh, flying Tupolev (I think!), the airline that crashes the most.” At that age I had no idea what he was talking about, I was about to fly to a different country, two weeks at the beach with my mum and sisters, that was all that mattered. It turned out to be a horrible flight, hitting one air pocket after the other, but I was amused by my sisters not keeping up with the unwrapping of their lollies to keep the ears from popping. Yes, we survived, and yes, a few years later I was in a plane again heading towards Bulgaria. Memory is blank though, it mustn’t have been eventful.
Then came a period of time hopping to and from London, but my next big “memorable” flight was going from LA to Anchorage with Alaskan Air, an airline which I believe is defunct nowadays – we hit an air pocket just minutes after take-off, a big (in my opinion anyway) crack appeared next to my seat and I spent the rest of the flight on the toilet, too scared to go anywhere near that area. Yes, it did get me into trouble. Did I care. Uh-uh, no way!
Moving on … hmmm …. Yes, I have had the luxury of flying business class a couple of times. Divine, absolutely divine! I have had the opportunity to fly into the old Hong Kong airport, which was one of the highlight of my “flying” life. I’ve flew over Kakadu National Park and got so sick I nearly passed out. Got to meet a then-famous Australian cricket player and had no idea who he was. You should’ve seen husband-to-be when the cricket player came past us in the airport area and wished me well. LOL. AND I had my daughter throw up over a passenger, who turned out to be a very well-known singer here in Australia. It’s been an eventful life “in the air” so far, and I’m very curious what the upcoming flight in a few weeks will bring.
Anyhow … I did get carried away, but as I said, I love talking planes (and traveling, but I won’t get started on that.) It’s not just the air travel, but the actual planes as well. There’s a great airplane museum in Hermeskeil, Germany, which is well worth a visit. I love it and have visited a couple of times.
Bottom line, the reason for the post today is that we currently have the International Airshow in Geelong, which is just down the road. I’d sooooo love to go there one day, probably the day when I get a one-on-one tour …. Just a few too many people there for me. Just the noise of the jet rushing through the air gets me all excited.
Yes, we do live next to a small airport and we’re loving it. And, okay, I admit it, the first German word my girls learnt was “Flugzeug”. I don’t think I’ve got to tell you what it means in English.
And to finish off my post about planes, a little side note that I had Jeff on my blog a few months back talking about his time in Thule, Greenland. I have since wondered how it would be to land/take off.
Anybody sharing my love for aeroplanes ?
PS – May I quickly add this one as well ?
I am absolutely thrilled and over-excited that “Journey to Her Dreams” and “Innocent Tears” are now available as audio books, through Audible.com and Audible.co.uk. If you enjoy audio books as much as I do, why don’t you check them out? There a little button where you can listen to a sample!
I grew up outside of Washington, DC and lived on the Virginia side for the vast majority of it.Long story short, the Concorde would fly over at times, since Dulles Airport was not all that far. People would go out just to see it take off,(or land). I went several times, or stayed just to watch it when I had other business there.
As an aside,Iris, the best place to view it was near the Luftansa area and at least twice I just stood there listening.The announcer who worked that shift had THE greatest voice, and to hear his German-then-English was a cheap thrill for me!
LOL – next time my voice is on the edge of “gone” I’ll record an announcement for you in both lingos, Tonette!
It was just the most amazing plane, ever, right? I am aware of the crash a few years back, but it was my dream to “one day” fly with the concorde! I did have a cup of tea in a concord once at the above mentioned museum, yet, not quite the same though 😉
I’m sure you have a lovely voice,Iris, and I do like the German language,(I took a short course of lessons many moons ago), but…what can I say?The man’s voice was VERY attractive.I’m sure that you appreciate the fact that it just wouldn’t be the same… Thank heaven, we are not each other’s TYPE,Iris!
LOL – it was more when my voice is “gone”. People actually reckoned I did a Marlene Dietrich impersonation .
Yes some man just have a voice “to die for” …. Sean Connery comes to mind 😉
Funny you should mention him.In the movie,”Robin and Marian” Sean is supposed to be an aged Robin Hood, back after many years from the Crusades.Maid Marian, who is now a nun,(played by Audrey Hepburn), leans out of the convent window and has a conversation with him, while his armor visor is down and she isn’t supposed to recognize him! Are they kidding??? She could NEVER have mistaken THAT voice!
