A phone call is made at 11pm
The weather forecast is looking positive (despite all appearances to the contrary, looking out the window of our front room)
The alarms are set for 4.30am
Alarm reads: 5 hours and 9 minutes until alarm goes off.
I cry a little tear and try to fall asleep
The little one has other ideas throughout the night…
In far too short a time, cold flannels are applied to face in the vain attempt to awaken any interest or enthusiasm for this much-anticipated event.
Bleary-eyed people wait in a car park, looking towards a field, where a man stands by a Land Rover, taking measurements and making decisions.
And the go-ahead is given.
And the cold air is applied
And the heat is applied
And the basket is righted
And the force of gravity is overcome
And the ground pulls away
And the whole of Hertfordshire lies before us, with the mist and the dawn slowly clearing
And I am flying in a hot air balloon with my eyes closed, feeling the warmth of the flames and the breeze of the air
And last year did not happen
Or else it happened, and I survived and I am flying in a hot air balloon with the father of my little girl
And it was all worth living for
And it is all worth staying alive for
And it, too, passed.