I left New Zealand’s drought-afflicted shores on 6 April via Singapore Air. The flight was fine, no particular turbulence, and a very pleasant night’s sleep was had at the Transit Hotel at Changi Airport, which I warmly recommend as a way of staying sane and fresh on these long-haul flights. I also found not just the usual leg massaging machines, but some full-body (backside, obviously) massage chairs, which I took advantage of with glee.
Flight from Singapore to London (14 hours, groan) was similarly pretty good until landing at Heathrow, when it got decidedly rocky and we were set down heavily. Then things turned to custard. Over an hour later we were still standing around a dead luggage conveyor belt waiting while mechanics tried to fix it. Eventually they transferred our luggage to another conveyor belt, from which I grabbed it, cleared customs via the green door (thank God again!) and found Kirsty and Richard. We practically RAN (well, Kirsty and I with our shorter legs did, trying to keep up with Richard) to the BA counter to check in. Then we collapsed at a coffee bar for a refreshing lemon and lime but I’d barely had four mouthfuls when Richard said we’d better get moving if we were to clear security and get me to my boarding lounge on time.
Eventually I found myself sitting on the British Airways flight to Dublin. It took nearly as long to get off the runway at Heathrow as it did to fly to Dublin, another good flight. I had this dear man at Customs who, recognising my exhaustion when I told him I’d been going nearly 25 hours with little sleep, got me through without checking any formal university documentation, stamped me in for the maximum of 90 days, advised me to clear GNIB in town soonest, and wished me God Bless You Now as I headed out! I could have kissed him.
Taxi to Bed and Breakfast, where I am now comfortably ensconced in a smallish but adequate room.