Saturday, 3 January 2009

Leaving Australia

At 5 am I seriously regretted having had the Jamiesons as my after dinner drink! I'll pass swiftly over the next couple of hours except to say thanks again to Dave for being a hero - taking me to the airport when he was exhausted - but even more thanks for being such good company. It's the longest time we've spent with each other for years and I really enjoyed it. Thanks brother xx

The hangover meant that I slept quite well on the plane even though it was full. Spare some sympathy for the man next to me as I'm fairly sure I snored!

I think Singapore airport must cover half the country. I was pleased to learn that I didn't have to change terminals for my flight on to Hong Kong but the walk from one end to the other took me about 20 minutes and there were at least 2 other terminals. The place was enormous and included a butterfly farm as well as dozens of restaurants serving food from just about every nation.

The flight on to Hong Kong was also full and I was very ready to get off the plane and stretch my legs. I'd lost more hours since leaving Perth and wasn't really sure what time it was in Scotland or New Zealand - my points of reference throughout my trip.

I'd arranged for the hotel to provide a 'limousine' from the airport. Extravagant? A bit, but not very much more than a taxi. When I found the desk I was offered a chilled cold drink of my choice, given a 'revival pack' and offered a play station to amuse me on the way to the hotel.

Aside from the fact that I wouldn't know how to switch on a play station, who on earth would bother with an electronic doodad when they'd just landed in Hong Kong? From the cream leather seat of my mercedes my head swivelled and my eyes were on stalks as we drove from the airport to Kowloon and the Langham Place Hotel. (Willie, thanks for the recommendation, it was a great hotel!).

It seemed like half the staff of the hotel had turned out to meet me. I was escorted to the lift and my room - I gulped a bit when I heard it was on the 18th floor - where I was checked in. I finished my cold drink staring out of the window (it was a glass wall!) a good metre back! It could have been worse there are 42 floors - and it's more expensive the higher you are!

There's a shopping mall in the hotel or the hotel's in the mall - never did work out which but I went to explore, got completely confused by 3 separate sets of lifts, and decided to have some supper in the 'prestigious' hotel restaurant. Very good - though I still have mixed feelings about the marshmallow bunnies that were to be dipped in boiling coconut sauce! Didn't stop me eating them though!

Wednesday 17 December - Louise & Craigs wedding day

And it promised to be hot again. I was due to meet up with the female relatives at the hairdressers. Though nothing was being done with mine - there's not enough of it. The taxi I called was an hour late and I got there just about in time to see them finished off - and very glamorous too! It was my first meeting with Helen and Freya since they'd arrived and I'm sure my comment about her being at least a foot taller than the last time I saw her betrayed both my age and my jealousy - I'm back to being the short**** of the family again - at least 4" shorter than anyone else!!

Back at the house I fulfilled my rash offer to iron shirts and press trousers and soon we were ready to go. We collected the flowers en route earning all sorts of compliments from the florist about how well we had scrubbed up!

We met up at Helen & Stav's apartment, handed a very beautiful Louise into the Rolls with Dave and the rest of us followed on. Ben and I in charge of emergency supplies - bottles of water, bug sprays, wet ones, first aid kit........

We all made it down the 90 stone steps without incident - Louise did 85 in flatties and the rest in the gold stilletto's!

It was a truly fabulous location for a wedding. Sue, the Celebrant, made the ceremony informal and comfortable but very meaningful for Louise and Craig and I'm sure a few tears were shed! After lots of photo's and a champagne toast we made our way to the restaurant for more champagne and a really good dinner.

It was a very very good day for all of us. I'm not sure when it finally ended but with the excuse of an early flight for me - with a lift to the airport from Dave - we left as the first few were making use of the hot tub in Louise and Craigs back garden.