Suspect handcream

Why is it that stewardesses almost always seem slightly irritated? I’m sure they’re not. Perhaps it’s a by-product of forever living in different time zones.

Breakfast was a warm muffin, guava nectar and a coffee. Airlines seem to have changed the ‘just keep feeding them’ craziness they once insisted on. Now they seem to have it about right.

Watching a video on Cairns – it looks fabulous. I wanna go on the Skyrail – suspended gondolas across the rainforest.

Landed in Cairns 15 minutes early. Once more through security. A guy in front of me got pulled up for having scissors in his hand luggage. How did they get missed at Hong Kong??? And how stupid IS this guy? It’s not like you’re not told like a million times. Which reminds me: at Heathrow the security line was held up while an idiot woman explained why she had a full metal manicure set with her hand luggage – it was confiscated.

The Cairns transit lounge is very nice. A lot of shops, more than you’d think would be in such a small terminal and, although we landed at 4:30am, everything was open. Had a mugacino and a sarnie, bought the local paper and relaxed until the 5:15 boarding call for the FINAL 2 hour leg of this mammoth trip. I feel like I’ve been flying for a week.

My luck has finally run off into a corner and cowered; this plane is full.

For an agonising 10 minutes prior to the safety demonstration I had put up with a woman asking her friend trivia questions and both answering them all wrong. A couple of juicy examples: Who wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Hans Christian Anderson. Where is the Sagrada Familia church? Sydney!!! I can understand not knowing it’s in Barcelona but guessing Sydney…that just flies in the face of all sense. The one they did get right (and the only one I didn’t know) was a long list of characters, the question being, what Australian TV show did they come from. The answer, they both joyously yelped out was ‘Neighbours‘!

Cairns was covered in cloud as we took off (and it was dark when we arrived) so no chance of seeing the splendour. The captain says it’s 27° and it’s only 6am!!!! Hopefully it’ll be cooler in Brisbane.

They played an episode of Kath and Kim on the plane. A few Australian cackles around. Wonder what the Asians thought? There were subtitles. This flight featured the oldest flight attendant I’ve ever seen. He was a grey haired, dapper chap of about 50. Seemed very nice but rather odd in a world of youthful workmates. Maybe he tells them how life was aboard the twin props of Ansett…

7:10am and the clouds open up and there’s Brisbane. According to the pilot it’s a lovely 24°.

Brilliant! We’ve just been told that because of congestion we will now sit on the runway for 15 minutes. I guess it’s only fair. So far every flight has left on time and arrived early, this is just payback. Still, congestion at 7:45am? They shouldn’t start smoking so early. What’s the rest of the day going to bring?

Queues! That’s what. As we turned the final corner to the customs desks we were presented with five plane loads of people in the usual snake like, endless lines. Having an Australian passport made it marginally faster but I was still there for an hour. By the time I got to baggage reclaim all the bags were there and I joined the next queue. This one is for the luggage x-rays. nice to know they’re taking terrorism seriously. Pity the Japanese seem to have no idea about fairness. The amount of them who queue jump is just extraordinary. You have to constantly be on your guard. After a week of jostling and fighting for advantage I reached the big x-ray machines.

The guys were so friendly. Amazing. They managed to defuse any feelings of irritation – or they did with me. Even the one guy who pulled my bag aside and asked me a load of questions like “Is this your bag?“, “Do you own everything in it?“, “Did you pack it?“. And even when he asked me to undo my bag and he reached in. All smiles and happy, chatting merrily. As he pulled out one of the big jars of Astral cream I’d bought for mum.

Ahh“, He said, “This is it. It shows up as vegetable matter. Have you got another one of these?” That was buried too deep so he gave up scrabbling. Such a nice guy. Interestingly he didn’t open the jar. I mean he could have. He was so well versed in diplomacy that I’m sure I wouldn’t have minded.

Anyway, eventually I was free to walk literally into the arms of my family as they stood as close to the arrival doors as humanly possible. Actually Mitchie had tried to walk in a few times, under the watchful eyes of a couple of burly customs guys.

As usual I saw Peter first. Mind you, he was standing directly in front of me and jumping up and down, waving like a loon.

Anyway, in the carpark we split up with mum, dad, the girls and me in Denise’s car and Peter, Kelly, Drew and Mitchie in the Bugger Truck. This is Peter’s 4 wheel drive monster truck with the word Bugger written across the windscreen. Makes you wonder what sort of advertising this would be amongst Oscar Wilde and his buddies. I reckon Sodomiser would be funnier.

Anyway…off to Denise’s new house, which is lovely. Not that I got the grand tour or anything!!

Mirinda was supposed to be asleep with the phone unplugged but was awake waiting for me to call. Now I miss her!!!!

Sat and drank coffee and beer and ate chicken rolls and nattered for hours. Watched the very long video of Denise and Tracey rehearsing and recording mum’s mother’s day CD. Had some great moments (Tracey: Oh, baby). Then watched Kelly’s video of her formal. Actually she didn’t make it, it was her formal. She looked gorgeous…of course. She told us all who to boo and who to cheer.

We eventually left, taking Mitchie with us to drop off with Peter M. The boys (and Peter) were home when we got there. My God, Chris has grown! He’s turned into a man. He’s only 15 but he’s an Adonis. Michael is turning into a strong, silent type. They are such lovely boys. Chatted to Peter for a bit. He went sky diving last weekend and was still buzzing from it. Met Annie who is staying at the house. Peter met her when he was over in Germany for the conference a couple of years ago.

We finally got to mum & dad’s and we sat at the kitchen table and chatted. Mum made mashed potatoes, green beans and pies for dinner. Actually she didn’t MAKE the pies but reheated them from frozen, though she assured me she normally makes her own!

At 8pm I could no longer keep my eyes open and I crashed immediately.

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