Exactly three years ago today, I flew to Australia. The idea was that four of us would fly from the UK, meet up with another four in Los Angeles, before joining up with my parents in Brisbane for a three week jaunt around Oz and New Zealand.
This sounds relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, we booked the trip through a travel agent so inept that I don’t want to give them the oxygen of publicity by naming them. The biggest mistake that they made was to book the trip without seeing our passports. The second biggest was that, when they discovered that they had my details incorrect, they rebooked my flights using the correct details but kept the original bookings for everyone else. This meant that for every flight – and there were 11 of them in all – we had the stress of having to make sure that we could rearrange our seats so that I could sit at the bulkhead with the rest of my family. The alternative – to leave my aerophobic wife to deal with our ten month old son and ten year old nephew on her own – didn’t bear thinking about.
The flight out to LA got off to an entertaining start when I left Will standing on a seat whilst I reached into the overhead locker and he promptly crashed to the floor, hitting his head along the way. He then refused to sleep (he turned out to be too big for the cot on the LA to Brisbane leg, for one thing) for the entire journey out and, as he had just started cruising at that time, I can honestly say that I walked pretty much all of the way to Australia and back.
Despite all of the travails, there are parts of the trip that I will always look back on with the fondest of memories and one thing which always reminds me of it is this song.