When I was five, I knew I would never get bored of children’s books. I could never stop reading about a guinea pig called Trevor who had a water vole friend called Humphrey and a servant called Geoff, who happened to be a donkey.
I would never tire of hearing about their antics when they were on a boat on a picturesque river somewhere, constantly on the verge of a beautiful sunset.
Now, however, I like my books to be about planes, guns, spies and explosions, not guinea pigs gallivanting off towards the horizon eating fruit cake and talking about the ideal cup of tea. Spitfires and Germans, not barges and canals.
So I have changed, despite me swearing an oath to myself that I never would.
So you may be confused if I now start talking about planes.
I am currently cruising at 32, 000 ft at 550 mph, laughing at how disgusting the airport food was I had just ingested, and how marvelous the ability to fly really is.
In my opinion, planes are an amazing creation that allow human beings to go way beyond their natural speed limit. They are also things that I believe that, now we have them, we could never do without, despite all of the national calls to use them less and go by foot.
To Paris? Abu Dhabi? By foot? Really? Besides, a Boeing 747 is more economical, per passenger, than a Renault Clio.
As I was saying, they are brilliant machines and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
But when I was seven, every time I boarded a plane, I had excitement. I had the ‘buzz’.
Nowadays, age has brought boredom and fear. I never used to turn my eyes to a book on a flight, and nor did I ruin my trousers every time we went through some turbulence. In fact, only yesterday when I took off from Gatwick I saw one of Richard Branson’s Boeing 747s land with the landing gear not fully down, causing the right wing of the aircraft to graze the tarmac, luckily only resulting in a change of underwear for the pilot.
And this gets your brain going. Its like when you hear a noise in the night downstairs and you lie there thinking: ‘Was that a fox, or a burglar, or an assassin?…’
You spend the whole of the flight thinking about danger and how because of your increased altitude, the sun is filling you with dangerous rays, and doings its best to give you cancer. It’s not very nice at all, and it wouldn’t have happened when I was seven. Back then I was dreaming of being a pirate, as that’s what I thought Pilots were called.
As I was saying, my age and knowledge brings with it fear, trepidation and boredom. I have been on a plane eight times this month*, and on not one of those occasions have I dreamt about being a pirate.
So, am I getting older and more mature? Am I losing that child hood nature that adults always say they ‘wished they still had’?
No, of course not.
I realised this when I flew over London at 11pm last night, the second flight of the day, imagining I was in a Spitfire, shooting down some ‘Jerries’.
*Trust me, I am not living a life of luxury. All of the flights were economy class meaning that all of us passengers were treated like cattle – honestly I had less space in the cabin than Nick Clegg has in the coalition government.