You know those movies? The one where an ex-armed forces guy spends time getting dressed in full ceremonial uniform because he knows he is about to die? There is a ritual and a care with which he goes about the task. Pulling down the buttoned jacket, fixing the belt, placing his hat squarely on top of his head as he stares at his face in the mirror.

That was me this morning.

I weighed my case which is around 2 kilos empty and 4.5 with the book that my husband bought me. I had taken minimal clothing but in the end removed my sneakers. I had no intention of running, but wanted something to support my arches if possible. I finally got it down to what I thought was 7kg.

The scales at the airport told me I was wrong and it was 9kg but they let me through.

I had taken one Xanax but it did not feel like it was working. At this point I normally add a pint, but decided to take an extra half instead. Although I was already checked in and at the airport with an hour to spare, the time went very quickly and all too soon we were boarding.

It just goes to show how long since I have been on a plane. There were no longer screens in the back of the seat in front of you, but a mini iPad that had to be plugged in to access the entertainment system. What kind of buffoon came up with that idea? The one I had sported a sticker, ‘flat battery’ so it was just as well I had my own iPad and had downloaded the app so I could connect to the system.

But the thing that was by and far away the best thing in the world, was the noise cancelling headphones that I bought for my husband last year on condition that I got them later. I put them over my ears as the plane backed away from the gate and if I shut my eyes, I could almost imagine that I was in a car. Having downloaded Extreme Ways by Moby after last weekend’s Bourne-a-Thon, I jammed that on as listened to it on repeat as we taxied out, then thundered down the runway. But is was distant thunder, and made the whole leaving the ground thing much more bearable.

Movie choices were disappointingly few, but I like to watch loud movies on planes, so I chose I Robot. We had a good tailwind so it only left for me to watch one and a half episodes of VEEP as we glided down towards Melbourne and I was done.

Yesterday following a long conversation with my doctor, I was trying to cut out sugar but increase fat in my diet. The plane food certainly did its best to reverse all the good one day of following the new regime may have done, still, I thought reaching for the ice cream bounty bar that they offered me, I stayed off the booze, so a small 800 calorie reward was probably in order.

That was of course before dinner at our informal pre-meeting, meeting.We met at an Italian place and the food was served on small plates to share and just kept coming. Finally, when I thought that I could eat no more, I was pleased to see that only meat had been brought out for the next course. I was spared. Then the waiter appeared with a grin announcing that they had not forgotten me and placed a whole plate of stuff just for me at my setting. It was delicious: cauliflower and fennel and stuff, but I could not finish it.

It is now 11 pm Melbourne time, so only 9 pm in Perth but my husband has already messaged to say goodnight and is lying on our bed with the two dogs, no doubt dicking around on FaceBook (him not the dogs). I too have had enough for the day. It has been a day of high anxiety and the last three hours were enjoyable but also work so I am ready for bed to prepare for the long day ahead of meetings tomorrow before facing the return flight in the afternoon. Just another 3500 Kms to go and it will be done.

I am not at this stage booked in for breakfast and somehow can not even see how I could eat it, but if not a hearty breakfast before facing my mortality once again tomorrow, at least I will have enjoyed a sumptuous dinner.


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