I’m finally back home, which means that I can stop writing blog entries on my iPhone. Therefore, this post has already been written ten times quicker than those in the past fortnight.
I’ve written previously about my love/hate relationship with flying. I love the speed of it, but hate the actual mechanics of the thing. I’m kinda getting over the whole take-off and landing trauma, though. Landings are now a-OK – I don’t worry about them at all – and take-offs only rank at about two or three on the nerves scale.
However, turbulence is still a killer. Not literally, obviously, but at the time it feels like it might be. It’s a heart-in-mouth, shit-I-might-die-even-though-I-don’t virtual killer. My flight home from Grenada was a case in point. It was a night flight, so I was hoping to get quite a bit of sleep on the plane. I left at six o’clock in the evening, Grenadian time, and was to arrive back in the UK at eight o’clock in the morning, our time (four hours ahead), so I figured that I should try to stay awake for the first few hours and then sleep the rest. Ha! What actually happened was that the Caribbean trade winds wreaked havoc on the plane during the middle section of the flight, and caused three hours of nasty turbulence. Up, down, side to side – it was like going on a rollercoaster at Alton Towers without being able to see the track ahead. Just when I thought it was over, the plane would start rocking again, and soon there would be a violent lurch or two that caused me to grab the seat in front of me, rigid with fear. Unbeknownst to me at the time, because I was attempting distraction tactics with iPhone games and music with the volume turned up (only partially successful), several passengers on the plane were being sick and kids were screaming. Nice. I’m quite pleased I didn’t hear about this until afterwards.
Upon arrival at Gatwick, I heard more than one passenger swearing about how the pilot should have flown around the turbulence rather than straight through it, but the true legacy for my wife and I came with the drive back. Little sleep equalled much tiredness and reduced concentration, even after strong coffees. After Jo started swerving into the wrong lane just before the Reading Services, we stopped there as agreed, bought another caffeine hit, swapped places, and then I did the final leg. By the time I turned off for Bristol, my reaction times were also suspect, and I was very glad that I didn’t have to drive any further. The worst thing about travelling is definitely the journey home.