Goodbye 747s as this morning I watched the two take off from Heathrow on their final journey. I hadn't realised that the tail fin was as high as a 6 storey building although I have flown many times on them. The staff were all out watching and waving them off on their final journey it was very nostalgic and it set me thinking about flying and the many memories I have.
The first time I flew was in 1951. I was engaged to be married and Malcolm, my first husband, was nine years older than me and had lived in China, been a prisoner of war in Thailand, convalesced in India after the war so was a seasoned flier. I lived with my parents in the Lincolnshire Fens and had only been to London once - for the day. So we went to London for the day on the train from Lincoln. We were to meet two friends of his, which we did and we had lunch with them at a cafe in Trafalgar Square I think. I know I had my first omelette (mushroom) - my mother did eggs (we had our own chickens) any which way but must never have heard of omelettes. It all felt very sophisticated. Then for the surprise. My fiancee had booked for us to fly over London for half an hour from what was then London Airport. It was a tiny plane. I think it held about eight. It was a bit scary as it did keep wobbling about and dropping suddenly. I don't think I took a lot of notice of what was below us. I remember when Igot home my parents were very cross that Malcolm had taken such a risk!!
My next flight took place in 1953, the year after we were married, when we had a belated honeymoon = a week in Paris- I remember the hotel was on Le Rue Ceaumartin. Again we flew from London Airport )I seem to remember it was a collection of very large nissen huts. I know we flew out on an Elizabethan and back on a Viscount. This time my parents knew in advance of course but asked not to know which actual day we were flying because they would have been so worried!
After that of cou rse our horizons broadened - many flights to far away places; so many that they tend to merge into one. That is apart from many internal flights inside what was then the USSR from Moscow to Samarkand or Bukhara or Tashkent - all fairly short flights but often with a lot of babushkas who always seemed to be muffled in shawls (we usually went in mid winter because it was cheaper (our reason for travelling there anyway)) and laden with bags of root vegetables which rolled about in the aisles of rickety, wobbly little planes which often slipped about on the ice when they landed.
I will have taken my last flight now. It was a short flight in 2016 with my beloved farmer the year before he died. It was from Durham Tees Valley airport (barely three quarters of an hour's drive from home) to Amsterdam - down the East coast until the Humber estuary then out over the North Sea and ten minutes later views of the tulip fields, landing and cruising the river to Antwerp and back through what used to be called the Zuider Zee.
Memories, memories - all lovely to recall on wintry days.