Leaving OZ

Up at 6 to a quiet house and rang Mirinda. Oddly the $20 I had left on the phone account only lasted 3 minutes! The other $30 lasted a good 5 hours. Must be the difference between London and East Worldham. The paperwork never actually arrived so can’t refer to that. Just a thought, could be weekends are peak times so the rate is really bad. After a very quick chat I sat outside with mum and dad, chatting. It was a tad cooler sitting under the palm trees…ok, ok, carport then! It actually rained a little bit and I welcomed the wet arm I ended up with even though mum fussed and said I’d get pneumonia. Yeah right. I was dry 30 seconds after it stopped.

The Frangletons gradually rose from the dead and we broke our fast just like a family – scattered through the house. I watched Sponge Bob with Drew (what an insane cartoon – apart from the fact that a sponge that walks and talks is weird, this one can’t tie its shoelaces and was ashamed to tell anyone!) who was barely awake and only grunted at the animated antics.

Denise told us (Drew and me) we were idiots because we used the wrong sheets. I tried to say neither of us actually used ANY sheets as it was too hot but she really wanted to call us idiots so I let it rest. We left at 10 and, after an excellent run arrived at Brisbane airport nice and early. Check-in was pretty quick then we sat down for a coffee at the café bar – it’s a bar AND a café.

My sending off party

At about 12 I made them all leave. I walked them back to the cars and hugs all round. Denise and mum started getting all teary, nearly making ME blub but I ordered them away and quickly returned to the terminal. I am so glad I came. Even for a week, it’s been sooooooo good to see everyone.

I then queued to get OUT of the country. I had to fill in a departure card which is annoying. I was in the queue for half an hour so quite small by the usual standards of this trip.

Once in the departure lounge I bought some duty free (Amaretto for me, fags for Mr B) then sat and relaxed with a coffee and a vanilla slice which I haven’t had for a very long time. I boarded and sat with a couple next to me. The centre section is empty. When the steward announced that the doors were closed I moved into the empty section. So a lovely comfortable flight to Singapore. Mind you, the plane is a bit ancient – no individual TV screens, for a start! No extra legroom, either but having 4 seats to myself is pretty damn good!

First up on the tv screen was a frightening interview with Tony Blair. He was in Washington for final talks with Bush. The news report showed northern Iraq where it looked like the first strikes will be focussed. Local concern is for the Kurds. Oil there is cheaper than water and there is 10% of the world’s oil in shallow reserves. Life there is carrying on happy and normal. All looking and sounding a wee bit scary. Especially when one is flying around the skies.

Next up was a report on the total confusion wrought in England by the smidge of snow that fell. The M11 is packed by trapped motorists, Stansted Airport has closed, 225 flights have been cancelled from Heathrow and more snow is forecast. Hope I can get home. Odd sort of news items to show your passengers. Actually I reckon showing ANY news is kind of odd.

Some of the cabin crew were on the Cairns – Brisbane leg of my trip over. Most notably, the old guy! Lamb casserole for dinner and more Kath and Kim. This time an episode I hadn’t seen. Very funny.

It’s funny the number of women who travel on planes wearing very tight trousers. Ok, I realise it’s anatomically different for guys but still, I would have thought loose fitting and, preferably, a skirt would be the more comfortable option.

As we flew over Uluru everyone whooped and tried to look out the left hand side of the aircraft, causing the plane to bank unexpectedly. Ok, slight exaggeration but it was pretty amazing as the sky was completely clear and the desert looked incredible. Didn’t see the old rock myself, just lots of desert and a few isolated hills.

The first film was Trapped with Kevin Bacon in a suitably evil role, Charlize Theason suitably nothing, Stuart Townsend suitably desperate and Courtney Love suitably left of centre. Nice climax, especially the plane landing on the highway and an odd twist as to why they kidnapped in the first place but, honestly, pretty mediocre. Also, it was a modified version and the cuts were pretty obvious.

There was a bit of turbulence as we left land behind and started crossing the ocean. Actually the captain announced that there “will be turbulence in 10 minutes“. Not sure if this was a weather report or an order.

Second film was The Banger Sisters. Goldie Hawn was Goldie Hawn in every other film you’ve EVER seen her in but Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush managed to pull the entire movie out of the doldrums with some excellent characterisations. Geoffrey Rush particularly good with comedy. Apart from that, a disappointment, as the film was REALLY obvious and, at times, annoying.

One of the stewardesses is NOT having a good trip. Her smile keeps slipping. Might have something to do with the weird couple in front of me who summon her every 10 minutes for more booze. There’s an old woman not far away from me who has a cough that would kill any lesser mortal. It only happens every now and then but when it does, I’m surprised the windows remain intact. She’s going to Singapore so at least I won’t have her all the way to London. Only an hour to go on another nice comfortable flight. I have been soooooooo lucky. Oops, better stop counting them fluffy little chookies.

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