Flight Or F(r)ight

I flew for the first time in 30 months. Only from London to Belfast, one of those flights where you’ve just gone through the stomach tumult of sprinting down the runway and asking yourself why you didn’t go to the loo before sitting down and settling back when the pilot chappie says to get ready to land and once again you dither about the loo.

Or is that just me?

I’m a neurotic traveller, partly because of my record of cockups. I hate any suggestion of being late, given the monumental faff getting from normal life to your seat. I did excel myself rather, insisting we set off at 6.30am for an 11am flight and finding ourselves inside the departure lounge by 8am. Still my tail was wagging.

It was all rather surreal. There were masks about but there seemed to be some sort of unwritten choreography involved with them. On at bag check in then off at the counter where you rummage in your hand luggage for that lip salve you know is in there somewhere. Then on and off at security, on in the loos and off in the lounge and on at the gate. Only this time they had to come off again for the face recognition to work or you were left there with a fuming overweight numpty behind you because the gate refused to open as you frantically twisted the barcode on your boarding pass, hunting for that 94 degree vector that’s needed for the sodding thing to work whereas the mask was the issue. And back on for the flight…

Still we made it to Belfast. We stopped to meet a friend of the Vet’s for lunch – we’re here for a family wedding. And then had a little potter.

The botanics gardens

See those neatly planted flowerbeds? Mum hated anything so regimented. Horticultural terrorism. Nature doesn’t do straight lines or neat single colours. She even had her own put down. ‘So very park’s department, darling’ if I suggested they looked vibrant and colourful.

It was damp and green and looked, on the way to Killyleagh our Air BnB like the countryside around Frome. All very familiar.

Unlike flying which is the kind of novel experience that was once exciting and is now just a bit grim.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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29 Responses to Flight Or F(r)ight

  1. Ritu says:

    Enjoy the wedding!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Stress over just enjoy 💜🤞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joylennick says:

    Did I hear a heart-felt ‘Phew!’ Followed by
    ‘Thank goodness that’s over!’ Enjoy the calm after the storm… x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    I’m with your mom on this one. I don’t like overly manicured gardens. I prefer them to look a bit wild and natural. Glad you got there OK. Have a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never mind. You have the return flight to look forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    I hope the wedding erased the angst of flying. We also view it as an ordeal and necessary evil – so different from when I first took a flight – the planes were prop jets, the stewardesses (as they were then called) could have been models, and the food was fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the check in. I’m flying next week so I wondered what things were like.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh AMEN – THIS
    WRETCHEDLY TRUE.
    we just flew across the whole US starting in San Fran then landing 5 hrs later with spine & knees ready to pass workplace disability standards due to a crammed flight. Tomorrow we reverse the process.
    Oh the inverse of joy. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I stress over flying too, Geoff, and tend to arrive very early (with a good book for the wait. “Horticultural terrorism.” Lol. Have fun at the wedding and enjoy the visit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. V.M.Sang says:

    I agree about flying. The airport experience is dreadful. Get there hours early, they say, then sit around twiddling your thumbs until boarding supposedly starts, where you stand in the queue for ages before they condescend to let you on board.
    At some point, there is an announcement that your plane is delayed. More waiting for at least an hour.
    Then you finally get on the aircraft, only to be held up getting to your seat by people putting their hand luggage into the overhead compartments. OK, that needs to be done, and can’t be helped, but then you find all the compartments anywhere near your seat are full and you have to use one farther down the plane. (Problems for disembarkation, having to push past people coming in the opposite direction.)
    We’ve now scrapped the hold luggage business and cram everything into two hand luggage bags. It means it’s straight to security without going through baggage drop. And with a boarding pass got online, it eases that part.
    Oh, yes, and at Gatwick, I always set the alarm off in security.
    This is based on our experience of a couple of weeks ago going from Gatwick to Malaga and back.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. HI Geoff, I also have not flow since September 2019 when we came back from the UK. We are coming to the UK in December. I’m not sure if we’ll do a local flight before that. I am quite nervous about flying now with covid still running about. I don’t want to be sick again.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the trip, that glasshouse is a beauty. Did you venture in?

    I’m not a fan of flying, a good old road trip suits me better. Or the train. Husband has been flying a lot lately on civvi airlines and he’s not loving it. It just seems a lot of faffing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “So very parks department, darling.” I must remember to use this!

    Liked by 1 person

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