After bemoaning the fact that I was on reserve in my last entry, but maintaining that I'd have a GREAT month, I'm more than pleased to confirm that I was right. Which I knew I would be all along.
After a shitty local flight, a London, a Newcastle and a few days off, I was BRISBANE bound!!!
This Brisbane trip did not come easily. After spotting a vacancy on the crew list a full two weeks before the flight, I set about trying to land myself in that vacancy. Not as easy as it sounds. After many many calls to crew scheduling, mostly getting their answering machine, my grand plan was shot down in flames every time someone actually picked up. Not surprising really. I tried to sound not too interested, I tried sounding VERY interested and I tried to sound like I was doing them a favour by volunteering to go on a 9 day flight to the bottom of the world at CHRISTMAS.
They still weren't having a bar of me.
In the end, my persistent pestering paid off. I won that spot and was so excited that I estimate I only got 2 hours sleep the night before. I'd lugged all my presents home on my previous trip but still managed to pack so much into that suitcase I could hardly pull it behind me on its pitiful handle.
This was not good, as I'd put my back out (or pinched a nerve or done serious damage to my spinal cord) that morning while attempting to shimmy into my ridiculous way-too-tight-but-suggested-for-flight-attendants-so-we-don't-get-ugly-veins-on-our-legs stockings in my dimly lit bedroom at 5am. Once the struggle was over I packed all my fruit and yoghurt from the fridge into my cabin bag and dragged my suitcase to the lifts, downstairs and onto the bus. I realised on the journey downstairs that each time I took a deep breath in or put my weight on my left foot that I'd done serious damage to my back. It also reaffirmed my hatred for stockings - especially BEIGE ones.
We had 7 Aussies on the flight, which made for a lovely atmosphere. On our first day in Singapore, Dean took me wake boarding at a cable ski park - Ski 360. Dean's been on a few of my trips before, namely my birthday Sydney trip and also the Brissie last year where we nibbled on the gingerbread house at 3am. We set off at midday and while I had NO experience in wake boarding or any other water sport you could name besides swimming, I was unaware that Dean was something of a pro - he's been doing it for 10 years! We got sorted with equipment - me with a knee board and Dean with a wake board - and after a short safety demonstration we were ready to go. He made me go first and afterwards I realised why. He had the biggest belly laugh when I got wrenched into the water toppled right off my knee board.
Determined not to fall off quite so soon the next time, I managed to cling on to the cable until about halfway and then fell off when I couldn't make the turn. After an hour and managing to to a full trip around the ski park, I was worried my arms were going to fall off. We ate some chips, watched the others fall into the water and made our way back to the hotel. It occurred to me that I'd forgotten to apply sunscreen and I realised I'd be radiating heat by the time we got on the plane that night. I wasn't wrong. Within a few days my forehead was peeling beautifully.
Arriving bright and early on Christmas Eve morning, Jon whisked me to his place where I stayed in hiding until the following morning. After present swapping with Jon's family, I called Mum to find out where she was. I told her a MEGA lie - that I was in Frankfurt on a trip. I'd done the groundwork a few days before by telling her I'd be on standby on Christmas Eve, so she wasn't surprised when I told her where I was. She told me she was heading off to her parents place for lunch. The plan was to show up on Gran's doorstep and surprise everyone.
No surprises there, everyone was gobsmacked! I knocked on the door and could see Gran sitting in her chair at the end of the hall. She couldn't believe it was me, then I could hear Dad saying my name and then he and Mum appeared and all Mum could get out was "you're not in Frankfurt are you???" It was great to surprise them, but unfortunately my brother had to work, so I wouldn't see him until later that night.
Marita & Tony bought the kids over, so it was her family, my family, Jon, Gran and Pop and Mum's younger brother Danny all celebrating Christmas lunch together. It was lovely to see everyone and find out what the kids have been up to lately. The highlight of the day had to be Mum's brandy sauce. Unearthed from the back of the pantry after winning it in Secret Santa at work, Mum thought it would go nicely with the Christmas pudding. She would have been right if it wasn't expired. By eight years!!!!!
Now Mum's done some vague and hilarious things in the past, this just takes the cake. I'm convinced that she CAN'T have had that sauce in the pantry for 8 years and that whoever gave it as a gift did so after it expired. I think 4 years is more accurate. Good on you Mum! Needless to say, it didn't taste very nice......
A few days later Jon and I went to Michelle's place for a gorgeous brekky and were joined by Madonna, Luke, Anton and Jocelyn. Lots of laughs and a few champagne bottles later we were all ready for a good snooze! Back to the hotel for a beautiful buffet dinner with Mum, Dad and Patrick and more wine and drinks. The hotel does a gorgeous buffet, with lots of prawns, sushi, roast turkey, curries and very YUMMY desserts.
The end of the trip came too quickly and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Jon. He's coming back to Dubai on the 10th for a 9 day visit and I've got all sorts of things planned for him. He turns 25 on the 20th and we're certainly going to celebrate in style!