Theme Thursday yet again and this time it has come a week to soon for us - "Vacation" as we're just about to embark on one!
Well I haven't had one for a while -Vacation folks - keep your minds out of the gutter!
In fact, the last proper vacation was probably a week up the north coast with Thommo and the Merry Widow in the Summer of 2007 but even that was more like a long weekend. The biggest was in 1995 when Clare and I did Disneyland via, England, Jersey, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany . . . I know, we went the long way round.
But this weekend, Clare and I are heading of to . . wait for it . . .don't get too excited . . . hold your breath . . . . MELBOURNE!
Yay, we've purchased our el cheapo tickets and are spending a couple of grand of the redundancy cash and a shit load of Frequent Flyer points to go to Melbourne. Australia's second capital, bastion of finance, the place where Batman doesn't wear a cape, sanctuary for the shopaholic and the city of trams.
Actually, it's not the city that attracts although it's a pretty amazing one, but my beautifully uncommunicative friend Kahlerisms and his much more communicative girlfriend Brethred as well as my Niece who manages a funky little bar down there called Madam Brussels and TheTeacher who now lives there and hopefully a quick meet up with a couple of bloggers (not dobbing until it happens but I'll be blogging if it does).
My only problem . . I am terrified of flying. Well 'terrified' is probably a little too strong a word but I'm very uncomfortable flying. I know it's a means to an end and as an avid and fond traveller, in a country this size, it's the only way to cover long distances. Oddly on long hauls, the more I fly, the less I become afraid but short hauls (Melbourne is only an hour and a bit), you never get quite high enough to escape the weather. It's one of those flights where they often stop serving coffee or drinks due to turbulence and I remain steadfastly battoned into my seat and white knuckled whilst grasping the edge of the seat. If you're unfortunate enough to be sitting next to me, I may grab your forearm and squeeze so tight that your fingers go blue.
I'm the last on and the first off. I have at least three Gin and Tonics (and I never usually drink spirits) before I embark no matter what the time. The last time I went to Melbourne, I happily drank champagne and sat at the wrong departure lounge until I was 'called' and had to run about 15 gates to reach the flight . .
Once on board, I twiddle knobs like a child with a Fisher Price play centre. I check the life jacket under the seat. I never read the safety instructions but I always get a seat close to the doors. I fiddle with the free brochures and magazine in the pouch on the seat in front. Make sure all the recliner buttons work and annoy those sitting behind me.
When it's time to take off, I say a prayer, which is very peculiar because I don't believe in God but whoever's helping to get that damn thing off the ground before it sploshes unceremoniously into Botany Bay had better do it quick.
Once up, I'm fine. It's like relinquishing all control because I know I have none. Then as my ears pop for the descent, I regain my ghostly palour and don't breathe out until the skid at the end and the slow crawl into the airport.
Fortunately, even though Melbourne is not far away, it's a commute for many business people so the planes that fly there are a reasonable size. Anything smaller than an Airbus and I really get the heeby jeebies.
Despite the fear, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this little vacation . . .so if you see two lost Sydneysiders (you'll know us because we're the only people wearing 'colour' on a business day) with wheely cases looking a little lost around Spencer Street Station, say G'day and point us towards the shops!
Right, there's only one way to get there and that is UP!
Back next week. Have a fantabulous weekend everyone!