I didn’t go hot air ballooning yesterday. This may not sound that remarkable. There were many other things I didn’t do yesterday. I didn’t do any lion taming, I didn’t go to
Canada, I didn’t drink a pint of my
own sick. The difference is that I had an appointment to go hot air ballooning
at five o’clock in the morning and fully intended to see the sun rise whilst
standing in a wicker basket inches away from a flame thrower. However, it was
cancelled. For the third time. Each time
has been because of ‘weather’. Each time it has been different weather and one
of them I am convinced the pilot just wanted to sit in the sun and eat an ice
It is getting to the point that I feel quite confident that I could be a hot air balloon pilot. There is no actual flying involved, you simply have to leave a message on an answerphone saying that it’s been cancelled. I could do that.
I am possibly being slightly harsh and I am still very much looking forward to our rescheduled flight. Weirdly, although I am terrified of flying, I have no fear at all about being in the air in a basket. It seems quite a gentle way to see the countryside and bimble about. Of course I’d imagine that it could turn nasty quite quickly if a huge gust of wind got you (I suppose that’s why they cancel so many flights) or if the bottom fell out the basket (I suppose that’s why they make you tell them your weight). But unless it’s Richard Branson related you don’t here much about hot air ballooning gone wrong. There’s certainly no ‘Hot Air Ballooning’ disaster movie genre. Perhaps this has lulled me in to a false sense of security.
Imagine how differently we would view things if there was a series of ‘Balloon!’ films. They’d certainly be easier to cast and be able to be made on a much smaller budget. ‘Snakes on a Balloon’ would be thirty seconds long as the offending snake could simply be picked up and thrown over the side of the basket. In turn this could lead to the sequel – ‘A snake fell out the sky and landed on me’. I honestly think that the worst thing that could happen in a balloon would be that you haven’t worn enough warm clothing. Which, given that they cancel flights if it’s not a perfect 22 degrees with no wind speed and no moisture in the air, is unlikely to happen.
Whilst we’re on the subject, please don’t take time out to send me the details of all the horrific things that can happen in a hot air balloon. I really don’t want to know. I have to get on a plane in 3 weeks and I am already wetting myself about that. I don’t have the time for another fear. I am too busy writing the screen play to ‘Snakes on a Balloon’. Set deep in the heart of the British countryside, balloon pilot Samuel L Jackson gets the shock of his life when he actually has to pilot a balloon (the weather conditions being favourable). But this is no ordinary flight. There’s a grass snake on board. Samuel and his three passengers have to decide what to do as their balloon flies dangerously close to the M25.
It’s a winner.