So here I sit on the back stairs of an Airbus A380 as we wing our way across Eastern Europe at 30,000 feet. A place where I have spent so much time over the past few years – just the need to get up and out of my seat gets me back here. The mind (and bum) -numbingness of sitting for 14 hours with nothing to do but watch television or sleep allows the mind to race of in its own direction. It starts to drift off to paces you don’t want it to go and there is very little you can do about it except meditate or get up and walk around.
But there isn’t a lot of places you can walk; a couple of laps up and down the aisles and then back to your seat. My escape is to go to the back of the aircraft and hang out near the toilets (not my usual practice in life I can assure you) – eventually you get to see or meet everyone in your section of the plane because they all need to pee at some stage. Sometimes you get into great conversations and I have spent many an hour back here with some lovely people filling in time and keeping out of my seat.
The trouble is there is food back here and free drink; and it isn’t good food either – Tim Tams (a bit like UK Penguins) and Coke, so I usually tend to end up eating as well as socialising. But of course there are times where I don’t want to socialise, I just want to stand quietly in my thoughts and wish the flight would be over soon. 10 hours so far and four to go.
Captain Krankypants really needs an airline sponsor so he can get up the front and out of the cramped conditions that really play havoc on the bad back he suffers with – another little injury currently being processed by the veterans’ affairs department. All seems to have gone quiet with the claims at the moment, not suggesting work has ceased but it has now been a few weeks since any contact (apart from the rehab manager who also wants to know what is happening) – with Christmas coming I can guess they are so busy trying to process as much as they can for so many of us before the compulsory shut down over the break that all government departments have over the festive season.
But I am looking forward to getting to England soon and catching the train which is a completely different situation to the plane – the UK really has got train travel sorted out and I find it so relaxing and inspiring . I could spend days just travelling by train, writing blogs, planning the future and relaxing, if only the airlines could do something about their cramped conditions and the food. But then again, the train fare from Newark to Taunton (which I will be doing on Tuesday) is not much less than the flight from Sydney to London… you get what you pay for I expect.
Well this blog post doesn’t seem to have followed the usual theme of blogs but I trust you did notice the one significant factor relating to PTSD – I always get a seat up the back of the plane and spend most of the flight standing right at the back where I an see what is going on and is right next to the escape doors. Yes, I never said I was cured, just in recovery and living with it. Best sign off now, all the children on the flight are starting to wake up and sing the morning chorus – where are those ear plugs….
Oh look a photo…