Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Blighty or Bust!
We made it! There were moments when that looked doubtful – Thelma's gargoyle eye, my froot-loopness and then the vicissitudes of powered flight.
We overcame the first two only to come very nearly unstuck with the third. Our Qantas flight was delayed for 2 hours while the engineers performed emergency surgery on the brakes (brakes being relatively important on an aeroplane, of course.)
Here's a pic of me waiting at the airport. Thank goodness there was a G&T handy!
So – my travelling day, which began at 7.20am, when Boomerang Boy drove me to the bus station for the 3 and a bit hour trip to the Sydney airport, suddenly became 2 hours longer.
And so did Thelma's. She and her gargoyle eye hopped into a taxi in Sydney at around 1pm.
The gargoyle eye was looking remarkably good – a little bleary, but that's all. After 24 hours on a plane, the other eye matched it anyway. As did mine.
Powered flight is so unnatural. So is sitting in a tiny seat surrounded by other similarly squashed people who don't bother covering their mouths when they cough. You feel a bit vulnerable. Sleeping pills gave me a grand total of two hours sleep and one hour of doze. No wonder the first 24 hours in England have been a total blur.
A blur which began on Tuesday when, a pair of gargoyles, we staggered from the plane at Heathrow at about 8.30am, and finally finally found a bus to Newmarket that deposited us in the main street at 1.30 pm. For me, a grand total of about 37 hours of combined travelling/waiting around/not sleeping or doing anything actually productive.
Here's Thelma, absolutely delirious with excitement and jet-lag. We made it!
When we arrived, we noticed an interesting phenomenon. The people who are paid to help you often don't. At Heathrow, the only person who was vaguely helpful was one of the West Indian rail workers. There was no useful signage and nobody would admit to knowing anything that might've helped us actually get out of the airport. If it hadn't been for that nice man we would still be wandering around Heathrow two days later.
But – we're here! (as you can see!) Here in the lovely Bedford Lodge Hotel (pictured at top), in lovely lovely Newmarket.