The Miracle of Flight

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – flying is a miracle. Im not talking about your average, everyday sort of god miracle. I mean a true dinks miracle. I mean – how does all that metal, wiring and people manage to stay in the air? Don’t tell me the physics. I have a brilliant book called What Makes It Go Which explains all that sort of science I get all that stuff about how the wing shape means that the top side of the wing has less pressure exerted than bottom and this is what keeps it airborne. I mean – how does the bloody thing stay up there; forget about taking off!

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On the Plane

I love being on the plane. There’s so much to look at.

People with kids are always a source of interest when one is kid-free and flying. There was only one noisy baby on today’s flight, and it* was erractically rather than continuously grumpy. And I had Foundling: and Lamplighter: Monster Blood Tattoo to keep me emotionally separated from the angst that creates.

I sat beside a lovely lady who had been on the move all day. Travelling from East Gippsland to Perth, she** has traversed the nation from east to west today – quite literally. Bet is visiting her sister in a town east of Perth***. She hasn’t seen her sister since January, when she flew to Perth on a whim. As we talked further I discovered more and more about Bet and her family. The reason that she flew to Perth in January was that her daughter’s birthday is in January. Not so unusual, except that her daughter died from secondary breast cancer a year and a week ago. Bet’s son-in-law had gone on holiday with their kids, and she was home alone and feeling blue. So a quick hop over to Perth was in order.

Now, I’ve already mentioned that it was a year and a week since her daughter died, and that was part of the reason for today’s trip to Perth, but there was an ulterior motive – Bet and her sister have booked tickets to see ‘Our Boy’ – Damien Leith! She was as pleased-as-punch to be spending 2 weeks with her sister, and it was obvious that seeing Damien Leith was going to be a highlight.

Boab trees. Bet’s sister, Denise, has recently moved from up north, the Kimberley area. She and her partner, Peter, used to own a boab tuber farm. They grew the tubers for sale to people to grow****, but also to use in cooking. I know! Cooking! Denise made boab chutney, boab cookies (really!), and they sold the tubers to restaurants around the world. Apparently they are similar to water chestnuts. Who’d a thunk it?

Bet was great to sit next to. She was interesting to talk to, but also let me go back to my audiobook when I felt like it.

Thanks, Bet! J

And I found it really interesting to watch four tv’s at once, playing Limitless with Bradley Cooper, while listening to Monster Blood Tattoo. Surreal.

* I was going to write ‘she’ but as I didn’t really know the gender of the baby I thought that might not be fair.

** We didn’t exchange names, so I’m going to call her Bet from now on.

*** I don’t know Perth at all, so I’ve already forgotten the name of the town.

**** Who needs a boab tree in their back yard?!

Travelling

In the past I have been a bad traveller on planes*, turning up in the nick of time, waiting anxiously in the queue to check-in, cursing the idiots who leave it to the last minute to turn up and ask questions.

But you can’t travel like that with kids.

And so I am a converted traveller. I am writing this while sitting in the lounge of Gate 3 in the Qantas Domestic terminal at Tullamarine. I am at the airport THREE HOURS EARLY. This may have something to do with my last two flights being with Tiger**, but just may be to do with an increasing level of maturity. Turning up at the last minute in a total panic is a crappy way to fly. Being suspended in the air in an enormous lump of metal is stressful enough, but if you get on the plane in a total flap, then it multiplies the level of angst to the gazillion.

Hence my super early arrival. I also decided to park my car off-site this time, which added an extra element of anxiety, as I’ve never used that option before. The brain is a wonder of imagination, but sometimes it can be over-active. I can recommend parking away from the airport, and I can recommend booking your car into A1 Airport parking. Very easy, courteous people, fast***, and right to the door of the terminal. And all I have to do when I get back is ring them up and they will come and get me! And two days for $20 through RACV, not $77 at the airport in ‘long term parking’.

I’ll see how I go at the other end when I fly back to Melbourne out of Perth, a city I’ve never been to before. I’ll probably be there even earlier!

* Just the arriving part. Not the actual flying part. I LURV that!

** *shudders. Four horrific, delayed, crowded, delayed, dirty flights. Don’t do it.

*** We were definitely speeding.