Talk of the Town: A crash course in the fear of flying

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IT’S enough to put even the most seasoned air traveller off flying forever.

Passengers crossing the Atlantic on a flight from Miami to Heathrow were left terrified when it was announced – twice – that the plane could be about to crash.

One passenger from the Capital is reported as saying: “It was about 3am. An alarm sounded, and we were told we were about to land in the sea. I thought we were going to die. My wife was crying, and passengers were screaming. Then they played an announcement telling us to just ignore the warnings.”

Stiff complementary drinks needed all around, we would think.

It’s not all glamour..

THE move from showbiz to politics is a well-trodden path – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan and our own Glenda Jackson have all made the jump.

Now, in a small way, it’s happening here. Folk singer Karine Polwart reports that she has just become convener of Midlothian Green Party. No big political wheeling and dealing, however.She reports via Twitter that the endeavour is: “Small but beautiful. Leaflets to craft. Q’aires to process. Tea to make.”

Spice up your love life

WITH Christmas a distant memory thoughts are starting to turn to romance as Valentine’s Day looms.

And for any budding romantics out there planning to cook up a tasty surprise for their loved ones, help is at hand to make sure the dinner date doesn’t turn into a culinary catastrophe.

Hopetoun Farm Shop and cook Wendy Barrie is running a men-only masterclass on creating the perfect Valentine’s Day meal.

The three-course dinner demonstration, on February 8, will be cooked in store, using fresh local produce from the farm shop.

Of course, those looking for a sure-fire way to avoid disaster could book a restaurant instead.

No ifs or butts for shoppers

IT is, apart from dieting, perhaps the most common of New year resolutions – to quit smoking.

And Edinburgh’s estimated 83,509 smokers are being urged to make 2012 the year they quit for good – with the NHS launching a new campaign.

Those looking for assistance in kicking their habit can head to Fort Kinnaird on February 1, the Gyle on February 2, or Cameron Toll on February 3 to talk to government health experts for advice.

Although with public smoking now limited to the great outdoors, there’s a good chance the chilly January weather will help keep penitent puffers on the right path.