Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Home for the Holidays

Having scored myself a Brisbane trip in December, I set about packing all my Xmas goodies into my suitcase and lugged it to briefing,where I discovered to my delight that there were 6 Aussies on the flight! All looked set for a fantastic 9 day trip, and fantastic it was.

We partied in Singapore, followed by playing drunken soccer with sparkly xmas decorations up and down the street and trying to sample the life size gingerbread house in the foyer. It smells like real gingerbread and according to one of the guys, the 'mortar' between the 'bricks' tastes just like icing!

Onwards to Brisbane, where I caught up with family and surprised my Grandma for her 83d birthday. We celebrated with naughty chocolate cake, which put everyone in a very sugar-inspired festive mood. My little cousin Stella commandeered my camera, so there are some shocking shots of us from a little person's viewpoint. Think numerous chins and nose hair shots!

The first 2 days in Brisbane flew by and had us all scratching our heads in the foyer on the morning of the Auckland shuttle, saying 'where did the last two days go?' Our flight was delayed, which meant the day would be like a normal turnaround flight, no sleeping on ground in Auckland. Much of the flight was turbulent, which meant queasy bellies, limited service, and the inevitable.....VOMIT.

Now, for all those who know me well, I don't do vomit. In such circumstances, I love to delegate, and being senior sometimes has its perks. One of the guys volunteered while I was practically dry reaching in the galley. The culprit, a 10 year old boy going home for the holidays looked rather shell-shocked - kind of like he couldn't believe he'd puked all over himself.

We made it back safe and sound, and I was lucky enough to experience a night time landing into Brisbane in the cockpit. A beautiful experience, but of course my camera was down the back in my bag. The sunset above the clouds was the most stunning I've ever seen, with all sorts of clouds and shooting rays. I was very tired, and started having brain lapses. You know when you jolt awake and realise that you've actually just been asleep? Well, I had a few of those and was rather embarrassed, as I was in the company of two very senior pilots!

Despite being tired, we all frocked up and hit the valley for a night out. I was left feeling rather old, at the ripe old age of 24. I swear the clubs were being invaded by 16 year olds with fake IDs. Perhaps I'm just getting old. That'll be my little brother later in the year - a scary scary thought. We ended the night by walking from the Fringe Bar to the hotel in the city, stopping for greasy kebabs along the way. We finally wandered into the hotel at 5am. All in all, a very good night!

Next night: a bbq for my nearest and dearest friends and family. My aunt and uncle from the States were there, along with the little munchkins from Gran's birthday. We cooked oodles of snags and had fantastic homemade puddings. Needless to say, this trip was similar to Frankfurt - food was the main focus for most of it. It was lovely to catch up with those who could make it and those who managed to remember it.

Of course I stocked up on good Aussie food that's not available in the sandpit. I took loaves of raisin toast, bbq sauce, snack chocolate and of course - allen's snakes. I seemed to be the only one on the trip who could tie them in knots in my mouth - clearly not the talent I thought all possessed. Perhaps that could be the special skill I mention in future briefings......

After a spot of shopping and much puddle jumping in Singapore, it was onwards to Dubai, where my suitcase weighed a whopping 27.3kgs! It was so heavy I very nearly put my back out trying to lift it onto the belt. It was the heaviest of all, and I was terrified of two things: 1. It would bust open at some stage due to the fact that everything was tightly jammed in and I'd had to jump on it to close it or 2. customs in Dubai would demand I open it and then I wouldn't be able to fit it all back in to get home.

Luckily neither happened and I got it home and dumped it on my bedroom floor, where it still is 3 days later. Mum loaded me up with all my Xmas pressies, some of which she allowed me to open while I was at home. I'm the proud owner of more pink poodle things and some super sexy new pjs.

I have some rather incriminating and embarrassing photos from our frequent nights out that I'm thinking of printing for Xmas and delivering to mail boxes...... perfect bribe material.

Merry Christmast to you all. Wish I could have been there on the day, but am deliriously happy I managed to get home in December at all.

Lots of love xxx

1 comment:

Daniel Watson said...

Can you believe how far we've come since our recruitment day at the trusty Holiday Inn at Roma St! Just so you know you have a new blog reader in me - and I expect the same in return :p

Daniel :)