Tuesday, 10 December 2013

When the passengers cheer the pilot...

Here I am, back home after four days away, seeing family, and attending the pre-Christmas family gathering. This time we did not have a group photograph taken. Instead each family elder and their descendants had separate group photographs taken. I am told there will be a composite photograph created. Not good enough, in my view.

It was good to see them all, and to talk to as many of them as can be fitted into three hours or so. I stayed a night with my daughter and family, which was lovely. My grandsons are growing up, and are fine boys. It is a happy and harmonious home. My daughter has her end of year concerts next weekend, so was and is very busy getting it all organised, and the the performances polished. I managed to see an old friend and colleague. The weather was pleasantly cool. My sisters and I saw a film together. And I found a bargain book on the architecture of Venice. The time just flashed past.

It is lovely to see them all, but I do not really feel a part of it all.  Which all makes me ponder my future.
They all seem to think they know better than I do how I should live my life and what decisions I should make. But they don't know me as well as I do.

This morning my sister took me to the station, and I caught the train to the city, and then took the bus to the airport. As I checked in, a seat on an earlier flight was offered, and so I chose to change the booking.  Good, I thought, less hanging around waiting, and I will get home earlier.

I had heard the weather forecast for Sydney - hot with strong winds.

I was in a middle seat, with men on either side of me. Naturally they spilled over into my space, so there I sat, reading, as their arms invaded my space. It is a bit irritating. I bet they would have been cross if my arms had spilled over into their space.The man on the window seat was enthusiastically taking photos, whenever there was land unobscured by clouds.

As the plane descended, the wind became very strong and gusty, and we were bucketed about quite a lot. Then, as we came in towards the runway, from the sea, the plane rocked and lurched even more. We seemed very close to the water - indeed, we were very close, and for a moment it was scary. We had almost landed and then the plane lifted. Obviously it was not safe to land. The pilot explained that there were very strong southerly winds, and thus we were just going to fly around for a while until the winds eased. So we made a leisurely flight all around Sydney and finally came in to land from the general direction past my house. If I had had the window seat I would have been able to spot my house.

The man in the window seat was most excited.  He turned out to be a German tourist, and he took heaps of photos of everything we flew over - the sea, the harbour, the Bridge, the Anzac Bridge. He must have thought it was his lucky day.

When we landed safely, the passengers broke into loud applause. This took me a little by surprise, as after all I did expect the pilot to land us safely. But it was all rather exciting!

Catching the train and bus back home seemed rather an anti-climax, but all the same I am glad to be home. Even if there is no food in the house, and the weather is uncomfortably hot.

I am keeping calm and carrying on.


Elephant's Child said...

I was more than a little disconcerted when passengers burst into applause when I landed at Ushuiai.
Happy holidays to you.

Pam said...

Argh. You sound very brave. I'd have been very wide-eyed...

Relatively Retiring said...

Fear not, on some Russian internal flights it is polite for passengers to applaud on landing (also for the cabin staff to hand out sick bags before take-off}.