Unexpetedly one day. Wham! Right there at work and probably lost in a sea of email; It came back to me like a bolt. I wanted to learn to fly. Yes, like I used to, I really did.
Following the 1 year anniversary (in Feb 2010) of the passing away of my father to lung cancer, I gave up smoking. It was so ridiculously easy in the end that I felt incredibly stupid and ignorant for having taken so long to do it. Although I started relatively late (25), I had still smoked for 17 years meaning the habit was ingrained into the majority of my adult life.
I believe this event against the backdrop of the melancholic flashbacks to time with dad, fueled a new appetite and refocussing of my life. In truth, as the architypical "fidget" I had always experienced my share of those 'what next' thoughts but now, now felt different. With more conviction than before I felt compelled to do new challenging things and make the most of time.
And so it was that I embarked upon testing myself with a new sense of vigour trying various new pursuits like sailing, power boating, short wave radio courses and I was just buzzing with ideas of a new exciting future. I was loving life again, and was thirsty for knowledge. I got married to my best friend and soulmate Ewa and things were looking up. I had dreams again and it was all a akin to being like I used to be ... younger and happier again!
So anyway, the flying thing. Where did that come from you may ask? Well, in all honestly it used to be a dream of mine in my 20s although it has to be said, it wasn't really the type of pursuit somebody from my background really got in to. I know that sounds a bit working class defeatest but it's true. However, I had started my working life in an avionics company and I had known people that had got into flying. I had thought at the time how fortunate they were as they had received financial assistance and for whatever reason I was never offered that opportunity. I think wrong place right time sums it up. Anyway, that's life (no grudges), now was a different time and given some sacrifices I could have the opportunity. It didn't take long to rationalise the idea. No doubt about it, this venture would be a big commitment in cost, time, study and generally emotional investment but it would be a great long term project that would appeal to my innermost love of a good challenge. It would also occupy my mind, something I've learnt from my past that I need to do inorder to keep myself positive and energised.
I discussed it with my partner who took all of about 2 seconds to say "That's a great idea - GO for it" and I was on-line quicker than it takes to read a stop sign.
Next day I made some further calls and looked at various flying websites, aerodromes and courses and ended up booking an "Experience Flight" for October 10, 2010 at Skytrek. They are a Flight Training Organisation based locally to me at Rochester Airport in Kent.
Needless to say the day went off like a dream, it was 30 minutes, and I loved it. I came back home wearing the biggest smile.
The journey had begun.