Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dubai by Night (caution - contains graphic description of bodily functions)
Dubai to Paris

One in the morning came quickly enough, and thankfully when we took a roll call, both of us were on our feet albeit one a little less steady than usual.   

We snatched a glimpse of Dubai by night, courtesy of our thirtieth floor vantage point and with great thanks uneventfully make our way from hotel to departure lounge, where by about three in the morning or ten minutes before boarding our flight, things deviated slightly from ideal.

I have no idea why it is in this last minute timeframe that nature often seems fit to call, but call it did and while one of us sat nervously guarding our belongings, the other disappeared to allow the particular body parts which to date had played no role in his lack of wellness to wreak their own particular havoc.   This might have been fine had the havoc being wrought not been quite so time consuming and unstoppable, as back at the ranch, anxiety levels while the semi final boarding calls were being announced began to reach something of a peak.   

Fearing the worst, a search party was despatched with kindly staff scattering in all directions to scour the enormous cavern that is the Emirates lounge. At exactly the same time however, her sinuses, which had themselves been taking a battering of late, exploded.   

Husband lost, nose bleeding at a thousand litres per second, search party out, the situation seemed truly hopeless for a time but of course there was a happy reunion and a successful and quite orderly boarding in the end.   Another comfortable and sleep filled flight ensued with both bodies recovering remarkably before our arrival in Paris, where finally we found our feet, feeling fit and at one with our surroundings, if a little weak after the ordeal of the past few days.   

An hour or so later, waiting in the queue at the station, Paris’ Gare du l’Est, to buy our tickets to LunĂ©ville, it happened.  

“What have you two been up to?” came the distinctly British voice from just ahead of us.    Hmmm, ten minutes in France and we’d bumped into old friends.

We are home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Day in Dubai

During forty years of travel we have carried a small but cleverly devised package of first-aid medicines and have never had occasion to make use of them.   For reasons which are not quite explicable on this occasion we did not.

The day began as all do, at midnight, but the manner in which it announced itself was neither normal, welcome nor expected.   Had we been sleeping in the street, hot sweats may have been the norm, but in the twenty-two degrees of our room they are a sure sign that something is about to be amiss, and thus it was that not long afterwards while one of us slept blissfully on, the other was not particularly blissfully disposing of all that he had consumed in previous day or so. It transpired that whatever venom his system was ridding itself of was also simultaneously wreaking havoc with two of his daughters half a planet away.

By early morning when things had not at all improved, an executive meeting (in the absence of one of the committee who was giving a passable impersonation of someone with early onset rigor mortis) resolved that she would breakfast alone, and that we perhaps might cancel any plans we had to move for that day.  Given that one of us was entirely incapable of any movement that didn’t involve a slight shake of the head accompanied by a pitiful barely audible moan, this was on reflection, a wondrous decision.

At some time in the late afternoon an ever so slight amount of coherence returned, enough to take one photograph without lifting his head, capturing perfectly his view of Dubai with his guardian angel in her window lounge.

Hoping against hope that this would be one of those nasty twenty-four hour bugs, and strengthened by the first sustenance that remained where it was intended; a glass of lemonade for dinner, we set the alarm for one in the morning, crossing our fingers that enough strength would return to actually walk to the car, and drifted back into a deep sleep, thankful that while our Dubai plans were in apparent tatters, without our stopover this could all have unfolded on an aeroplane or in transit somewhere, the logistics of which do not bear thinking about.

Somehow things always work out for the best when one is on the road.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

So this is Dubai
Brisbane to Dubai

We were a bit disappointed really if the truth be told.  After burning all those points to settle ourselves in the front of the plane to find after a gloriously comfortable and sleep-filled journey that when we arrived in Dubai the fug to which we have become so accustomed to experiencing on arrival descended upon us with a vengeance.

We wondered if it was the forty degree temperature difference between departure and arrival, or the fourteen hour flight, or the one thirty am start or perhaps even the dusty haze that enveloped us, but logic said that the few milliseconds we had spent between air conditioned car and air conditioned building should not have mattered. 

