May 14th 2016
Today I’m staying in a hotel near Gatwick ready for our 7am flight to Dubrovnik tomorrow morning.
A few weeks ago Alice and I decided that we needed a holiday. So we booked one. One week on the Adriatic coast. And it was impulsive, and we’re excited.
Although we have visited 13 countries with each other, tomorrow will be our first time flying together. Before; we travelled by train. Tomorrow; we travel by air.
Hopefully she won’t be too freaked out by my pre-flight routine. Since my very first flight (that I can remember) my parents have enforced this little family tradition. Just as the plane is thrusting and accelerating during the act of take-off, we all have to flap our arms to help the plane fly. We make wings with our arms and flap like birds as we encourage the plane to lift off of the earth and we look like twats whilst we do so. But it’s okay, because it’s tradition.
When my sister flew around the world when she travelled, on every flight she would flap.
When I went to Amsterdam with some friends, I flapped. (Although more discreetly, I must admit. I kind of styled it off to look like I was dancing, but real I was helping the plane take off)
I am not superstitious or a nervous flyer. I am aware that I am safer in an airplane than I am in a car. Statistically more people die in car crashes than they do in air crashes. In 2008 there were 5 million recorded car crashes, compared to twenty (20) plane crashes. Twenty sounds like a lot but let me re-assure you that 5,000,000 is MUCH MUCH MORE than 20. Airplane accidents just always make the news because they’re bigger, and more explosive.
I know that the plane can take off without my help; due partly to the fact that I have at least some knowledge of aeronautic engineering and I am aware that those fuck-off massive engines on the wings do most of the work, not because of some nut-case in 21C who’s flapping his arms up and down.
I’m also aware that every day 28,000 flights take off without my help, or without the help of any of those in my family; so we can’t be doing much good.
We’ve just always done it, and thus will continue to do so.
Until tomorrow, flap your wings.