Posts Tagged ‘flight’

The great rumble and lurch as I hurtle along the concrete path, a sudden lift in the pitch black. The lights become smaller, we bump through the blanket and poooof!

Out we pop above the beautiful marshmallow mattress of cloud-cover. Rolling out into the distance like a soft winter blanket. The purest while, rippled and dappled with the blue of the dawn.

A bright orange speck on the horizon splits through distant cover and streaks a sunbeam across my vision. The colour, the deepest brightest blood orange. A tint only possible made by something Greater.

The sweetest, rawest sunrise over T5, en route to Copenhagen, 7am in October.

The infinite bobble blanket so beautiful, my heart swells. Another small adjustment, a gentle tug forward, and we rise another few thousand feet, the blanket drops away.



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Space shuttle launch

Final frontier – Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p58r8

I have just been absolutely blown away by an amazing new series on BBC1: Supersized Earth. It was awesome, and I spent a large portion of it “oo”-ing and “ahh”-ing at the amazing engineering feats that humanity has thrust about our planet. I fell in love with the world’s tallest bridge in China, and thought “I MUST go there” and marvelled at the fact there are a million people in the air at any one time!! BUT the most exciting and impressive thing was right at the end, following one incredible woman’s commute to work in the morning, and her business trip to her remote office… in SPACE.

It takes just 9 minutes for the passengers inside the space bus to get to the space station in space (with a further 2 days to approach it), 250 miles straight up.

I want to go to space. Badly. How do I do that? I want to be an astronaut… is it too late? Quickly, I jumped online and started searching… I found this site on How Stuff Works. OK, so:

  • Stage 1: US citizenship. Hmm, I’m not married yet. I could call it off and heat seek out a US hubby in the next 6 months…

  • Stage 2: Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Sciences. TICK. One BSc in Astrophysics. Done done done 🙂

  • Stage 3: Three years of related professional experience. OK, so 12 years “professional” experience, just got to work on the related. Hell, I’m in marketing, I’m sure I can spin something… OR 1,000 hours as a jet pilot, erm, did I say 12 hours professional experience, that’s like, quadruple the desired amount (cough). TICK.

  • Stage 4:Completion of the NASA long-duration, space flight physical exam. Applicants must demonstrate distant and near visual acuity, correctable to 20/20 in each eye, and must not have blood pressure that exceeds 140/90 measured in a sitting position. OK, so let’s break this down a)I love (and don’t throw up on) rollercoasters, which is much like the flight simulators you see on James Bond; b) I don’t (yet) wear glasses and c) I’m pretty healthy (and no longer on the pill) so blood pressure probably good to go! TICK.

  • Stage 5: Height of 62 to 75 inches. 63 inches on a bad day, 65 after a massage. TICK.

Suddenly, this is starting to look interesting.

Sometimes the biggest fear in life is success.

View from spaceAnd, as it says on the How Stuff Works site (probably the best source of astronaut qualifications on the web and definitely NOT just the first link that popped up on Google…):

“In many ways, becoming an astronaut is no different than becoming anything else. It takes a great education, hard work and steadfast dedication. Unlike other professionals, however, astronauts have a much longer commute and a far better view from the corner office.”

So, I was pretty excited about my current business trip plans for next year (including Thailand and New York), but now, hell I have new goals to focus on, with the best business trip ever – TO SPACE (shouts “to infinity and beyond”)!

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One of the things I love about long haul flights is the opportunity to catchup on films, those I’ve been meaning to watch for eons, as well as those that I would never be able to drag anyone else along to watch with me on the ground. (In fact more and more these days when a film comes out at the cinema I think “I’ll watch that on my next long-haul…) So with my recent trip to New York I was able to settle in, readjust my focal length to approximately 40 cm and scan through the inflight magazine and the long list of “Recent releases”.

