Monday, 27 August 2012


Like everyone and their sister, I hate flying.

I've flown more than usual this past month, which means I've become reacquainted with Texas, a vast state scientifically shown to have no actual beginning or end. To get beyond Texas, a pilot must engage the hyperdrive and jump to another dimension.
Chicken, couped.

Post-Texas-hyperdrive on an Albuquerque-bound flight, the landscape opens into a sunny upland of arroyos and red earth, leading to the majestic Sandias.

En route from London, I glimpsed sunbeams falling through rain clouds at just this point, and I thought of William Blake discovering angels in the treetops. I reckon the view on descent into Albuquerque is the most spiritual experience a plane-hater can have in a plane.

Most recently flying in from Florida, I missed my homecoming view because my flight had to circumvent a massive thunderboomer squatting angrily over the Sandias.

Over thunderboomer, roger.
Let me tell you, there is nothing like being tossed about in a tin can in a thundercloud to make you closely examine your views on life, the universe, and everything. 

Living in England made me miss the word "thunderboomer", and the consequent experiences with nature that are both pants-wettingly scary and awesomely beautiful.

Another thing I missed in England was American airplane-speak. Phrases like: "complimentary beverage", "where the local time is approximately 9:32 and three-quarters", and my favorite: "de-plane".  

After flying through a Texas time-warp and a gigantic pants-wetting thunderboomer, my plane finally touched down. There were sighs of relief, a hallelujah chorus, and some discussion of how pants-wettingly scary flying around that thunderboomer was. Then, the clatter of everyone de-seat-belting. 

General Armageddon. 
At which point a flight attendant scowled and reached for the intercom. "The captain has not turned off the fasten seat belts sign," she said tersely. "Please remain seated with your seat belt securely fastened-"


The flight attendant's eye began to twitch violently. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is not yet time to de-plane-"


"I SAID sit down! Before I jump over de emergency exit row and smack you with de complimentary beverage cart!!"

I'm paraphrasing. Seat belts were hastily replied. 

Finally de-planed, I drove out onto the llano, and straight into the storm. I kept an eye out for locusts, tornadoes, and general Armageddon.

I ordered and collected one very soggy pizza on my way home, returning home just shy of the hale. Chewing on soggy pizza, I thought about how strange it is that angels and airplanes so often share de same airspace. 


  1. Bavarian Sojourn29 August 2012 at 21:23

    Oh my goodness, you landed IN THAT?? I think you know my feelings on flying, thunderboomers are not good. I flew through a lightening storm in Malaysia pre-children once and I thought I was going to die. I flew through an equally bad thunderstorm on approach to Copenhagen with both children, and didn't have time to notice it however!! :D

  2. Good point about the kiddies - when I fly with them I lack the time to notice my flight jitters. And the time to have a G&T on the plane...

  3. A thunderboomer! I've never heard of that! How terrifying. Glad you managed to de-plane de aeroplane. Apparently I'm weird for calling it an aeroplane. As well as when I was cross today. I'd have been very cross at that thunderboomer.

  4. I'd take aeroplane over aircraft any day. Good thing there are no thunderboomers in your neck of the woods.

  5. Oh my! I haven't flown for years, but am taking the children to visit my mum in Australia in October, so feeling very nervous! Hoping for no thunderboomers on my journey x

  6. Happy travels - should be a tranquil, thunder-boomer-free stretch of ocean...if a bit lengthy :)