Saturday, 5 December 2009

Time for a Health Farm

photo by: DaveSag
Am back in Sydney. Blue skies, purple flowers, twisty trees, boat engines and bird screeches are back in my life, as are shouty ads on TV.
Thanks for all those wonderful geek hobby suggestions. Nice to have some options. The metal detector would be vintage.

I am heading off to a health retreat with my Mum and sister in an hour. The evidence for the 'wellness assessment' I have on this afternoon is contained in this blog (shuddering at the sheer indulgence, but I can't feel guilt and shame about everything!). I here provide another piece for the fair-haired, muscly armed, lady in a smart tracksuit.

Extracts from a letter I wrote to a friend on the plane:

Just after take-off. My eyes are dry and tired. I am in an aisle seat, 34D,
but there is no one in the two seats next to me. This doesn't help with the
nerves. I like being in the middle island because it makes me feel part of a
team. Sipping ginger ale. The pilot introduced the customer relations officer
and I happened to see her curtsy to herself. It's dark and grey-blue outside and
my ginger ale is circling from turbulence. We have been rocking since we took
off. Anyway, I don't want to focus on that. I am going back to Julie and Julia.
Needed something cute.

I just went to the loo. There were a couple of people waiting. Under the
lights inside, I noticed I am flushed and tired. Why does it become so awfully
hot on the plane? Healthy glow of first loo trip has turned into mad look,
especially with eye mask on as headband. Looks medicinal. I was going to ask for
the large, English flight attendant to sit with me in the empty seat for a chat, but I

Watched two episodes of 30 Rock. Americans love visual gags, like an old
lady falling over. My eyes are stinging and it's still so hot. Still haven't
managed to sleep yet.

Half way. 1am in my mind, but 9am and humid outside. A passenger's bottom
just swiped my upper arm. But on the positive, looks like I have a spare seat
next to me. That would be pretty mega ace if I could sleep along two seats.
Getting used to the Aussie accent again - that pseudo-posh, Dannii Minogue one.
Some of the Asian passengers are wearing face masks. Not good for my nerves, but
trying to focus on comic potential.

Only two hours til landing. Had three hours' sleep with headphones on
playing Flight of the Conchords. I was so tired that I felt I had to will on my
lungs to breathe - 'C'mon little guys.' They were disconnected to my racing mind
and stubbornly kept a slow place. Then I fell into those trippy dreams that you
get when you're on a plane and knackered - flashes of strangers' faces,
cloloured spots and, the most unsettling, a row of suburban houses with black,
fright trees behind them. The sound of the show helped my mind quieten. Not very
Zen though.

We've started our descent. There is an elderly, English couple
sitting in the window seats next to me. They must be in their late seventies. I
don't know how they do the long haul. Maybe you just don't care so much. Oh,
this must be the most inane, disappointing letter. Makes me realised what a load
of rot goes around my head and comes out of my mouth all day. Cabin crew is
taking their seats. We're shaking because of the rain clouds and we just had a
couple of rollercoaster drops. But I love landings. I smile at everyone around
me. I am pretty much waving at them. There have been a few more drops,
lots of readjusting of wheels or whatever makes that electronic noise.
Babies are crying. The Chinese guy in the lime green rainproof jacket has just
looked at me, grinning with mild panic. But I can see pretty Sydney out the window:
the lights of the CBD, the cars, the roads. We're rocking like a bloody dinghy,
but I don't care. We're about to land. Wow - with a thud and skittle and intense inertia.
Makes me think of how funny it would be if the plane blew up after all that.
The people are relieved and scrounging around their bags and rubbing their foreheads.

Waiting for family at arrivals. No glory for me coming through the gates.
The first to greet you at Sydney, by the way, was a customs dog, right at the
passageway. They love customs in this country. I am wearing too many layers. The
Sydney women are wearing white and blue and the men are dressed like 14 year
olds. The arrivals area is glowing and the orange in the flooring and meeting
point signs are setting off the classic airport blue. Just heard a woman, with a
child strapped to her front, say 'Noi' [this is how urban Australians say
'No'] to her husband. The last thing the customer relations officer on the
flight said was, 'For thoorse taiking connecting flaights within Australia, they
will need to goi toi Terminal Twooii.'


droid said...

Guessing I won't see you at Christmas then. Are you ever returning to Awxfawd?

Anonymous said...

The travel sounds exhausting...whew. Hope that your spa day is fun!

Good Enough Woman said...

I hope the spa was fabulous, AH. Did it relax you?

Also, I can't believe how much writing you did on the airplane. If I were you, in the thick of my academic work, I can't imagine writing a long letter to a friend. Instead, I would be reading a cheesy novel--chick lit or mystery, I'm sure. Clearly, you are a much more dedicated writer and friend than I am!

Hope you're enjoying being home.