Super thrilled about heading off so I was ready very early. Of course the problem with being ready very early is that you are keen to get away.
So I was ready. Sitting about the house trying to be calm & patient when all I wanted was for Paul, Rob & Miss Kate to come & take me to the airport.
It was as hot as buggery outside of course & I was wearing very warm clothes because I was off to the chilly Northern hemisphere where chilliness & cider abounds.
Finally they arrived & finally we were all off - Cosby’s x 3, Stark x 1, my backpack Francois & Patrick my new green suitcase - to Brisbane International airport.
My darling Cosby’s dropped me at the front entrance. Because I had checked in online I just needed to leave Patrick with the Singapore airlines lady, assure her that I had no sharp objects apart from Ken Simpson’s Aussie flag pole & that I would be willing to assist in an emergency situation - all done & then off to get some lunch (sushi) & then down to immigration.
Immigration had changed a tad from my last adventure. One must stand in a cone of silence & assume a ‘hands up & come out quietly’ position. It was a bit of an odd thing really. After that one is wanded all over one’s person & then one shoves one’s passport into a shove your passport in this machine thing & one is away....
There was a fair bit more of waiting about. I won’t bore you with the details but I did some more waiting. While I waited I whistled & did a spot of humming &, of course, chatted to myself cos that is what I do.
Finally we could board our plane - hurrah went I! We stood in a queue & got on the plane like good children going on an excursion.
I had an exit row seat which I had paid a little extra for because anyone putting their seat back in front of me automatically earns a spot on my list. So I thought the exit row option was a good idea for everyone concerned. I also got to sit next to an absolutely delightful lady named Jane. What a super lovely person! We chatted away like old friends & the time went along nicely.
After about 7 hours we arrived at Changi airport & had a very very long walk to our connecting gate for the next leg of the trip. I was so tired & my head was deciding it would like to have a nasty headache please - so it did. God bless Jane, she gave me her water from the plane so I could take some headache tablets & we waited together to board the plane. I hoped that the person I sat next to on the next leg of the trip would as nice but I did not think that would be possible. So when we boarded we wished each other well & went to our assigned seats - exit row again because of the list thing & I settled in for the 14 hour trip to Heathrow.
I so wish I could say this is a wonderful flight but it is not. Singapore airlines are fantastic. The cabin crew was excellent but I was so over being cooped up in a metal box. My carry on bags were in a locker that was far too high for me to reach so I could not get my journal out, or my puzzle book, or more headache tablets, or even more tragically, my toothbrush! My teeth went unbrushed for what seemed like months. Unbrushed & uncared for they sat in my mouth sobbing quietly away & I admit I worried about them & chewed lots of gum hoping that might make them a bit happier but I really don’t think it did...
We arrived at Heathrow a little bit ahead of schedule, collected our bags said a cheery goodbye to lovely Jane & then set off for the National Express bus to take me to Victoria. Even though I was early & even though I could not get my ticket barcode thing to work the lovely bus driver let me get on the bus. I liked that bus driver, he was a great chap & deserves to win the lotto or something like that I think.
Anyway got to Victoria Coach Station & tried to get a cab to my hotel. I say tried because the cab driver (and believe me that I have called him quite a few other names - some of them quite inventive) would not take me because the trip was not long enough. If my eyes had lasers in them he would have been disintegrated in an instant. But alas this is not a super power I possess just yet so I took Patrick, Francois & a long of simmering anger & set off to find my hotel. As you can probably imagine I was one unhappy Lanny. One unhappy & plotting the death of that taxi person, Lanny.
Finally I found The Sheriff Hotel but because it was so very early I was not able to check in yet. They also do not have a foyer that one can sit about to plot the death of any cab drivers in. But I could leave my bags & go off to a cafe or something.
Man I was tired. Tired and super grumpy I trudged along Warwick Way looking for an early opening pub but no - not a single pub was open. It felt like I was in a third world country. Finally I found a cafe where I sat down in the warm & had some breakfast &, may all the angels be praised, some tea.
I sat there for a long while because I didn’t want to go back out in the cold to wander about again. Even had more tea to delay the inevitable but eventually I left & headed back toward the Sheriff. It was now raining icy rain so I dove into a church alcove & shivered. I felt like a homeless person because I was tired, cold,wet & extremely dramatic.
Finally after another cup of tea in another cafe I went back to the hotel & threw myself on their mercy so they let me lurk about in their breakfast room until my room was ready.
When I got to my room I went for a shower, brushed my poor neglected teeth & went to sleep for 9 hours.
Tomorrow I will venture out I thought as I started snoring away...