Brace yourself for turbulence

Have a safe and enjoyable flight...

Have a safe and enjoyable flight...

First published in Opinion
Last updated
The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

SO, we’re in Economy Class, boarding an air-conditioned plane to Majorca.

Hot beverages, cold refreshments and a range of lite snacks.

I’m searching for my seat. Banging heads with my over-sized “Weird Fish” travel bag and two Disney Princess rucksacks.

My seat, I find, is next to the widest, tallest man ever to consider air travel in the history of aviation.

(A bit of an exaggeration, but that’s how it felt).

Unpeturbed, I sit down and immediately launch my counter shots in the territorial turf war for control of the centre arm-rest...

Prior to take off, my mind ran, like a disobedient dog, towards flashbacks of Flight MH370.
...Never Seen Again...

I’m not scared of flying but the Mother Superior is. Spend two hours in the departure lounge with her  slow-smouldering paranoia and it becomes yours.

On board safety announcement: “IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF THE AIRCRAFT HAVING TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING...”

(You will be crushed by the man sitting next to me.)

That would be my luck. Survive the whole terrifying, ‘windows out’ ordeal, then get trampled on the ground. That’s the great unknown of air travel. How many die in the stampede?

“SLIDES CAN BE USED AS FLOTATION AIDS.”

My three-year-old starts looking round. “Mummy, is there slides? On the plane?”

“..YOUR LIFE JACKET IS LOCATED UNDER YOUR SEAT OR BENEATH YOUR ARM REST...”
(Did I mishear? Are they HIDING life jackets now?)

“..WHEN INSTRUCTED, PLACE IT OVER YOUR HEAD.”

(I love their vision of a calm, obedient deck of passengers waiting for instruction).
 

“..FASTEN THE TAPES AROUND YOUR WAIST AND TIE SECURELY IN A DOUBLE BOW ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE...” (To get out alive, you need a badge in Reef Knots)
 

“A LIGHT AND WHISTLE ARE PROVIDED TO ATTRACT ATTENTION.”
So, we're taking on the might of the Med with a flat torch and a small musical instrument now, are we? How incredibly bloody English!

Memo to Stelios: Safety kits need modernising. GPS devices? Snorkels?

It was around this time I became aware that the Man Sat Next To Me On The Plane, was Very Thirsty. And that he laughed after everything he said.

But he only had one emotional level and a very soporific voice. Like the Tortoise out of creature comforts.

Him and His Maureen come out here every year. All Inclusive. “Have done every year for 19 year.”
Same week. Same Resort. Same Hotel. Same Room. Same Table. Same Chips.

They’re thinking of having Christmas there: “For a change of scene.”
But he knew that it was 20 Euros to rent a safe and you get 5 Euros back when you go home.
 

“It’s protection money,” he said. “Stops the maids doing over your room...”
Talk, stereotypically I felt, turned to the World Cup. More specifically, where to watch “The England Game.”

“Bar Honolulu!” he said. “Best spot on the island. 30 screens.”
 

Cockteleria Honolulu, to give it its full title, was, as I late discovered, a bogus, cocktail joint situated at the scruffy end of the main drag.

Wall-to-wall England flags. English Breakfasts, Sunday Roasts and Free Wifi.
About as Un-Spanish as it is to get on a Spanish island.

But what better place to watch the English, than at a televised England game....

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