'Love in the air' for Craig and Sarah
There was definitely "love in the air" last Thursday evening above the Fermanagh countryside.
It may be once in a blue moon that someone proposes above Fermanagh in a hot air balloon but that's exactly what happened. At 2000 feet, Craig Kingston from Enniskillen went down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend, Sarah Long, in the basket of a hot air balloon that he had hired for the evening.
As the blue moon shone brightly (the name given to the second full moon in the same month), the gas burners fired again taking Craig and Sarah's balloon drifting south-eastwards from Enniskillen Airport, first over Enniskillen and then heading for Brookeborough at heights close to 2,000 feet.
With 40 minutes of the one-hour flight already gone, Sarah must have felt "deflated" that she wasn't going to have a proposal put to her. But true to his word, Craig, got on his knees and proposed to Sarah.
"I wanted to keep her in suspense," he said.
As the balloon drifted towards farmland, Sarah said yes and the couple, together with their pilot, landed safely just beyond Brookeborough village. It was quickly back to Enniskillen Airport for a glass of champagne to toast the event.
Craig had collected up Sarah, a nurse in the coronary unit at the South West Acute Hospital, on the pretense they might go out for a meal or go to the cinema. When he drove into Enniskillen Airport he asked her if she had brought her passport joking.
Once she saw the balloon basket, she said she knew right away they were going for a flight but not that she was going to have a wedding proposal made.
"I had to tell a little white lie. She cracked up a bit and cried with excitement," said Craig.
"I was very excited and not scared of heights at all," said Sarah.
Craig, who is online manager at Home Field and Stream in Enniskillen and Sarah, from Bruckless near Killybegs, Co. Donegal, met while both of them were at university, Craig at Jordanstown studying property investment and development and Sarah, studying for her nursing degree at Queen's University, Belfast.
Craig did confess there was a nervous moment during the flight to ensure he had still at the ring in his pocket.
This week, the happy couple were definitely back to earth again as they returned to work after their exciting few days with their heads in the clouds.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 06 Sep 12