Monday, July 14, 2008

WINNER!

The winner of a signed copy of Nell Dixon's "Blue Remembered Heels" is Michelle L for the "sardines" story. Well, done, Michelle. If you'll drop me a line with your snail mail addy at liz @lizfielding.com, I'll pass it on to Nell.

MILLS & BOON/WOMEN'S WEEKLY WRITING COMPETITION --

M&B have teamed up with Woman’s Weekly for the launch of a new short story competition. If you think you can woo readers with a romantic short story, then they want to hear from you.

You could see your winning entry published in Woman’s Weekly and on Mills & Boon’s website and there's a laptop as part of the prizes.

They're looking for short stories with a fresh voice - sparkling, feel-good stories bursting with lively interaction and that frisson of romantic excitement.

Check it out at Mills & Boon's website.

REMEMBER "CASABLANCA"?

More specifically do you remember the plane in which Ingrid Bergman flew away from Rick on at the end? The DC3 -- the gooney bird -- which ferried troops in WWII and supplied Berlin during the airlift, is being retired at the end of this month in the UK due to new European safety regulations. The cost of installing oxygen (they don't fly high enough for it to be necessary) and strip lighting in the floors, has meant it's uneconomic to continue.

Special trips are taking place all month for people who love this aircraft.

I've had several memorable journeys in a DC3.

I once flew in a storm from a place in Botswana called Selibe Pikwe to Johannesburg, with a "request stop" at Gabarones. We took off from a dirt airstrip with a dozen or so passengers, a parrot, two goats and a crate of chicks. The seats, I swear, hadn't been changed since it had done duty in WWII and we had to haul ourselves up the gangway grabbing hold of the seats because of the steep angle.

The pilot attempted to fly around the storm, but in the end gave up and just went through it. People turned out in evening dress to see us land at Gabarones, the weather was that bad, and after we finally landed in Johannesburg -- I've never been so glad to see airport lights -- I came out in a rash.

It certainly wasn't luxury flying, but it was a lot more memorable than the "bus trip" flying we do now and although it had been banished from UK skies, I've no doubt the "gooney" will still be flying those "bush" flights for a very long time to come.

6 comments:

Snookie said...

What an interesting story about your flight! Thank goodness you all made it through safely! I've flown through some storms, but never on anything that small!

Nicola Marsh said...

Oh my, Liz, that's some hair-raising flight! I would've been petrified!!!

An interesting story though...perhaps a future fab heroine of yours could go through something similar? :)

Estella said...

Great story about your flight!

Michele L. said...

Hi Liz,

I enjoyed your blog about your incredible plane ride! Wow! Thank god you are o.k.! I think I would have pee'd my pants if that was me! Seriously! I am not a big fan of flying and to fly through a storm in a small aircraft is scary!

Have a great safe week!
Hugs,
Michele L.

Liz Fielding said...

I think the term memorable covers it! It happened more than thirty years ago and I still remember it as if it happened yesterday.

And flying a DC3 is such an intimate experience. The cockpit door is open, you can see the pilot and his first officer, all the controls.

The dh had a similar flight from Karachi to Lahore in the monsoon -- but his description is considerably more graphic! (No one was sick on our flight, thank goodness!)

Snookie said...

BTW Liz, my copy of 100 arabian nights came... I ended up paying about $13 (US $) for it, but it was worth it! I read the first two last night and yours this morning! The Book Depository was quick!