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Showing posts from July, 2020

Farewell to the Queen of the Skies

It had to be Brighton. Almost nineteen years ago, less than two months after those aircraft crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, we set out on our first flight on a Qantas Boeing 747, the Queen of the Skies. It was not our first flight on a 747, that came a few years earlier on my very first overseas trip, but it was my first on a Qantas jumbo. What made it extra special was that we were flying away on our honeymoon. After our wedding night at the Novotel Brighton Le Sands we sat by the beach and watched the aircraft fly across Botany Bay to and from Sydney Airport until it was our turn to leave. Our flight to London lasted over twenty-four hours, longer than normal due to a four hour delay in the aircraft at our transit stop at Bangkok's old Don Mueang Airport. Yet it seemed to pass so quickly and I felt sad to leave my seat when we finally arrived at Heathrow, so good was the experience on the Qantas 747. So when it came time to choose a location to view this final flight of

War, democracy and a jumbo jet

Thanks to COVID-19, Alex's long awaited school camp to the Snowy Mountains and Canberra was cancelled. Fortunately we have already given him greater snow experiences both overseas and in the mountains, but he was really looking forward to tours of the National Capital, having studied Australian democracy during the past couple of terms. This time last year we were eating our way through Singapore and Malaysia, but now it is difficult even to go interstate. It is fortunate that we did not commit to more distant travel during these school holidays as state borders closed again in response to renewed virus outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales. Instead we tried to make up for Alex's lost experiences with our own short visit to Canberra. Luckily several attractions reopened, though they required pre-booking. I was concerned about Kita's separation anxiety, tried to restrict us to a couple of nights without an additional night at the South Coast. Eventually I acquiesced with