Learning to Fly

It was a time, when Nectar points meant fun! Nectar points for the uninitiated, are store card points as a Thank you for shopping, whilst your spending habits are dissected. But at the time the possibilities were endless. You could save them up indefinitely and use them for experiences, instead of falling back on them to cover the emergency shop when you are broke, or being sent vouchers with an expiry date, which you would find weeks after they had run out and your rewards would be useless.

We had been saving them for a couple of years, to do something fun together and not knowing at that point that my partner had a fear of flying, I had booked the surprise for both of us to have a flying lesson as an anniversary present.

The day came and we checked the weather report, jumped in my car, a Saab convertible put the roof down and headed to the countryside I had selected a different airfield to our local one, so that we could see different scenery and explore it. It turned out that my partner had other plans, he would collar the instructor and see if time would allow and they would swap his part of the deal so that I could extend the experience. He would have his feet planted firmly upon the floor watching from the club house whilst I took off and he would enjoy a pint or two of Guinness and a cigar, it was a beautiful sunny day in the countryside and a pleasant place to pass the time. He succeeded in his plan, and since I had only ever travelled by air once for a holiday, I was excited, I knew that this was going to be different and I was looking forward to it, but slightly disappointed that he would not get to enjoy it with me. However I was going to get a long lesson, which was great.

I was introduced to the Pilot, a man who shared the same name as my father, but thankfully had a much more relaxed manner about him. He was friendly and informative and showed me all of the controls in the Piper 125 which we were going to take out. I clambered in, full of excitement and hoping that I would remember it all. I asked what happened if the engine failed. He told me not to worry since this type of plane could still be landed safely if the engine cut out, it basically glides. As we took off, he took us up over the countryside, I was in awe, I knew it would be beautiful. But it was so calm up there, I took a couple of photos in the cockpit. I seem to recall that we travelled at around 2700 feet, but may have that wrong.

As we climbed everything grew smaller, people disappeared into dots, cars and lorries, into matchbox figures disappearing completely and trees and green spaces turned into a blanket of fields as we floated through the bumpy clouds. Colin allowed me to take the controls and told me how to move the rudder to change direction and the pedals to keep it steady. He could see my interest and excitement in the process and when I asked him to show me how to loop the loop, he obliged. We travelled quite some distance and talked along the way, I was able to see my home town, fly over my parents and our house. Along the Estuary past the pier and up to the docks, where I could see small cranes and brightly coloured containers being unloaded from the ships, It looked so much better there from that height. I was on top of the world. I loved every minute of that flight and decided that I would love to do that again as soon as possible. As someone who was claustrophobic in certain environments, I was not sure how I would feel up there, but to my relief it was wonderful. We had the small window open in that plane and the thermal breeze floated through.

I remember saying to him that I had to resist the urge to put my foot on the accelerator like in a car, since it would upset the balance of the plane and there seemed to be no sense of speed up there, but you were still travelling, it took some getting used to, but I think I mastered it.

As we headed back, Colin explained that it was a wonderful job, that he could fly over to France in less than an hour, have a nice lunch and a bit of sightseeing and be back in time for tea. I was hooked on the idea, that one day I would learn to fly and when I got that lottery win, there would be a small plane in there somewhere to do just that.

He asked me if I was sure that I hadn’t flown before as I seemed to be so at ease up there, I must admit that I felt no tension, it had all just floated away whilst I was up there. Flying back, Colin told me I was going to land the plane. I asked if he was sure, he told me that he was confident in my ability, we came in to a lovely smooth landing and I couldn’t help but be pleased. As I taxied the plane back to it’s parking spot, past the bar, my beloved was standing there, waving and with an ear to ear smile.
I jumped out and he ran over to me, he’d been worried since we were only supposed to be an hour, an hour and a half had passed and we hoped that I had not got him into trouble. He asked Colin “how did she do?” “An absolute Natural she should learn to fly”…. he replied.

I had to tell him all about it as we drove home around Sunset, he decided that if we ever could afford it, then we should make it happen. Six months later we returned for another lesson.

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The Tale of Boomerang.

