I inherited a property last year from a relative who told me that 'I must sell it and go and see Kathryn in Australia whenever you want'. I shall be forever grateful to my aunt for her generosity and this weekend just gone, I did what I was told and flew to Australia. And this time I went Business Class. On my last visit, three years ago, I had a multi delayed flight and was in economy where my height, long legs and bad back made the journey purgatory and reduced me to tears of relief when I landed at Gatwick, not my normal reaction to airports......
The days are long gone when I found flying exciting and glamorous along with the realisation that you are just somebody to extract as much money from as possible, ignore as much as possible and made to run the gauntlet of shops and eateries at airports to spend your cash. I used to dress up to fly for heaven's sake!
I flew with Singapore Airlines after a lot of online research and recommendations from other flyers who said their service was great and I think I made the right choice. I started the journey with a car to take me to the airport and Len, the owner, was a really interesting guy. Worked in insurance in the City for years until he finally realised the stress was going to kill him and took early retirement. Had always loved driving and did not want to sit around all day doing nothing so started up his car hire firm. He has the right number of drivers, enough work, good contracts and loves it. We chatted all the way to the hotel and he will be picking me up when I return. Stayed overnight at one of these chain hotel, immaculately clean, excellent bedroom, all perfect but no soul at all. But hey if you are flying out the next day you do not need anything else, though a decent meal might help. I made it clear to the staff when I checked out that while I did not expect fine dining or haute cuisine inedible fish and chips with mushy peas out of a tin and tartare sauce you had to take a knife and fork to were not acceptable.
So off to Terminal 2 and when I approached Business Class check in a minion appeared to pull my suitcase and put it on the weighing bit, touched his cap, nod and a smile which I returned so delighted was I. Check in smooth, quiet no hassle, chat with the check in staff then through security and off to find the Singapore lounge which I discovered was about fifteen minutes walk away. My arthritic left knee was already giving me gip so I got Special Assistance and a little buggy drove me a bewildering length through ups and downs and miles of corridors to the lounge and I was most grateful for it. Then a warm welcome at the lounge a good hot breakfast, coffee, toast, papers and relax.
Journey was tedious. It is, flying, just tedious. But being in a comfortable seat and being able to stretch your legs and read in comfort and not be cramped and unhappy makes such a difference. It made me realise that I shall never fly economy again on long haul. Food wonderful, my tray was pulled out, a crisp linen tablecloth put on same, china and decent cutlery and each individual course, chosen by me, arrived beautifully served and simply delicious. Round off dessert followed by a cheese trolley and coffee. Wonderful. Then curl up for a nap with a blanket placed tenderly over you, I swear one lovely lady tucked me in, and wake up feeling humanoid.
Oh and films, caught up on Laa Laa Land, delightful and Dr Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch doing his moody Sherlock thingy in a ludicrously silly film. Then managed to watch half of the last series of House of Cards which I will finish off on the journey home.
So I am here and it feels odd and I am slightly out of kilter today and am currently sitting in bed writing this. I had timed my sleep so that I would be ready for bed last night and would be ok but it did not work and I woke up at 4 am so cup of tea and check out emails and then eventually went back to sleep and it is now noon and I am just lolling. Bit windy out but sunny and delightfully mild. Thank goodness those awful temperatures of a week or so ago are gone.Kathryn was very worried about that as she said it was awful and so difficult to cope with. But around 75-80F will do me nicely.
Well end of first post. Wonderful to be with Kathryn and a lot of chat and gossip to catch up on. Day of rest and regroup today and tomorrow will catch bus into town and say hello to the Opera House again.