AYE so as you already know, I had a dodgy flight coming home from Santa Ponsa at the weekend. I was in the middle of a word puzzle when all my nightmares arrived at once.
The blogger in me made notes in the back of my arrow word puzzle book to try to calm myself down and leave a record of what was going on. The words in the image above are not shorthand, they’re the scrawls of a desperate woman shitting herself in a rickety plane 10,000 feet up with its door about to fly open.
Apologies for the bad language you’re about to read. But you should be used to it now with this blog.
Here’s what my death bed notes say:
I’m on a Jet2.com plane and the cabin won’t pressurize.
Blaine the cabin crew guy has just walked down the plane carrying a cannister of oxygen and a mask attached to it. He says we’re landing in Alicante in an hour but we have to dump fuel so the plane is lighter, we are circling Spanish airspace. They are working on getting alternative transport to Belfast.
All the lights come on. At take off, they said the lights have to be off. This must be a distress signal to anyone that can see us.
They start serving drinks and snacks. But the seat belt sign is on. The aisle is meant to be free. The fuckers are charging people for water. Fuck me has Michael O’Leary got shares in Jet2?
The captain speaks and says there was a whooshing sound on take off. He says we are dropping to a lower altitude so it’s safer for everyone on board.
We don’t need oxygen masks but it is really warm. I think they turned the heat up. It’s hard to breathe and I feel dizzy. I could go to sleep.
Why the fuck am I making these notes? I should be holding my husband and daughter and telling them I love them. But then she will panic because I’m freaking out. She is calm and trying to read these notes. The Emo asks “you’re going to write a blog aren’t you?” I hug her and say yes, as soon as we get home. I focus on the positive and tell her we’re going to land safe but it will be bumpy first.
I turn to the Emo’s mate and offer her my hand to hold. She says she’s ok and asks if she can text her mummy. Trust me to bring someone else’s child on holiday and for them to never get to say goodbye properly. I tell her to turn her phone off. I thought it was off but discover it’s not even in flight mode. I tell her that she can text her mummy as soon as we land saying we are delayed but not to tell her about the emergency until she’s standing in front of her face to face so that her mummy knows she’s safe and isn’t pacing the house for three hours worrying. She does as she’s asked. She’s a good kid. Really brought the Emo out of herself and we had a brilliant time when we were away. I’d take her away tomorrow again if she wanted to come with us.
Before we got on, the police escorted a drunk couple off. My brother recognised them. He said they’re from Poleglass. Is it an omen? Did they not do mechanical checks because they were going to lose their take off slot? Are we at risk because of them dickheads?
All of our ears are popping more than normal. It’s really sore.
The Skinhead tells me we are flying over Barcelona. He can see into the Nou Camp.
I joke with him that at least we’re going to Benidorm this year as that’s where we wanted to go initially.
We hit a bad patch of turbulence. The plane shook from side to side. It was at jaunty angles and women were crying out for help. Children were crying for their parents. My hands are shaking trying to write this. This is the end. No it’s not.
Another bad bit of turbulence. I give up making notes and hold onto the magazine bar in front of me. The Emo loops her arms around me and asks if we’re going to be ok. I tell her we are together, just me and her like we always were and I fight back tears. I try to be strong and the skinhead reaches over and holds both of us. He kisses us both on the head and grips us tight. I reach over and touch the Emo’s mate’s arm and tell her it will pass soon. It does. We drop and drop and drop. The nose of the plane is up and then it’s down.
I write again. I remember doing an interview with a builder who’d been avoiding me and I didn’t have any paper on me when I stopped him at his van. I scribbled on the back of a feg box. This arrow puzzle book is my new twenty Regal Filter. I could resume smoking immediately. The fours years of being off them can go and fuck. My nerves are away with it.
I just want to get back home. Even to the job I hate.
The big bag of crisps I bought in the airport are going to burst open. The pressure inside the plane is making them get bigger. I try to hide them in my bag to minimise any noise for when they do. If they make a boom noise, everyone will shit themselves. An air marshal will tazer me and accuse me of having a bomb in my bag.
I try to read the book I stole from the hotel lobby. This is come uppance for stealing books again. The book is Sophie Kinsella I’ve got your number. I ask myself “Is my number up?” being dramatic as usual. I’ve more lives than a cat. It’s not my time I tell myself.
Should I pray? Hardly. I stopped believing in God years ago. If He exists he’ll be at the gates of heaven waiting to tell me to get to fuck. I figured a long time ago that I’d be going to hell. Perhaps I should tell the devil to hurry the fuck up and get it over and done with.
They are giving out sick bags. I spit my chewing gum into mine. I feel really sick and dizzy but nothing comes up.
We can smell sausages. Who the fuck is eating sausages? We’re all about to die and some fucker decides to munch on sausages.
We go down again, another big drop.
We go down more. I can see the lights of the runway at Alicante Airport. I can’t see any flashing blue lights waiting for us. Are we going to have to evacuate on the big air bed things? The plane hits the runway and the brakes scream out, the engines wind down and the flaps of the wings struggle with the pressure. Everyone claps and cheers. We’re safe.
We get on a bus and it brings us to another plane. We get on and wait for ages. It’s roasting hot and sweat is lashing out of everyone. Passengers talk to each other when previously we kept our heads down and avoided eye contact. We’re just happy to be alive and have just shared a horrible experience together.
I thought about people who were on hijacked planes and think how awful it must have been for them knowing it was the end.
We take off and get home safe. Relieved that we live another day and I promise to stop taking life so seriously and start enjoying the good stuff. Wonder how long that lasts?