PERSONAL: Back in Sydney


As I write this on the plane flight home I am a mix of emotions…

On one hand I am really glad to be home. It is difficult living in someone else’s place for 6 weeks (and trying to work remotely at the same time), especially when you need to get everywhere by car (and I don’t need to remind myself of how that turned out {g}). The weather is cold and you can’t really go outside for a walk for anymore than 15-20 minutes. I’m difficult to live with at the best of times (just ask Michele), so I have nothing but respect and admiration for James and Jackie for putting up with us (well me mainly) all that time. Can you imaging having someone stay in your place for 6 weeks? It’s difficult right?

But on the other hand, I am quite sad. I’m not a great fan of kids, but Jemma just won me over. She is a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, loving little girl and I miss her. Michele is ofcourse pretty sad (distraught is probably too strong a word, but getting close) having bonded with Jemma very closely. James and Jackie are incredible parents – we know a lot of parents (we’re at that stage in life where most of our friends are parents) and James and Jackie are leagues ahead – perhaps better even than Andrew and Sam Coates (but don’t tell him I said that!) but then again I haven’t had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks at Andrew’s house…

And now to the trip back. We seem to be very lucky people. From the moment we arrived at Minneapolis airport to head home we were looked after. We again managed to completely botch up the self-service checkin at Northwest (yes, not giving Aussies a good reputation there), but the guy there was fantastic. I wish I’d taken his name because he was so kind. One of our bags was overweight, but he put it through without a fine and then ensured they went right through to Sydney (we’d managed to organise for them to be offloaded in LAX for some reason). He was patient and sooo helpful. Thanks Northwest.
But then we got the news that we’d been upgraded to Business class (again!) on our Qantas flight from LA to Sydney. We couldn’t believe it. Now, perhaps I should point out that the only times I’ve been upgraded to Business class has been when travelling with Michele. She’s my lucky charm. In fact, without getting to mushy it’d probably be true to say that my life changed from average to lucky when I met her (just over 10 years ago now), but that’s a blog post for another day (probably mid February).
The flight back has been extremely comfortable. We had some minor excitement at LAX when taxiing for takeoff. The plane had to return to the terminal to offload a troublesome passanger. Michele got the goss from one of the flight crew that a woman had become irate and broken her seat in an angry tantrum. We’re wondering if that will be in the news when we get on the ground. Anyway, we were happy for the 2 hour delay, because the excellent Qantas Business class crew took great care of us. They have been so helpful.

A final good item is that we arrive back in Sydney on a morning. I always find this the easiest for overcoming jet lag. So, what will our weekend be like? Good question. It will be nice to go for a walk in the outdoors (not in a mall) and feel the sunshine (I hope) and then get started unpacking and commencing our annual clean out. Michele likes to have a big clean out once a year. We tend to get rid of any clothes that we haven’t worn in the last 12 months (and amazingly there is usually heaps) as well as CDs and books that are old. After being away for 6 weeks you realise that you can live without a lot of stuff.

In closing I wanted to re-state how blessed we think we are. How many people have the opportunities Michele and I have had to visit and stay with family, see other cities and travel in comfort?

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By Craig Bailey