Fear of flying

Patching the Soul

Last week I had one of the most frightening journeys I’ve ever experienced in my life. I flew back into Orkney in the middle of the ‘weather bomb’ that hit Northern Scotland. Despite the forecast, it was surprising calm as the Loganair flight left Aberdeen, but after we had been served the customary tea and Tunnock’s caramel wafer I always look forward to, the wind began to buffet the plane violently, not only from side to side but also up and down. As we came out of the clouds towards the islands we turned on dipped wing into a curve that I soon recognised as the familiar holding pattern.

“Sorry about this,” came the calm voice of the female co-pilot, “there’s a snowstorm at the airport in Kirkwall so it’s going to be a little while before we can land.”

For the next fifteen minutes or so, it may have…

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