So there we were ...
... about ten hours after we'd left Los Angeles, another three to go to Brisbane, when our Qantas captain announced a stop in Fiji, "because we don't have enough fuel to get to Brisbane". Honest.
Because of all the runway reconstruction going on at LAX to prepare for the new behemoth-mega-jumbo jets, there's a weight restriction on planes there. So we hadn't been able to start off with a full tank. And with massive headwinds as we approached Australia, the 'nearly empty' warning light was obviously blinking on the dashboard and we had to land at the nearest roster and fill up.
We missed our connecting flight to Perth, and by the time we'd boarded the next available flight, it, too, was delayed an hour. The result was that instead of arriving at Perth at 10.30am, we limped in at 6pm.
:: So, on the day we were due to fly back to the US, it was with consternation that we saw the words 'awaiting technical confirmation' flashing under our flight number on the info screen at Perth airport. Sure enough - our plane's emergency landing lights were playing up.
Well into the second hour after our scheduled departure time, we realised we'd missed our connection to LA.
But Qantas came through for us and flew us - business class, upstairs in a jumbo! - to Melbourne and put us up in the very comfy airport Hilton, with free dinner and brekky and a new flight to LA the next morning.
:: This was our last view of Australia - from the ground anyway - on cold, squally, rainy Tuesday morning. The plane was not a lot more than half-full, so we had three seats and a window to ourselves. And with on-demand in-flight entertainment and a sleeping pill each, we had a blissfully easy flight ... finally!
I do SO love the in-flight program: on the way to Australia I watched Jindabyne (excellent Australian drama), and the amazing Leonard Cohen tribute concert, I'm Your Man, with Nick Cave, Jarvis (must be son of Joe) Cocker, the two Wainwright sibs and U2 (it was so good, I kept rewinding bits of it - I must have watched Antony singing 'If It Be Your Will' about eight times).
Coming home yesterday, I watched two Trinny and Susannah shows, a BBC TV doco on food ... and the Leonard Cohen concert all over again.
And a couple of hours before landing, I watched good old Love Actually - because when you're waking up after almost 12 hours in the same seat, jetlagged and completely buggered, with a tongue like cardboard and a brain like porridge, what better movie could there be?
Well, this is boring stuff, isn't it?
:: We've left both kids in Australia, so the house is q-u-i-e-t and empty. The dogs haven't completely forgiven me for being away - but they'll come round, I know. The sun's shining, the pool's sparkling, the breeze is cool. I'm unpacking, doing some washing, opening all the mail (only an electricity bill to worry about), thinking about dinner, and generally loafing about.