There’s no better way to realise how slow 24 hours really is than be stuck in a middle seat on a flight from Sydney to Heathrow. BUT! I have arrived in one piece and all is well.
My beautiful Carmel dropped me off at Sydney airport after leaving work just after lunch and I managed to survive the crowds through check in and immigration. I visited the shops and wasted $20 on a neck pillow that proved to be useless for the entire trip. I managed to keep my cool and not get excited before getting on the plane. I spoke to Dan and Natty while I waited for the plane to start boarding and ran out of time before I could call mum and Sandra and Diana. Singapore is a great airline! Warm face cloths were the best part, along with the movies and TV shows on demand. I am hanging out to watch more of 30 Rock.
My ears didn’t cause too many dramas (Thank you, Dr Damato) apart from the usual yawning-til-your-ears-pop business, but after Singapore my ears were completely adjusted and on their best behaviour. Singapore airport is clean and flowery in what I saw in the 20 minutes I had before getting back on my plane.
I ended up in middle seats for both legs of the journey, but at least Singapore-London got me a seat next to the seat next to the window. Made for the landing at Heathrow enjoyable until the fog appeared and then I couldn’t see diddly-squat, even after we’d landed. We landed just before 5.00am and it was -1 outside.
I had a grand total of 5 girls surprise me at the airport, complete with glittery signs and enough embarrassment so that Heathrow is sure to remember us.
After a long-awaited breakfast in the arrivals lounge, Genna drove me back to her place in Radlett via a pond just near he work that has mostly frozen over and the resident duckies slip and slide all over the ice – reminded me of the penguins in Mary Poppins.
When we got home we had our first nap of the day (Genna is on her second as I type). I met Genna’s 2 sisters, Sophie and Claudia and very quickly picked up on the pace of the Roland household – lots of arguing. It really is very entertaining.
We eventually made it out of the house and went to St Alban’s for lunch at the Waffle House and I can safely say they were the best waffles ever tasted. We had savoury first, then sweet and they were awesome. I was given a lesson in British currency and learned that Claudia is unable to eat without spilling food on herself.
We made a quick stop to St Alban’s Cathedral, which apparently has a world-famous stained-glass window that I’ve never heard of, but the whole Cathedral was incredible. It’s the longest Cathedral in the UK and I think maybe even Europe. I’ve uploaded a bunch of pics here on flickr, including this one:
Tomorrow Genna and I are heading to London where we’ll catch a big red open-topped bus (how lovely and warm in the middle of winter) and get a start on the touristey business. Hoping to catch up with my beloved EmmaV while I’m there too. Genna’s house is only a 30 minute train from London.
It’s just gone 5pm and it’s been pitch black outside for an hour.
OH! And my flight home may be delayed because the major UK airports are looking at a 48-hour strike starting the day I’m due to fly home – I’ve told the girls that I’m impressed by the lengths they’re going to to keep me here!