Let’s start with the fact that I’m a terrible flyer. Don’t get me wrong – I know there’s nothing Mother Nature can throw at a plane that’ll cause it to tumble to earth and that even severe turbulence is never dangerous. I’m also pretty clued up on the mechanics of how the whole thing works. Beyond this, I’m also aware that the captain and co-pilot want to get home for dinner so unlikely to be reckless. I think it all boils down to being a control freak, and because I’m not in control where I sit wedged in between B and Monkey in a massive steal tube I bloody hate it. Therefore, in order to make it bearable I want everything to go EXACTLY to plan in terms of what I actually can control.
Usually I’m very lucky in most aspects of life and despite not being a fan of it, flying is one – things always go to plan, I get the seat I want, there is rarely a bumpy flight and I hardly ever get delayed. This time, however, it would seem higher powers conspired against me but perhaps that’s only fair given my usual luck. I’d had the week from hell as it was so certainly didn’t need any hick-ups with our trip to New Zealand but things started to go wrong from the moment I went to check us in 24 hours on the dot before our flight.
I don’t like sitting right at the back of the plane. Again, I’m not stupid, I know there is no “safer” place to sit should things against all odds go wrong, but I don’t like it there. Close to the loos and where people queue for them. Bad smell and, well, PEOPLE – two things I don’t like in too close proximity. I like it best if I can sit in line with the wings. No real reason why, I just do. When you’re facing a total of 24 hours of flying, these things MATTER. To me, at least. You can see where this is going, no? Oh yes, went in online and the five of us are in the urine scent section as far back as you can get, not only on the flight from London to Singapore but on the following flight from Singapore to Auckland too. Because of aforementioned hellish week I had no strength left in my fragile mind so promptly burst into tears. I have got weepy this past week at the smallest thing, but this seating arrangement would stress me out slightly even if I weren’t having a bit of a shit time.
It wasn’t possible to change the seats either. Both flights full so the only option would have been to move four of us further up in to middle seats scattered around the cabin and leave one at the fart end. So this annoyed me but hey, sod it – we’re off to New Zealand, we have all three boys with us and it’ll be amazing. Plus my GP prescribed me some stuff that I’d asked for in order to knock me out the first flight and then hopefully stay awake for the second in order to quickly get into the right time zone. Same plan for the way back – drug induced sleep on the flight matching the destination’s night time. Not only do these bad boys get you drowsy and sleepy, they’re also good for anxiety, so I figured I’d care less about the stinky end of the plane once I’d popped the prescribed amount. S’all good.
We turned up at a very quiet Terminal 2 at Heathrow with no long queues in sight and I immediately felt pleased and very smug – I’m always so lucky, remember? – this would be a breeze! We’d just sail through, leisurely have some breakfast, get some books for the flight and once boarded I’d pop a pill that within half an hour would have me caring less about the loos and all annoying fellow travellers. Hunky dory!
So at Singapore there’d be one hour and five minutes between us arriving and then getting on the Auckland bound plane. This always did strike me as about as comfortable as my favourite pair of skinny jeans (that I’ve completely given up on – it’s diet or buy a new pair, and, what can I say, I like eating), it just seemed way too tight, not least because not only would the five of us need to get off the plane and on the next one within that short space of time but they’d need to get our bags off the huge A380 and on to the Air New Zealand plane. So I packed things half and half in our suitcases as I was pretty sure at least one would arrive days after us in NZ. So still all good.
Checked the flight on the board to work out which check-in area to go to and sure enough lil’ ol’ 10:55 for Singapore was right there and the world was as it should be. Got our boarding passes and bag tags at the self help machines and proceeded to bag drop.
“I need to make you aware that this flight is delayed to 13.40,” the chick at the counter told us, fluttering thick fake eye lashes and sort of pursing her bright red lips in what almost seemed like an attempt at a smile but was more of a grimace. I suspect the amount of botox she appeared to have had made natural expressions a bit of a challenge.
Well. Here we are now. Our original flight was meant to depart Singapore at 7.55am local time. This we’d miss by two hours. So after more ado than a Shakespeare play we finally got booked on to the next one, departing Singapore at 8pm. And do you know what, this is lovely! As good as it would have been in a way to do all the flying in one hit, this is a lovely break. I’m sitting in the day room we were given at the half decent Grand Mercure, we’re on the top floor and I’m looking out at the busy harbour (although they could really do a better job of cleaning the windows), I’ve had a lovely shower so feel all fresh again after a long flight and blogging because I’m trying desperately to stay awake – because we’ll now arrive at midday in New Zealand I will now instead be taking drugs on the flight to Auckland so I’m fighting the urge to just snuggle up to B who is asleep next to me.
Boy #1 popped into our room a little while ago to advise he’d found a shopping centre across the floor so I may pop in there – I am in trackie bottoms, hoodie and trainers as we were meant to arrive in NZ at midnight but now instead will arrive at midday. I need a t-shirt. Something lighter. Boys #2 and #3 are hanging out in the other room, think all three are trying to stay awake too. Boy #3 is Monkey, and he slept like a log the past four or five hours on the flight here but the rest of us only got perhaps two hours at the most, just dozing here and there.
OK, enough of this dull I-have-to-stay-awake blogging now. Going to nip downstairs and have a cigarette, then see if I might check out that shopping centre. It’s 3pm and we’re getting in the taxi back to the airport at 6pm. I don’t think I’ll manage to stay awake if I don’t move around.