Tuesday 29 January 2013

living the dream

Living the dream, or should I say 'living a dream' is surprisingly hard work.

I was driving home from the gym tonight, shoulders aching like hell after once again doing too much, partially drifting away into my own little world hidden behind the pools of light in front of the car when a thought struck me - this is what living a dream is really like.

The past few weeks have been hard. Very hard. Each day I get up and have to force myself to do something. Who knows, in a few weeks I may well be back working and the stress and shame of being completely broke will be gone, but for now it hurts. I couldn't even afford to pay my aircraft insurance renewal last week, I had to beg help. This is definitely a low point.

The dream isn't glamorous. It's just plain hard work. The flying part of being a display pilot is only a tiny fraction of what it actually takes, especially when you're breaking into the airshow world. The glamour just doesn't exist - I spend my time playing with websites, gathering contact details, writing and sending hundreds of emails, drawing up flyers and logos and graphics, battling to just keep some semblance of sanity. All this time I've not even had the sanity check of flying my little beast - the process of modifying an aeroplane is a very long winded one, involving much heartache, huge amounts of expense and some very frustrating periods of waiting, and waiting and waiting some more - all whilst the powers that be try to make a decision over whether or not you should actually be allowed your modification.

To those of you that fly but have never owned an aeroplane, you may think you have an idea what it must be like but trust me, the frustrations of waiting on paperwork and engineers is barely bearable at times. I should just take the opportunity to say thanks to my friends for at least allowing me to get airborne, the sky really is a beautiful place to be, whatever craft you happen to be in.

I guess every dream has its own nightmare that has to go along with it - something about being no light without darkness. I know, I'm prattling, but in all honesty if anyone decides to try to live their dream and doesn't reckon with having to cope with a whole heap of hardship, effort and tears along the way then they're going to have a rude awakening. Just as light needs darkness, endeavours need to be difficult in order to really be worth while - why bother throwing everything you have into something if it's not going to be a challenge? Maybe it's just me, but victories are much sweeter when they're hard won.

How many other people actually do this, I mean really do this. How many choose to make a dream reality, despite huge odds stacked against them? To all of you doers and dreamers out there, I'm with you.


It's been over a year since I visited this old blog of mine, let alone updated it. Basically my life has changed, dramatically.

I'm no longer living in the mountains, now my life is primarily confined to the flat-lands of Cambridgeshire. A big part of me misses Wales, the hills, my friends, my old climbing/biking/running/outdoors lifestyle, but there's an even bigger part of me that knows my current course in life is where I need to be. At least for now.

So what's happened? I wrote before about my getting into aerobatic flying, and, well, that's essentially what happened and where my life is now. I own my own aeroplane, I'm the current British Female Aerobatic champion and I'm also a newly qualified airshow and display pilot. I know, wow huh?

Flying it is then!

That said, I still have the mountain bike, I hit the climbing wall in Milton Keynes as often as I can and I head to the gym several times a week too (I may have spent several months doing nothing, got a bit fat and panicked - hence I'm back to being a fitness obsessive again and actually I do rather like it). Once I've gotten a work regime sorted out and some money again I'll be heading out to the hills for some therapy whenever I can too - I know my roots.

I guess I should mention where it is that I've been in online terms, because whilst I've not been posting here, I have been posting flying stuff on my aerobatic blog - The Aerobatic Project and I've built another website for myself in order to promote and try to sell my display flying - BiplaneDisplays.com. Please head over to either and/or both and take a look - let me know what you think!

So why am I back here, and why now? Basically I wanted to come back here to revisit something of my old way of life, and to rekindle my old style of writing. I basically want an outlet again, somewhere I can write about the every day, mundane and 'normal life' type things I think about. The Aerobatic Project is really all about being a new face in the competition flying world and what that's like, so there's no place there for me waffling on about the odd thoughts that strike me in the gym. Hence, I'm back!

Apologies right now if some of the things I write about are boring, or just downright weird. Hopefully I'll come out with a few things that may actually be of interest too.

To all of you that are still here, wow. Thank you for bearing with me!