I can’t recall the number of times I’ve landed at Manchester Airport, but the one thing I’ve tried and failed to do is to spot our house on the approach to landing.
In theory it should be easy. Planes landing at MIA usually come from south to north to the west our house and then hang a left and pass in front of it. In fact, if I lie in bed with the curtains open, I can spot planes passing by at the rate of one every three minutes.
The thing is, we have three aerial photos of our house, the first a mid-altitude shot that we got by collecting tokens from a newspaper, one low-altitude that came with the house taken some time in the 70s judging by the cars, and finally a high-altitude black and white taken by the RAF in 1948 when they were assessing the damage caused by WWII.
But I had never seen the house from on high ‘live’ as it were. Until today!
I was flying back from a meeting in London on a VLM Fokker 50 which always makes for place-spotting easier because of its slower approach, but up to now, by the time I’ve identified a landmark I’m already past our house. Not today.
What got me started was a distinctive field with a yellow, sandy path that goes in a great loop and where we often walked the dogs. That meant that the football ground up next was Woodley Sports so our road would be just north of there, yep there it was. Follow it up the hill and then a sharp right and our house… should be… just about… THERE!
For about half a second I caught sight of our house, the sun glinting off its windows. It was a real “Yes!” moment and there was a smile on my face, but I resisted elbowing the suited businessman in the aisle seat next to me and throwing a thumb over my shoulder saying, “That was my house that was!”
Not really the done thing eh? But another box ticked on the ambition list. Now if I can just get round to “all the lottery numbers” I’ll be made up.