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This is the Tale of Boomerang,
Right from back where it began.
A story from long time ago,
Never thought would love a little car so

Thinking of the trips in this, they’ll go far,
As they made their plans for the little car.
Of a beautiful Saab she would often dream,
Not usually red, she had seen one in cream.
Planted firmly upon her wish list,
Her sights set hard, through time she wished.
For this was a dream she set out to achieve,
A possible goal made with time to breathe.
But her licence would come and a date he’d set,
When her dream would come true and that car she’d get.
They travelled the country far and wide,
A passenger then just enjoying the ride.
Emotional journey to her old car farewell,
they had moved on it was time to sell.
She thought of all the ones that had been,
Of all of the sights, she had finally seen.
Days out in the sunshine when the weather was fine.
Trips off to France to load up on wine.
The roof down the breeze and wind on their faces,
A clear stretch of road, enjoying the races.
A short while passed and he wanted to upgrade,
But with the red car she wished she’d stayed.
The first car she had from passing her test,
It was the one that she loved the best.
Driving past one the pang it sends
As they went along in their Mercedes Benz,
Don’t get me wrong although it was fun,
The Saab was much better in the long run.
Think of the joys in little red,
All of those journeys we wore some tread.

They travelled to town for a funeral,
Journeyed back talking through it all.
And in an unknown place that they passed,
Sharp intake of breath and they were aghast.
They stopped up the road, couldn’t believe their luck.
With the car at the garage, the man was stuck,
There’s been thirteen people for it, I’ve been sent.
Take it away, as for you it was meant.
She skipped out to the car to see it again,
A smile on her face, she’d get it, When?
The chance of getting her dream car back,
Excitement of driving, she’d no longer lack.
He arranged with the man and did the deal,
No comprehension of how she would feel.
Once again she’d got her red car,
He’d come right back a shining star.

Later when the time was right,
He asked her if she just might
A suggestion that they would chop him in,
Not sure about that, it would be a sin.
Looked at a car, eyes wide with awe,
To get rid of red, would leave her sore.
But sense kicked in as he was growing older,
They thought about something much, much bolder.
She drove him away shedding a tear.
He’s been there for her, for many a year.

The new car arrived and was all that she hoped,
But about little red, he often joked.
Thought it was cruel, she would never forget,
Stabbed each time with the pain of regret.
One day when they travelled out for the day.
Crossing back across country from the bay.
You’ll never guess what he took her to see.
There was her Red, as bright as can be!
Waiting for her and ready to go,
Her name on the plate he’d proudly show.
Life would surely never be the same,
They sent him away, now they’ve got him again.
Drove with the roof down, not even a care,
Windswept and laughing happy to share.
They drove him back home with wondrous smiles,
As he readily ate up the miles.
Swept up in a moment he’s back here to stay.
We never really, should have sent him away.
Should let you all know, that as I recall,
He’s not very little, there’s room for us all
The tale of Boomerang, was once little red.
You should keep him forever, That’s what he said.

Gone but not Forgotten.

Although I think of her almost every day,
The clocks don’t stop because she’s away.
Always had a shoulder to lend,
A beautiful garden she would tend.
She’d sometimes remember, Life was Grand,
As I’d sit and hold her hand.
Speaking of places and things done,
Back with a smile, she would come.
Quick witted with a smile,
She’d keep you laughing for a while.
Bright flowers clothing and scent abound,
You always knew when she was around.
A “little drinkie for you and for me”
Things in a new light then we’d see.
A glass of wine and a toast,
“To the lady with the most”
A sparkling person, with such flair,
You wouldn’t upset, just wouldn’t dare!
Well travelled and highly educated,
Friends from the start, we were fated.
Languages spoken from afar,
Our fun days out in her little car.
Enjoyed good food to compliment,
Turned a few heads, wherever she went.
A bright light, where it once shone,
Now up above in heaven you’ve gone.
For I am sure it’s where the good people go,
You’re one of them I used to know.
One year today since she passed,
But in my memory she’ll last.
My mother in Law, Heaven bound,
So sorry to say, she’s no longer around.
If you’re thinking of us, please do send
Some sign to show you’re there my friend.
Loved and lost won’t ever forget,
In our hearts no time for regret.