I paid a short visit to the UK last week to see some friends and family. Before I left I got in a panic because the forecast in Italy was not good, there was much talk of Cyclone Penelope, she was bringing bad storms with high winds, rain, thunder and lightening. I’m not the best flyer and panicked that the take off would be dramatic with the plane trying to fight its way off the ground, battling 60 mile and hour winds, bump all over the place and people would scream and shout and I would silently try to control the rapid beating of my heart, the sweaty palms and jelly legs with Yoga breathing; count slowly to four and breathe in through the nose and count slowly to four and breathe out through the mouth, or is it the other way round? Either way it doesn’t seem to calm me or slow the heartbeat, believe me I try it for every take-off and landing.
Before I left for the airport I emailed all my children, just in case…well just in case. They replied with suitable encouragement, ‘you’ll be okay Mum’…’the flight will be fine’…I put on my lucky bracelet and underwear, (yes lucky underwear), I’m not superstitious at all!
I collected my car from the garage – it went like a dream having had the bearings in the gearbox replaced – still no idea of cost though. As soon as I do know I’ll post on here. The weather was pretty dire as I drove to Ancona, and I was intent on observing every little change in the sky, watching the tree tops for the slightest change in movement showing the wind had eased and I imagined myself walking from the car-park to the terminal building getting soaked, cold and with the umbrella being more of a hindrance than a help. I was going to have to dump the umbrella before check-in as obviously it’s considered a lethal weapon and Ryanair would definitely not allow me to take it on board, I expect for a price I could have put it in the hold though. However, I didn’t need it, Yay!
I arrived at the carpark and found complete stillness in the air, very little cloud and no rain. Penelope had obviously decided to stick to the west coast of the country and move south enveloping Tuscany and Umbria, avoiding Le Marche altogether. It’s a mistake a lot of people make, they stick to the ‘other side’ thinking it’s better because it’s been a popular destination with holiday makers and ex-pats for long time. Sadly many people still don’t take the decision to investigate Le Marche with its hilltop villages, beaches and mountains. We have it all.
I do love living here but then I like to go back to the UK to visit friends and to see family, which means I HAVE to fly quite a few times a year. We have only driven back once but it costs more money and takes more time. The advantage of driving of course is that you can fill your car with goodies from England and drive them back. But then there’s always a friend to help with that. Thank you Hugh and Helen for taking me to the shops, I’m looking forward to the delivery next week. Thanks also to Jean and Steve for my stay in Manchester and visit to Hebden Bridge, a blog about that is to follow folks.
I got just as panicky before the return flight as the forecast was again horrendous with high winds, storms, people in Norfolk evacuating their homes, the full malarkey. I experienced torrential rain hammering on the window of my bedroom and the rattling of shutters which, disturbed my night’s sleep and I awoke in a sweaty state of fear, because of the weather not because it was a trip with Ryanair. Luckily for me it must have blown itself out as the flight was again smooth and incident free. I really must get over my dread of flying, but I think it will stay with me forever. It began after a bad experience about 30 years ago landing at Hong Kong airport (the old one). The plane rocketed around all over the place, I was frozen with fear, my head pushed into the back of the seat in front and two, yes two gin and tonics, one in each hand held high. I couldn’t drink them. My husband asked the hostess if they could give me something which they kindly did, unfortunately it didn’t work until we’d landed and I then fell asleep in the taxi, missing all the sights on the way to the hotel. It didn’t help being told afterwards that Hong Kong airport had been on number 1 alert and I think we were the last plane to land before they battened everything down and closed the airport!
I’m not so scared that I can’t fly at all, I know I have to if I want to travel, but when I look around at my fellow passengers they always look so casual and relaxed…but… are they?