My journey to date has all been about stop/start.
2000 --> 2001 = 733 minutes (stopped due to lack of money. Medical not complete)
2007 --> 2008 = 858 minutes (stopped due to work commits situation. Medical, complete 1hr before training stopped!)
2009 --> 2010 = 140 minutes (lack of flying due to work commits)
I started flying again on the 23rd July 2011. Circumstances came together allowing me to fly at least a couple of times a week. At this point, all the previous experience started coming back to me. "I just get it" I said to myself after nailing a few landings. After another 425 minutes of flying, I was ready for the solo.
On Tuesday 20th September, the wind was 10kts down the nose. I had been struggling with cross controls with a cross wind component >8kts. I knew there was a chance that today would be the day.
I started off with two normal flapped T&G's. Nailed the landings. On the third landing, the instructor called the tower asking for a glide approach and the option for a full stop/touch and go. I knew at that point that if I nailed the landing I would be going solo Glide approach, turned base early, no flap until I knew the airfield was reachable, full flap, pitched for 60kts, nailed the landing. Vacated at BRAVO and taxied to the ramp. My instructor said, "On you go, power checks at ALPHA, 1 circuit and come back and pick me up.
The time had come.