Holiday travel got a whole lot more exciting on Christmas Eve – a special day for us as DH flew us home!
It took a while to get off the ground: ten minutes before push-back, there were 121 passengers missing, no doubt doing some last-minute Christmas shopping. Once they’d been rounded up (bar two, who never made it out of duty free), we were off. At least we would have been if it wasn’t for the construction on the taxiways.
Still, wouldn’t be Dubai, would it, without roadworks?
Towards the end of the flight, we hit turbulence. The seat-belt sign chimed. I felt the plane pitch, the thrumming of the engines as the aircraft bounced and shook.
Now, there was a time when being buffeted by strong, gusting wind like this would have caused a patch of sweat to form in the small of my back. My breath has even been known to come in shallow bursts during bad turbulence. But (by necessity) I’m so much better at this now!
No longer do I find myself gripping the armrest tightly, skull vibrating against the seat, eyes fixed straight ahead, as though undergoing a root canal. I can (almost) remain relaxed now.
Of course, there was something that helped enormously – DH’s voice. A cool baritone with a slight American twinge, which always sounds reassuring.
“Just to let you know we’ve sighted Santa on the radar,” he announced, to a rapturous gasp from the children on board. “And as a result, air traffic control has asked us to slow down to give Santa priority.”
Nice one, DH!