So, donning my most serious Barry Norman face, I hereby deliver my own Film 2012 (November edition) from 40,000 feet…

Outward bound, London Heathrow – New York JFK

  • Film 1: To Rome with Love

    This was my first movie of the flight, and when faced with all the possibilities for that first movie, I was wrapped up in the excitement of all those movies I’m desperate to watch – which one to chose? I wanted to start out with something easy and fun, and this one caught my eye. Now, I tried to go through a “Woody Allen phase” back when I was in my early twenties, and I never really got it. I just didn’t like Woody Allen, especially as the characters he’d play in his movies (I also have this problem with Quentin Tarrentino). But I think that Woody Allen movies are a bit like coffee. Something you grow into with age (or at least for me). I absolutely LOVED this movie. I think it helped that I have recently been to Rome, so it felt like familiar surroundings. I loved the characters, the dialogue, I found it hillarious and romantic and tragic, and dramatic. I loved the relationship between the younger and elder architect. I loved the ridiculousness of the shower singer, and I loved Woody’s character. It was the perfect first flight film for me and put me in a sunshiney mood for the rest of the flight.

    My rating – 7/10

  • Film 2: Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise KingdomI had heard a lot of great things about this film and was excited it was on the menu. I love love LOVE other Wes Anderson movies, but you do have to be in the mood for it. Anyway, I started watching this and was instantly captivated by the kookiness of the set, style, characters. This film was so amazing. It was beautiful and tender and kooky as hell. 110% my cup of tea. I thought Bruce Willis was awesome, but it was the two main characters who I fell completely and utterly head over heels for. This is one of the most touching love stories I have ever seen. Wes has done it again, this sits up there with Life Aquatic in my top 20 films of all time. I’m not sure everyone will get it, but I got it. This is my kind of film.

    My rating – 8.5/10

  • Film 3: The Avengers

    I nearly watched this film first as I was so excited to see it on the listings. Again, I’ve heard great things about this movie, and being a big fan of Marvel superheros, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen when they all came together. Perhaps I made the mistake of making this the third movie in a row (with small breaks and refreshment inbetween).. I was seriously disappointed in this movie. So much so I wasn’t able to finish it. I think I turned it off about 20 minutes from the end. The best bit about it was Iron Man, and I think I could have just watched another Iron Man film. I really wanted to like the hulk, and I did, until he hulked out, then I lost interest. Scarlett’s character was annoying and Captain America was just wet. The whole Thor section looked like it was part of another movie, bolted on the side and the villian reminded me of Transformers. It was just weird, and I didn’t get it. Perhaps it just wasn’t built for a 7 inch screen, but I got extremely bored in this film. Perhaps it was film-fatigue. And I wanted SO badly to like this film. Something must be wrong, it scored highly on IMDb..

    My rating – 5/10

Inward bound, New York JFK – London Heathrow

  • Film 1: Ted

    TedHil-ARIOUS. This was a funny funny film. But it won’t be to everyone’s taste. I couldn’t stop laughing all the way through. I fell in love with the bear, in his early days. Once his voice broke I fell out of love and into disgust, but chuckling in disgust. The relationship between the two main characters was brilliant – my idea of the perfect fun relationship – really convincing. Oh but that bear was funny. This felt like I shouldn’t like it, but I did. A lot. Chuckle.

    My rating – 7/10

  • Film 2: Brave

    BraveI only really ever get to watch cartoon films when I’m on a plane, and this one I’d been looking forward to. It was a really pretty film, in parts looking like one of those adverts you see on TV for the Scottish tourist board. It was very cute with a message and the main character was an awesome kick-ass female character with wild crazy hair who rode her horse out into the forest shooting her bow, which appealed to me on every level. So I was able to escape into this wild-girl fantasy landscape, which was dappled with magic and witches and spells – the kind of world I hope is secretly out there somewhere. I really enjoyed this film, I almost shed a tear at the end, and would recommend it to wild women everywhere.

    My rating – 6.5/10

So that’s it for a month or so, stocked up on films, I’m not sure if the altitude, small screen, or expectations play a part, but my ratings are topsy turvy compared to those the rest of the world are casting at IMDb, but that’s my little dose of film reviews from 40,000 feet – until next time!

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