Helicopter Highlight!! Banstead to Bournemoth in a blink.

Peter, Errol, Macky and the Green Bird at a secret location  in Bournemouth!!!
One of my highlights in what has proved to be an interesting and varied year came as a total surprise! It is also a perfect example of how the universe works its magic of synchronicity. Let's start at the beginning.

I usually work Mondays, in fact I hadn't swapped a Monday for the year, when my boss asked if I could take the following Monday off and work Thursday instead. I agreed and was extremely surprised when Macky McPherson, (Urban Delight Entertainment,) asked if I'd like to visit Bournemouth with him the coming Monday- and we'd be travelling by helicopter!! To be honest, I had never really thought much about flying in a helicopter however, it was such an exciting opportunity arriving out of the blue so to speak (!!!) and one not to be missed.

Peter Gilbert, co-owner of Madding Crowd, Bournemouth. supplied the beautiful green helicopter pictured above, to transport Macky, Errol Kennedy (80's group Imagination) and myself to the club for a meeting. Funnily enough the helicopter was stationed only 4 miles up the road from me! Having parked the car, we had to hitch over a fence into the field where the helicopter was waiting- blades busily whirring. Trust me, climbing into this magnificent machine was more of a challenge than hitching the fence!

Stopping to refuel
Liam, our pilot, was very experienced and provided a whole range of information pertaining to flying and helicopters in particular. The key points of interest to me were that it takes 5 minutes for the helicopter to warm up and its tank holds two and a half  hours worth of fuel. Due to the morning's journey prior to take off, not the distance to and from Bournemouth, we needed to refuel, at which point it decided to rain! Poor Liam having to dash out in the wet. The next point of interest, which I hadn't thought about, is that most helicopters can't fly in the dark- no route markings guys or lighting across such a vast expanse of sky. One very reassuring point was that Liam runs his own safety checks before every journey, which is not always the case with commercially hired pilots who may think these have been undertaken by the firms engineers. A little something for you to consider if planning a ride.

I still think 'WOW.' As you can see the weather was mainly good with clear views
Once in the helicopter we were instructed to put on headsets, with mic's, so that we could communicate- totally necessary once you go up in the air as the noise from the blades becomes very loud.The take off was different to that of an aeroplane as you literally go up and forwards instantly. It's a funny feeling and I found the journey a little choppy at times, the turbulence being slightly different to an aeroplane. It was also a little dizzying at one point but that was probably due to continually looking at the view! I have to say, it's amazing gazing out of the window, particularly as the helicopter ascends and you start seeing the ground from a new angle. The view is excellent as you are in a 'box of windows' so to speak, after all, you're in a pod! Seeing the layout of the land is fascinating. You don't think too much about it in an aeroplane as it's more of a keyhole view, but because the helicopter is flying significantly lower and slower you develop an eye for intrigue, which lies in the details as they unveil themselves.

Everyday patchwork homes

Everyday patchwork houses
Squeezed within the grid
Of an outer London zone
The kind of place millions of us
Enjoy calling 'HOME,'

Living cheek by jowl
Creating community
Still part of the rat race
By necessity...
That's just the way it is

So many beating hearts
And pairs of helping hands
The salt of the earth
Speckled through the land...
And that's keeping it real

Jaz Mckenzie 2018

By way of contrast,  however we passed over some very exclusive properties; these are far from the best!
Time for a commercial break guys!
F.Y.I. early that morning before we ventured out the weather was so appalling Macky had to confirm the flight. Fortunately the skies cleared leaving good weather for most of the day. When the rain started I discovered another interesting fact- some helicopters don't have window wipers. They are shaped in such a way that the rain runs straight off- how convenient is that? It's almost- splat and roll, part of the helicopter vibe you could say.

Cultivated patterns
One of the greatest joys I discovered during the ride was seeing how beautifully tended our countryside is. At ground level you cannot see how incredible the layouts are, being composed of patterns within patterns. This picture fails to do the farmers work justice as the details are quite mind blowing. When we buy our vegetables most of us are not aware of this aspect of their origins. We know about organic farming, chemicals etc, but not necessarily the love and dedication a farmer applies to his or her trade. To me, this was a tremendous eye opener.

I love the contrast between these two pictures. The first was taken on the outbound journey and the second, about 20 minutes before landing hence the subdued pre-evening lighting. These autumn shades are so delicious, especially the golden trees. I think if I were to design a garden I would include a diamond of red and gold trees, as a statement, to reinforce how blessed we are  by nature, even in the inner city. Something that should be high on our list of appreciation.

My final picture has to be the rainbow. What could be more perfect than flying towards a rainbow? I must convey my thanks to Peter and Liam for providing this experience, and to Macky who chose to include me.  I think by allowing time since the event rather than blogging it immediately I have fully assimilated this awesome experience.  It's definitely not about just going on a helicopter ride, it's about engaging new perspectives and levels of consciousness about our connections and environment.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician