View Full Version : Moments of Destiny

16th Apr 2004, 10:36
Moments of Destiny

On the “Youth in Combat” thread someone refers to the death in combat of his grandmother’s fiancée, indicating that the writer and his family would not have existed if she had not married the man who eventually became his grandfather. I hope that makes sense.

Now, I guess that everyone’s life is made up of a myriad of apparently unrelated events but, just occasionally, one is made aware of a certain event which reminds one of one’s own destiny.

One of these occasions for me was when I was watching an old film of one of Alan Cobham’s flights through Africa. This film was discovered after his death and showed him flying below Victoria Falls when the engine stopped. After a few frightening moments he got the engine going again and obviously managed to survive the incident.

How was this a moment of destiny for me? Well, in the mid sixties I took a job in Flight Refuelling, the company started by Sir AC. Through this, I met Mrs p and now have five minipulses with their own destiny. Would we have met if AC had died in Victoria falls? Who knows.

I’m sure that many Ppruners have interesting moments of destiny to share. Let’s hear them.

16th Apr 2004, 10:39
Wouldnt have met her if we had'nt worked for the same insurance company and happened to attend the same training course in the same week.

Then I would'nt have had me sprogs.

Well, not the same ones anyway...

16th Apr 2004, 11:44
That's an easy one. If I hadn't got a little p*ssed on Christmas Eve 2002, and sent a certain Air Traffic Services organisation an email asking them did they have any jobs going...........well, I wouldn't be sitting where I am at the moment.

16th Apr 2004, 12:11
Oh come on Jerricho - it's not that bad over there surely ;)

16th Apr 2004, 12:16
My brother gave me my first job at the hotel he was managing. I'm sure that I'm not alone in having had difficulties with siblings. Anyway, I'd had enough after 6 months and turned up at my older sister's in Seaford one summer afternoon, saying I'd quit and had nowhere else to go. She wouldn't have any of it, saying I could stay the night but would have to go back to the hotel in Chichester the next day or else! So I took the "or else" at face value and went off in a huff. Come early evening, not having any money, I'd found a little spot in a hay field on the edge of town. Finally, at about 11 at night, I made my way back to my sister's and sheepishly rang the doorbell...! Next day I was back at work, and though everyone at the hotel knew what had happened, noone said a word. And I stayed there for another year or so before finally finding my independence. :hmm:

What did I learn? Sleeping rough didn't suit me...! :} :sad:

16th Apr 2004, 12:16
Ten years ago this week, I was in a terrorist attack. If things had been a little different, I might not have been sufficiently healthy to write this.

About four years ago, was a pax in a car that did a somersault. I remember being upside-down.

16th Apr 2004, 12:23
Who was the PPruner that recently moved to Madrid? He regularly took one of the trains that was bombed but that day got stuck at solicitors or something and consequently is (thankfully!!) still with us...

16th Apr 2004, 12:42
In Feb 1991 if I hadn't spent a weekend in Hampshire with my then chap who had come down to Portsmouth on a course I would have been among those killed or seriously injured by the Victoria Station bomb. It exploded just as passengers off my usual train were walking past it and..like most eager beavers I was always in one of the front carriages! On that day I was on my way back from Hampshire and heard about the bomb as the train arrived at Eastleigh station.

In Feb 1996 if I had gone for some after work drinks instead of being a workaholic and sitting in my office I would have been a matter of yards away from the Surrey Quays bomb - as it was I was a few hundred yards away so was only amazed by the way the plate glass windows bulged like Back to the Future and returned to form thanks to the anti-bomb stuff on them rather than injured or shocked!


16th Apr 2004, 12:46
My moment of destiny was when I resigned -- just before I was about to be fired -- from a High Street Bank. I was 17.

A 'customer' had come in and was insistent that we had debited her account 184 quid when she had written a cheque out for 34 quid. In those days (I have no idea if this still happens) cheques were returned to the branch of origin. I went to the vaults and hunted the cheque out which proved she was wrong. She had signed it for 184 spons.

Instead of thanking me, she launched into a tirade about how long I'd taken to prove her wrong. I called her a 'fecking old gyppo', went to the manager and resigned.

The next day I replie to an ad in the Evening Standard for a messenger at a financial institution and I'm still here 26 years later..... not as a messenger though....

16th Apr 2004, 12:50
I used to commute from Reading to London daily. If I hadn't been unexpectedly sent to Harrogate to see a client I would have been involved in the Paddington train crash. It was my regular train.

16th Apr 2004, 13:44
Not me but the wife (girlfriend at the time). Wednesday 18th November 1987, she was going home from the office. Tube from Great Portland Street to Kings Cross, BR from King Cross to Cambridge. Can't remember the time exactly but I think she caught the 6:30pm train to Cambridge. At 7:30pm the fire started, at 7:36pm the fire brigade arrived at Kings Cross. At 7:45pm it flashed over in the Kings Cross ticket hall and that was it. 31 people burned or choked to death. If she'd been one hour later....


16th Apr 2004, 14:05
I think the objective of this thread is not how close you were but how it changed you.

Kiting for Boys
16th Apr 2004, 14:08
Atomic bomb saved my dad.

He was on a Landing Ship Tank in 1945 and about to land on a Japanese-held island when they surrendered because of the atom bombs.
The powers that be decided to go ahead anyway so as to occupy the island.

His LST landed at speed and ground up the beach, to run out of momentum with the doors next to a palm tree. They couldn’t open the doors, so couldn’t have landed the tanks, so couldn’t have pulled back off the beach – which would have been under fire had the Japanese not surrendered. And a big LST would have been an easy target.

So he had been sunk by German bombers, then by Japanese bombers and eventually saved by American bombers.

Charlie Foxtrot India
16th Apr 2004, 14:32
1. July 1986, arriving at Perth and realising I wanted to spend the rest of my life here.

2. 8th Jan 1988, first flying lesson

3. November 1994 when a student said "This is my mate (aka Islander Jock) and he wants to learn to fly with you".

4. August 1998 walking up the aisle....:D

16th Apr 2004, 16:25
My mother when she was born wasn't breathing. The midwife in attendance gave her mouth to mouth for 20 minutes and she was revived.
22 years later she got married to the grandson of the midwife who had brought her back to life.

16th Apr 2004, 17:45
I had my first ever kiss on a campsite in the South of France on a family holiday when I was about 10 with an English boy the same age.
10 years later when I was living in Kent I met and started dating someone with the same christian name. It was his mother who remembered and hauled out the holiday photos from 10 years prior to confirm we were the same people.

He was horrible....I dumped him after about 2 months.

16th Apr 2004, 17:48
First flight, to Barbados in 1997. I have wanted to be a pilot ever since.

16th Apr 2004, 19:29
I just can't get this out of my system.... still have nightmares about it. Many moons ago when based at Aberdeen (but living near Cheltenham) I used to hitch a ride in the 748 mail flight to EMA. On the date in question, I hover-taxied in just in time to see the 748 taxying out to the hold. No pleas on the VHF made any difference as they were already 6 minutes late (serious crime in the eyes of the Post Office!). Sadly, the 748's rear door detached approaching EMA and it dove into the ground killing the 2 pilots and mail employee. Oh how I wish I could shake that off. bm