My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

To infinity and beyond – flight to Sydney

on January 3, 2014

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The calm after the storm

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… Random woman? Wearing pyjamas I crept downstairs after hearing voices, only to find a strange lady sitting in the dining room.

Yep – the power had been off for almost 12 hours so my dad had gone down to the town for a wander and come back with some free baps (the local bakery just gave up and offered them out) and an elderly lady.

Now, my dad isn’t one for chatting to strangers, but Barbie (oh yes) had been waiting for a non-existent bus in the cold and my dad had invited her back for a cup of tea. After sharing her life story (one son, no husband), she took some candles and my dad drove her to the community centre and then home.

Meanwhile with no phone signal or wifi I was forced to ‘call on my friend’ by turning up at his house unannounced, where I was met with a candlelit house. Of course the Christmas lights weren’t working which was sad, but the town and houses all looked far more festive without electricity.

But before I could enjoy this old-fashioned Christmas I had to deal with more pressing matters – packing without electricity and hoping that my plane was flying…

Off to a land down under

I made it onto the plane with few hitches (oh apart from a slight problem with my visa… The hyphen in my surname had been missed off, so I didn’t exist) and found myself sitting next to a rather attractive young PhD student (life’s ambition: to take his hand built pizza oven around Australia). There were also a few Christmas jumpers, although none to rival my penguin.

Several films later (What Maisie Knew is a fantastic film – watch it), we arrived in Dubai where we were greeted with cries of ‘Happy Christmas’ which is very bizarre when you have no idea what time it is, let alone aware of the day (GMT 03:15).

A quick freshen up and time for a smoothie. Of course we then heard the final call for our plane so had to run… Only to be told that this was the wrong flight – we were trying to board the cancelled flight from December 23rd, so ended up having to run for ours after all! Back to our seats for ‘Christmas dinner’ aka roast chicken and a coffee brownie, plus a festive chocolate. Woo. Then lots of heavily disturbed sleep, The Great Gatsby (credit to Baz Luhrman for making a full book a pretty good film) and a lot of Big Bang Theory.

And then we landed. It was raining.

Sadly, I got separated from handsome student at the carousel with only a flutter of a smile and a wave. But if I’m ever in Newcastle…

Struggling with suitcase, rucksack, bag and satchel I navigated the trains to Kings Cross and walked to the hostel, only to be told I couldn’t check in for another 4 hours. Luckily she took pity on me and let me into the room (dodgy carpet stains included) where I napped for a couple of hours until Miss H rocked up from New Zealand.

Ride a cock horse

No time for slacking – it was off to the races via a very welcome lemon chicken sandwich. The sun had finally come out to play and Royal Randwick racecourse welcomed us with open arms – free entry for international passport holders. Mingling with the Australian equivalent of Essex girls and the hardcore gamblers, we scrutinised the listings for the worthwhile horses, betting the large sum of $1-4 each time.

Some of my winners included:

  • Street Savvy
  • I’m impulsive
  • Elusive Diva
  • Can’t think why those horses stuck out for me… They made me a profit anyway. Nothing like betting ‘each way’ when your horse wins and you get a nice little return… Why anyone would ever bet ‘to win’ is beyond me!

    Off to the supermarket, dinner and bed… With tan lines already visible. Excellent.

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    One response to “To infinity and beyond – flight to Sydney

    1. Have fun in Australia!

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