We had planned of course to hit Dubai with both feet running - a quick trip up the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building this evening perhaps after a sprint around one of the famous shopping malls, and then perhaps a sunset desert tour returning only for a brief respite before heading out at a thousand miles per hour tomorrow.   We are after all playing a role to which we are not accustomed.  

We are unashamedly intent on being tourists!

Instead, we took a photograph from our thirtieth floor eyrie, slept soundly for the few hours of afternoon we had left before dinner, visited the roof top pool before deciding that we didn’t have the energy, and with no regrets at all after a light meal, retired once more to a deep sleep to ensure we had maximum energy for the morrow, completely unaware of what fate had in store.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Farewell Dearest RugRats!
Daisy Hill

We are constantly grateful for the generosity of our friends, and it should have been unsurprising that Mike and Jackie would concoct some sort of flimsy excuse to drive to Brisbane this morning, suggesting that there may be just enough room in their car for the pair of us and a few bags.  We accepted without hesitation of course, and with an ever growing stock of gratitude, looked forward to shaving a few hours off what would have been our train commute.

With everything packed, we took one of those big gulps one takes as one locks one’s front door for a time and drove off with not a hint of apprehension.   Fortunately we had gone but a few blocks when the mental list being checked off got to “sports coat”, and Mike ever so patiently allowed us to return for said object, or more correctly returned us to collect it.

Our fortuitous transport arrangement meant that we had just enough time to gather the Rugrats for a fleeting final cuddle, (and slobber) before setting the alarm for one (that’s right, one!) and attempting to catch in four hours, enough sleep to get us through the days that are to come.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The final packup.

Yes well, there is some sort of law of physics or time and space or something that holds that the amount of work that needs to be done when packing to go on a long journey increases inversely proportionally to the time remaining.   

So it was that when dawn arrived this morning we had been at the tidying up thing for quite some time, and figured that we would be pretty much in control if we could delay departure by about three days.   Happily for us, there was little time to dwell on this dilemma as a constant trail of friends arrived during the day to bid us farewell, and chats and cups of coffee are an infinitely preferable way of whiling away one’s last day at home for a bit than worrying about what will and won't be done.

As these things usually do, it all worked out in the end.  We even found time to have a farewell snip of a couple of plants.  The photograph?  It’s just a marker so that we can see where things were before we left, but we’re pretty happy with the progress of the back yard, planted in November with tiny little tube stock.

Will we miss it?

Miss what?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Party.

Yes it’s true that yesterday was the actual birthday, but if the Queen can have a bit of flexibility as to when her birthday is celebrated, why can’t our very own Mum/Grandma/GG?   We did have a quiet little lunch yesterday, but in the interests of not padding out this blog with too many photos of nonagenarians surrounded by cake and balloons, that brief written description will have to serve.

It was ninety years in the making so one would expect that the big party would go off without a hitch, and so it did.  With a host of family a friends and all but the two of GG’s nineteen grand and great-grandchildren who live on the other side of the world in attendance, it turned out to be one of those grand reunions that may well have gone on into the wee small hours of the morning had many of the guests not been of an age (at either end of the spectrum it must be said) where an afternoon nap is of benefit.

Suddenly on the personal front, as the last table was stowed and the last balloon released, the reason for our remaining in the southern hemisphere was no more, we spent a quiet hour or two the with the guest of honour, then a little light clicked on inside our heads that said: “Well you’d better go home and pack!”

So we did. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

The covers are on.

Everyone knows that when the covers go on in a test cricket match, it's likely that there'll be no further play for the day and so it is that after the longest stay in Australia that we've had in eight years, the covers have gone on the machinery, the gardens are trimmed, and but for a few days of commuting to celebrate a certain birthday that has been the reason for our delayed departure, we are ready to go.


Well to be really accurate, we only have to sort out upstairs and pack our stuff and organise a few loose ends travel wise, such as how we exactly get to the airport at two AM on Tuesday morning and then we'll be ready to go.
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