This afternoon I go on holiday, but the relief at having a few days off is tempered by a familiar, nagging feeling of dread as the time approaches. As I get older, I’m becoming more worried about flying. I don’t know why – after all, it’s statistically more likely that Kerry Katona will marry John Major than my plane will crash. Nevertheless, when my flight’s taxiing onto the runway and the roar of the jet engines start to rise, my heart rate will go along with it.
This fear isn’t something that keeps me awake at night (yet) – it’s just something that I think about on the day. Maybe I get it from my mother, who is notorious for making friends with Mr Vodka before venturing onto a plane, such is her blind terror about flying. Maybe it’s just that I’m thinking a lot more about what could go wrong these days. “Oooh, that wing seems a bit flappy. Hmmm, those smears near the engine look a lot like… scorch marks.” Maybe it’s just the unnatural concept of man going so many thousands of feet up in the air that gives me pause.
Once the plane’s up, I’m fine. It’s just the waiting and the take-off that bother me. If there’s even the slightest vibration or dip during the climb, it’s “Ohmygodwe’regoingtodie” territory. Even though we usually don’t.
I just have to remind myself of the odds. See you if – when – I get back. Or before then, if I can get on the Internet at my hotel, sangria in hand.
Just in case I can’t, Happy Easter to all.