(And you can sing “Autumn Leaves” or “I Wish You Love” when in Marlene Dietrich-mode any day for me!)
anytime’s not good, tonette, that’s when the voice is rather average. LOL …. have to invite you one day to listen to my radio program 😉
Yes, Sean Connery ! THE VOICE … can you imagine, my jaw dropping when I heard his “real’ voice for the first time. In Germany the movies are dubbed!
I can’t say that I love flying, though I’ve done a lot of it since retiring. I love the fact that airplanes get me from my comfortable home to new and exciting places. I’ve been on a few flights where I wondered if I was going to make it out alive. But the trip is always worth the discomfort!
I know what you’re saying, Patty. It’s not for everyone. and I know every time I arrive at mum’s place after 24 hrs of sitting in a tiny space, I always say it’s the last time, but that moment disappears soon! But comfort has improved so much over the years, hasn’t it?
Thanks for stopping by! Much appreciated.
Loved your column today.
Delighted that you included a lilnk to my comments about Thule AB in Greenland. I had forgotten we did that guest appearance!
I also have, somewhere, a blog about how I was standing up in the cockpit behind the pilot when he landed a C-130 cargo plane at Station Alert, which is about as close to the North Pole as humans can get. I was a guest of the Royal Canadian Air Force that day.
But they never invited me back.
So this plane you were riding in actually suffered a structural flaw (crack) while in mid-air?
That would freak me.
Yes, I remember you saying something about standing in the cockpit. Awesome!
What on earth did you do to be never invited again …… LOL
And, yes, it was a crack. It could’ve been 2 cm, 3 or 10 or even 20 cm … I honestly couldn’t tell you, but it was certainly enough to freak me out. Not sure whether it was a structural flaw or just a crack in the inside ‘lining’ (for the lack of a better word), but I certainly was waiting to find out!
I was so thrilled when I first visited my (then future) husband’s family and got to see Concorde fly over! Your post brought back fun memories.
It’s an amazing sight isn’t it. Not many people understand the fascination!
Thanks for sharing your memories, sheila !
congrats on the new audible books. YEAH!
As to air planes, in my life they are a necessary evil. I don’t like them at all. I like being different places and seeing the world but I want that magic power to twtch my nose and be there. I’m not a fan of the tube of metal at all.
Thanks Jillian … yes it’s a bit of a thrill to “listen” to your story.
And yes, the older I get the more cynic I get about “flying”. I suppose one reason is that I don’t like putting my life in someone else’s hand, the other is, there are so many shortcuts nowadays in maintaning a good plane, it’s scary! You can only imagine the nervous tension starting to rise within thinking about going “aboard” soon.
But having said that, planes still fascinate me. Sitting at the airport watching them come and go would be a perfect day for me!
My first tour of duty when I was in the Air Force was to Hahn AB, Germany, where my barracks was right next to the flightline. I used to watch the F-16s take off and land all the time our my bedroom window. I got so used to hearing planes that I could tell what most planes were just by the sound of the engines as they passed overhead. I knew the sound of an F-16, F-15, F-4, and even a few bombers.
On another topic, I just read an article a few days ago that homing pigeons used to get lost when flying on a course intersecting with the Concorde. Seems part of their “navigation” system depends on hearing the echos of the surrounding terrain, and sonic booms mess up those echos so the birds don’t know where they are.
Interesting fact about the pigeons … have to have a read about that as well! Thanks for telling us.
As for Hahn. It must’ve been very noisy, as soon as the US forces had left, the little villages around were ghost towns. People had left because of all the planes.
It was noisy during the day; German law at that time said no flying was allowed after 10pm. My guess would be that the surrounding villages became ghost towns because the restaurants and shops depended on military patronage. I remember there was a wonderful Italian restaurant in the village right outside the gate that we could walk to. I think the village was Lautzenhausen, but it’s been a long time…
The article about the pigeons is here:
Naaaa, it was because of the noise 🙂
Then how come everybody left AFTER the military did? If it was because of the noise, you’d think they would have left sooner. Maybe it was because Flugplatz Hahn is now part of the Frankfurt-Mainz airport, and planes are going 24/7 now…
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