26th Dec 2009 - 28th Dec 2009 - The Silk Road
Travelling back to London
Fond farewells to everyone at Nelson airport – very sad to say goodbye to everyone but left finally with a feeling that I was doing the right thing. Although very hard to leave particularly the nieces and nephews (and the Nintendo Wii) – they grew up so much in the year I was away and I will miss so much of their lives and I feel bad about that but hey, what can you do.
Picked up by Kellie at Christchurch airport and back to Innes Road for my final night there. Had been told at Nelson airport that Singapore Airlines may charge me for several kgs of excess baggage so tried so did a total repack and Kellie will post some things over.
Had a lovely evening with Kellie and Michael and Carol and Andrew – I shall miss them all so much and value their friendship. We were all still so full up from Christmas Day that we had potato salad and cheese and crackers and chips and dip for dinner. Also pavlova and ambrosia and Carol’s lemon sour cream cake with lemon curd for dessert. I had another 2 slices of pavlova making it four slices for the day as had two at lunchtime – so good.
Then the final episodes of Survivor – this was a great series but I shan’t mention too much as I know there are a few people who read this who are watching the series still. Very grateful to Michael for downloading it from the States. The ending was a surprise but that’s what it has been all about since the merge and hope I can somehow access the next series from England which is an All Stars Heros vrs Villians – yippee. Colby and James are in the heroes and so gorgeous.
27 – 28 December
Left for Christchurch airport about 0845 for my flight to Singapore. The backpack went thru at 24 kgs and no payment was asked for the extra 4 kgs. Sat and read the newspaper and enjoyed a final NZ coffee. Had a good seat on the aisle in the last row of the plane – completely full flight so had someone next to me but reasonably roomy seats so didn’t feel squashed in any way. A 10.5 hour flight – not such a great selection of movies or none that I was interested in anyway. Played the trivia games and won $500000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire – yippee – wished it was real. Had two good light meas on the flight and several Singapore Slings. Did not sleep as had booked the Transit Hotel at Singapore airport to have a normal sleep. Watched Taggart and Rebus and several comedies. Arrived in Singapre at 1730 and had a small Thai salad before going to he hotel and sleeping for 10 hours. Up again at 0600 and had a coffee and muffin before getting on the next flight at 0900 for the 14 hour flight to London. Had another good aisle seat 3 rows from the back and the middle seat was empty which made for a pleasant flight – still a reasonably full flight with only the odd empty seat dotted around. Dismayed that it was the same Taggart and Rebus episodes but watched NCIS instead and the new LA spin off. Again I wanted to stay awake for the whole 14 hours so I could do a normal night’s sleep when I got to London. Played a lot of trivia games and learnt some Portugese language.
Arrived at Heathrow on time about 1500. Inquired re a black cab but was going to be about 60 pounds so made my way to the tube and took the Piccadily line to hammersmith where I caught a taxi for 15 pounds to Liz and Scotts place in Wandsworth. The taxi ride saved me chnaging to another tube line, a bus and a walk. Struggled to make sensible coversation thruout the evening so gave up about 2030 and went to bed as needing to get up at 0515 to go to Portugal.