Sometimes fear takes hold of you and prevents you from doing things in life. You can either take charge and push beyond it or let it control your life. Sometimes this is easier said than done though. Take the fear of heights: Neither my husband or I like heights but our fears are slightly different. He is generally okay if he feels that he is safe (i.e. attached to something) whereas I fear that nothing can be relied on and what if it breaks. Therefore, it may come as a strange concept that this year’s romantic gesture (for Valentine’s day) to my better half would be to organise a Hot Air Balloon ride. We are both absolutely bricking it to be honest, and teetering on the verge of just cancelling it, but it is one of those life experiences that we would like to tick off our lists. And hopefully it will not only be romantic, but help us conquer our fears. I believe (and hope) that once the basket goes up we will (eventually) see that everything is going to be alright – and that our fears were for nothing.
How to get over the fear of Heights
There are certain things that should help us get over our fears and the first one is to write it down. It helps to reflect back over it and see that actually there’s nothing to worry about. In the instance of the Hot Air Balloon I am worrying about things breaking. Answer the questions in your head. I find information is power. If you are worried about what the safety procedures are then ask before the day. Okay so I was trying to find some low rate Hot Air Ballooning accident rates but actually discovered this article about a couple in Somerset dying! Do the things that frighten you – check one Hot Air Balloon ride booked. Actually I remember my son talking me into going down the “death slide” at Cattle Country – about how it would be fine and that once I had done it I would realise how fun it was. I went down that slide and it was adrenalin filled but I shall not be doing it again. Relax. My husband is currently really anxious but I do think I am relaxed but that’s because I am in complete denial about how scared I am going to be. How much it will feel unsafe and just how high up we are going to be going. Maybe I do need to start on those breathing techniques. Re-Write the Story. Inside my head I am telling myself about what it will be like when our Balloon catches fire and we die, leaving our children orphans (must remember to get our wills done first just in case). When actually I should retell the story to be a romantic one, where my husband and I share a beautiful moment together and experience something for the first time together.
To help me tell a new story I have a LEGO FRIENDS Heartlake Hot Air Balloon (41097). The set comes with Andrea and Noah Minifigures – so the romance story can be played out. Maybe it is a Valentine’s gift (like mine) or even a Wedding present (which would tie in with the bridal shop in The Heartlake Shopping Mall).
I do love the spring coloured shorts that Andrea is wearing and short sleeved top with musical notes – although I do fear that she is going to get a bit cold during the flight. We have been advised to dress according to the weather but that long sleeves and trousers are essential. Again Noah is wearing a lovely red and white t-shirt (plus there’s a frog) which makes me think of France (which definitely has the romance connection) – but it is short sleeved. Noah has very stylish hair (it reminds me of Kai from Ninjago) but it has no hole in it for hats and accessories. Andrea, however, has a rather nice light pink flower for her hair. In fact, apart from the top of the seat in the Hot Air Balloon, this is the only time this nice light “girlie pink” is used. In fact there is very little pink at all – apart from the Hot Air Balloon, some cups, the cherries, a bit on Andrea’s shoes and some flowers.
The set contains one instruction booklet, 2 numbered bags, a bag with the balloon pieces in and NO stickers – thanks to my great joy! It was easy enough to follow the instructions and put it together (I believe there to be roughly 254 and took me 20 minutes but I was taking pictures). I say this with the exception of the balloon. This was quite fiddly and annoying. It was very frustrating and I think if I were 6 (the set is aimed at 6-12 year olds) I would have had a tantrum. It was important to balance each side as it was clipped and that the clips were in the centre. My husband found that if the instructions were altered slightly and the yellow piece went on top it fitted more easily for me. However, I did accomplish it all by myself so it developed a new level of LEGO confidence for me.
My LEGO Hot Air Balloon Story
I always worry about getting lost – but I do not near to fear as Noah has a map. In reality the Hot Air Balloon Company we are using will take us back to our car at the end of the flight. Andrea has her camera so she can take plenty of photographs of this memorable life experience and tells to tell the children. There is a bottle of water and two cups to share (fantastic for when our mouths goes dry with panic!) We can tell the story of us using the binoculars, seeing the sites (we will not be hiding inside the basket holding onto each other waiting for it to be over!). After a pleasant journey over Heartlake City spotting the Heartlake Lighthouse (#41094) below, we will settle down beside a waterfall and have a romantic picnic. We will sit on our blanket and share some bread, eat some cherries and toast some marshmallows. Confident and over the fear Andrea takes control and takes the Hot Air Balloon soaring high back into the sky towards home.
This is a great set but has a few things that make it not very real (like where is the hot air? and how is the tree so small? But at the end of the day it is a LEGO set – and we are meant to make believe. It has, unfortunately, made my husband question how easy it is for the door to come over and see how easy (he thinks) it is to fall out. I would prefer that the seats were sit-table as the characters slip off far too easily.
I received a free LEGO FRIENDS Hot Air Balloon Set. All thoughts and opinions are my own.