Day 45 – Saturday, 3rd June, 2006

Morning arrived far too early and we went down to breakfast with the rest of the group for the last time. Everyone was in high spirits – sad that our journey together was coming to an end, but very glad to be going home, or at least nearing the end of their holiday. Mum was feeling poorly, but Dad was better.

We all boarded the bus on time, and Dudley and Margaret were there to wave us goodbye. Danny was to be our driver to the end, and Ian had returned from the Glasgow airport as there was such a large group of us to leave at the one time. He said he had plenty of time to get back to the airport to catch his plane as he had already booked his luggage through to London.

The airport had a well stocked Bootes (Food and Pharmacy) and I bought some ear plugs. I knew that with the end of my cold I would be sadly in need of them by the time I got home. I also found some more Fishermans’ Friends for Russ, and extra tissues. My plan is to keep blowing my nose during ascent and descent to see if that will help alleviate any distress of the ear-drums.

After a short wait in the main part of the lounge our gate was posted and we were able to move to the lounge there. Mum took the opportunity of lying down on the seats, and I caught the first half of the second quarter of the Collingwood – Brisbane Lions game before the internet time limit was reached. Collingwood was in front at this stage, and it sounded like a tough contest. Charmain had supposedly just been reported for a clash with Rocca.

Mum was still no better but trying to put a brave face on it as we had such a long way to go, and she was determined that our plans would not be changed.

We had an orderly move to the plane and were shortly taking off from Glasgow airport. Russ and I had an exit row and we found ourselves chatting with an extra British Airways staff member, Paula Hayward, who had been on standby at Glasgow, and was now returning to London on this flight. The time passed in a pleasant exchange of ideas, and Russ told her about the website because she had friends visiting from Australia for several weeks.

The landing was very rough, and the plane swerved markedly to the side as it hit the runway. I thought we may have been in danger of tipping over. Russ said Paula’s face was a treat, and he did not think the arrival was anywhere near textbook. The gentleman sitting beside me commented that he often commutes to London from Glasgow on this flight, and it was his opinion that the apprentice pilots were allowed to try their hand at landing.

We made our way in the tunnel from the domestic terminal to the International terminal after collecting our luggage, went through Customs and Immigration, and organised our next leg of the journey. James, from Singapore Airlines Departure section, was very helpful. He added a note to our files for the next leg to tell the staff that we could be separated into two groups of two, and noted that with Russ’ height it was recommended that he be given an exit aisle if and when possible. Thank-you, James.

We had several hours to wait before we would have a gate number posted, and took the opportunity for Mum to try and get some more rest. She finally resorted to lying on the floor in an effort to get some sleep. Russ checked the internet for me and found out that Collingwood won the match – Go, Pies!!

Finally, we were able to head to the departure gate and onto the plane at 6:30 pm. It had been a long day already, and would be longer by the time we finished. Mum and dad ended up sitting behind a very rude young lady who insisted on pushing back her seat as far as it would go. This meant that Mum could not move her legs, and it was a major undertaking to get out of her seat. Dad requested that something be done, but was told she was perfectly within her rights to do this. As the plane was not full, we cannot understand why either they, or she, were not moved to another area. It was a long night.