Flying is a labour . . . and not a labour of love . . . well, most of the time.
The “getting to somewhere” is a sufferance but it has an attractive side-benefit – airline frequent flyer points. After endless hours of flying back and forth to Europe over the years amassing Miles & More points, I am finally enjoying the side benefits with a first class ticket on Singapore Airlines today.
Keep your britches on. I’m not luxuriating in the famous Singapore Airlines rose-petal strewn Suites on the new Airbus A380, but I am the only passenger who turned left on entering through the front door of the Boeing 747 in Sydney this morning. Before I”m even seated, I find myself having to choose between the Dom or the Krug. (Of course, I would not be so crass and sinful by first tasting one and then preferring the other.) I’m usually a Bloody Mary man on a morning flight but I haveto forego that pleasure today. A whole cabin to me with Singapore Girl Jennifer to dance attendance – It’s lonely at the “pointy-end”!
Another beautiful side benefit of being in a first class cabin, alone, on a day flight is the ability to keep the blinds up. I hate trying to read in dark cabins when it”s daylight outside, and when I might want to glance out briefly to take in scenes like the strikingly coloured wastes with touches of green and awash with running rivers after all the drought-breaking rains we’ve had.
I don’t mind it being daytime and climbing into the pyjamas that Jennifer brings me for my flight comfort before take-off. I don’t recall my mother ever telling me anything much of a ‘personal’ nature, but I do being told not to wear my underpants to bed. “you need to breathe ‘down there’”. I’ve loved ‘free-balling’ ever since, and get into my black Givenchy pyjamas with the fine, canary yellow stripe down the sleeves and legs in a jiffy while Jennifer waits with a hanger for my hastily discarded trousers and shirt.
My sister Annie won”t be happy if she doesn”t know what I had to eat on the flight. Suffice to say, breakfast is breakfast, except this morning, the freshly prepared stack of hot scrambled egg and thick slices of smoked salmon were delicious. Lunch was more adventurous with strips of salty emu prosciutto on the mushroom soup, and some small apple eggplants with chunky pieces of duck in a very flavoursome but mild curry.
Jennifer brings me the best selection of Travel magazines. (Lufthansa will have none tonight.) I see, (without the need for overhead light!), so many places I have yet to visit. I just don’t have enough nimble years left in me. With the remnants of my sore back that had me seriously worried about getting away this week, I’m feeling a change coming over me as to where I want to go. Like having to give up beach destinations holidays years ago when skin cancers became prevalent, I don’t think I want to risk climbing over too many more ruins now that my knees and musculature are giving warning signs.
Stay-put holidays like the Palazzo Sasso in Ravello for Pam’s birthday last year are looking more attractive. The latest Conde Naste Traveller magazine’s ‘Hot List’ of hotels has me jumping and ready for more of Italy, Provence and Croatia and perhaps a return to Turkey and Syria would give me the ‘exotic’ I seek. I read about Cappadocia today and it”s still up there on my list – and for some reason, I know that Singapore Airlines always has frequent flyer seats available for Istanbul!
But more importantly for now, I am ready for the Portugal adventure commencing with a few days in Lisbon and then Edmundo joining me to drive with Greg to the north with overnight stays in converted old convents and monasteries – the Pousadas. Before joining the Turners on the Crystal Serenity for a Mediterranean cruise, we will visit the famous shrine of Fatima. I”m building up for a story of a different kind for the Fatima experience.
I’m so glad you are thinking of more stay-put holidays. I thought you would never ‘wear out’.