The whiff of Autumn is in the air, and bringing back one of my earliest memories.
When I was small – in fact, when I was 2 – my parents did an amazing thing. They took me on an aeroplane to Canada to stay with my aunt and uncle. It was quite an adventure back in 1964. People didn’t fly so much then; in fact they had thought about taking the ship instead as it was cheaper, but would have taken a week each way.
The reason I remember this in September is that it was September then too, and we went to Canada in the Fall. The trees were so incredible I can still picture them now – an unbelievable mass of reds and golds and yellows. I thought they looked like they had been made by angels, because they couldn’t possibly be just trees.
There are lots of other things about the trip I don’t remember; my Dad took cine film and photos, but the settings are not very real to me. However, I certainly do remember the aeroplane.
Firstly, it was a BOAC plane. I know that because I have a log book to record each flight I took (we went again in 1969 and 1978). I got a badge for my coat lapel and the captain came to say hello and signed my book. However, the main thing about the flight was the sweets.
Before we took off, a nice lady came and asked me if I wanted a sweet. Obviously, I said “No” because you don’t take sweets from strangers! Then to my utter amazement my parents both took sweets – even though they didn’t know her at all! – and she carried on down the aisle. I would like to recall behaving with dignity and poise, but I’m sorry to say that I screamed my head off. I wanted a sweet too! Dad had to chase up the aisle after the air hostess, and Mum tried to explain it was to stop my ears popping when we took off, and I had to suck the sweet slowly to make it last.
On the way home I was quite the seasoned traveller and took my sweet quite calmly. But I am pretty sure my parents wished they had taken a sweet for me in the first place.