Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Home again, home again!

Well here we are, back in NZ, back in Waikanae, back in our lovely cosy house with our spring garden looking lovely, back with the tuis and the wood pigeons.

I am losing the appetite for flying - my fear seems to have increased as my sense of impending doom arising from the idiocy of the trumpster in the White House. So now, not only am I scared of the plane falling out of the sky (I have the best imagination for things that could go wrong and are most likely to do so when I am onboard) but I am scared that whatever plane I am on will be the focus of bad people or that the two children in the kindergarten sandpit of the world will start a war while I am flying near where their bombs may go off ...
Our plane at LHR - we were seated upstairs - I've never been in the upstairs cabin before.

In our large business class seats - David was leaving a message for Kirsty.

For Jaq - see the cheese selection, darling?
The Singapore Air table setting - no photos of food though ...

However, I have an increased sense of safety if I am sitting in Business Class - I know, I know, it's not logical. However, being physically comfortable, being well cared for by the four (Singapore Air) or two (Air NZ) staff assigned to ~48 and 32 passengers respectively, not having to queue for the toilets and not having to be careful where I put my feet in the aisle or the toilets, and not seeing the 300 other people being carried high above the earth in a metal tube added to my sense of safety and reduced my anxiety levels - this was in spite of both flights being rather bumpy.

From London to Singapore I remember it being bumpy after a few hours, then smooth until we were approaching Malaysia across the sea. And from Singapore it was bumpy for the first 3 or 4 hours until we crossed the coast of Australia near Darwin and then again as we crossed the Tasman Sea to NZ.

We have decided that we love AirNZ Business Class - great seat configuration, really comfortable sleeping arrangements, lovely food (plus an excellent Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay ...) So our next UK trip will be through Shanghai on a code share with Virgin Atlantic, as the AirNZ staff told us that VA has the same business class configuration (AirNZ bought it from VA, apparently).

Singapore Air's Business Class had lovely food and OK wine (French chardonnay and an Australian sauvignon blanc - what are they thinking?) and the service was friendly and helpful. But their seating/bed configuration is not anywhere near as good as AirNZ's. The seats are definitely larger and more roomy, but for the two seats in the middle, there is no handy storage apart from on the floor and no overhead locker for the middle seats; and the bed arrangement was downright strange, with the folded out seat being sort of L-shaped: a long-ish rectangle with a small square at the foot end. And it sloped rather than being level. Because of the weird shape, the mattress was velcroed on (not always successfully) to the folded out seat and it wasn't terribly comfy really. However David tells me I did sleep, although I don't remember that I did, much. He says he didn't, but I remember getting the staff to come and wake him so they could put his bed together ...

The Butterfly House in Singapore airport was lovely - but this was the only variety I could photograph as the others were constantly on the move and very fluttery!
I know I slept on the  AirNZ flight, dozing as the bumps occurred and the seatbelt sign pinged on and off, and more deeply as we crossed Australia from Darwin to Brisbane. That was in between my numerous trips to the toilet - nervousness is one of my excuses ...

After a night in the hotel just across the taxi stand/bus route from the International Terminal at Auckland, we caught a little plane (50 seater) complete with our 5 suitcases, back to Paraparaumu. A lovely flight, and it was wonderful on the approach coming in from the west of Kapiti Island in the sunshine.

Kapiti Island across the bay. The back patches are cloud shadows

Green spaces, large sections, separate houses, the beach .... Aaahh!

And there to meet us were our favourites, the lovely Bruce and Gary!! Yay!! It is so lovely being able to fly in to an airport that is only 20 minutes from home!

A quick flit around the supermarket ('I am only going in for milk, bread and butter' says I and came out with a trolley load of meat, veges, fruit, wine, fish, cheese, crackers, croissants, date scones ... plus a tomato plant in a pot!) then home to Rata St. Scones, tea and coffee with B&G - funny how after 5 months my mind forgot where things were kept, but my hands and body remembered - I'd think 'where do we keep the plates?' as my hands and feet were already moving towards the drawers ...
See, the sun is shining, flowers are out - OK, there are still some weeds but Susan is coming today!
Yes, I am home too.
Our favourites with David. Joy and Grahame's magnolia behind Gary.

On the corner of Horopito Road - we had walked around to see Joy and Grahame, but they were out, dammit!

Looking up Kohekohe Road - juxtaposition of imported blossom trees and native trees on the hills beyond.

The Waikanae social round has resumed:
  • dinner at Bruce and Gary's on the first evening home, after a nana nap
  • breakfast yesterday at Jan's Cafe in Paraparaumu
  • dinner last night at John's in Paraparaumu

Eggs benedict with ham at Jan's Cafe in Paraparaumu yesterday - best we've had anywhere

Today I think I will see if we can get Joy and Grahame over for a catch up ...


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

One word...envy. XXX

Jennie said...

Glad you got home safely.

Carol said...

Pleased to hear that your flight was BC and comfy and that you got home safe and sound. Have a lovely summer. xx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Irene, Carol and Jennie, Thank you for your best wishes - it is lovely being home, even though we are still both sleepy. That too will pass, I am sure, and waking for cups of tea at 4am, 3am, 10am is fine, esp as we don't have to get up for work!

Irene, you and Ian need to sort out your next trip over here - forget Oz and just come here!

Jennie and Carol, that goes for your as well! Always a warm welcome here at Cafe Rata, you know!


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the account of your journey back, especially the pics of the planes as we have never been on one!
Continuous rain here all day today so nice to see your sunshine and blossoms and that magnificent butterfly.
Gosh you soon get back into the swing of things quickly.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and relax, hurrah!
Ann and Keith xx

Jenny said...

Welcome Home!!! So pleased you arrived back safely, and I can relate to what you we saying about those two idiots putting the world in danger.

And your lovely new motor=home is on it's way back to NZ too - that will be the start of more adventures for you both.

Jenny and Robin

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Ann and Keith,
Still jet-lagged, but getting back to normal - cups of tea at about 7 this morning instead of 3am yesterday! Maybe I'll survive without a nana nap today...
Time you got on planes to come to see us in NZ - just don't come through the US - that would make you lose the will to live!
Big hugs to you both, M&D xxoo

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Jenny and Robin,
It is lovely to be home, thank you.
Our motorhome left Durban at midnight last night and is now heading for Freemantle. Currently we can track it but once it's a distance away from the land mass, we won't be able to until it gets closer to Australia.
When it gets here, we will bring it to visit you!
Big hugs, M&D xxoo