Is it weird that I spent most of my friend’s Halloween party interrogating an air hostess between the buffet table and the pop-up bar?
She didn’t seem to think it was and appeared more than happy to answer my many questions, although my husband says she was just being polite.
Cabin crew are so utterly fascinating to me that I totally lose my cool when I meet one of them, especially outwith their natural habitat.
For the record, I’m the same with neurosurgeons and stand-up comedians.
If I was ever put in a room with all three I’d probably have to be sedated. Although it does sound like one heck of a dinner party line-up and I wouldn’t want to miss that.
Maybe a sobering slap on the cheek like in the movie Airplane! would suffice and would have the added advantage of keeping to the theme.
But back to the Halloween party and my intense grilling of this lovely woman who had probably thought she was in for an evening of fun and a break from work chat.
How wrong she was. Once I got started I couldn’t stop: Where is the best place to sit to avoid turbulence? What’s the advantage of flying at night? Where can I get a pilot Barbie? What lipstick will stay put for an eight-hour flight without drying out?
(Answers: Over the wings. Better weather and fewer delays. Virgin Atlantic in-flight shopping. Chanel Luminous Matte.)
Best planes and a buffet
My new cabin crew bestie asked me what my favourite aircraft was. Quick as a flash I replied: “Airbus A350-1000,” without pausing for breath in case it was a test.
I must have passed because she then explained why her own favourite is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
I was in my element. I could have stood there all night talking about jet lag, cabin pressure and altitude, even when I detected out of my peripheral vision someone snagging the last three vol-au-vents.
Let’s just lose our cool over one thing at a time, I said to myself.
Now I’ve fessed up to being an aviation geek, you can understand how intrigued I was to read about a futuristic hybrid aircraft that could transform travel in the Highlands and Islands.
The part-plane, part-airship Airlander 10 is the world’s most efficient large aircraft and could carry up 100 passengers or 10 tonnes of freight between airstrips in the north.
A study partly funded by the UK Government has found it could deliver cost-effective and low-emission transport and improve connections between communities. Oh and did I mention it can land on water?
Above all, it looks really cool. In fact, its appearance is so spaceship-like I had to do extra research to check it’s for real.
City centre future up in the air
Hybrid Air Vehicles aims to deliver the Airlander 10 from 2027, offering “up to 90% fewer emissions than other aircraft” and eventual modifications to zero emissions.
It says it will help “attain the goal of a net zero Scottish regional air transport by 2040”.
Isn’t that exciting? I’d love to know what my new pal thinks of all this, but oddly she forgot to give me her number.
In Aberdeen, the future of the city centre is still up in the air but several ideas are now preparing for take-off.
Plans for a £50 million Aberdeen Market have been approved with construction to start within months.
It will have space for 10 food and drink outlets but it’s really the lifts and escalators I’m most thrilled about.
A new accessible route from The Green to Union Street will mean people arriving at the bus or railway station won’t have to humph their bags up the north face of the Eiger, otherwise known as the Trinity Centre steps.
Finally, it’s not so much a rumour as an exercise in wishful thinking that Frasers could return to the Granite City after news it is to open in Dundee next year.
The loss of department stores makes me rue the day I ever started shopping online and if Frasers does return, I’ll be first through the door to try on hats, buy presents, update my accessories or treat myself to that Chanel matte lipstick.