And we are off!

October 2018

It’s up, up and away on our virtual trip to Japan aboard a Qantas A330-300 to Osaka. Sydney’s Central Business District and the famous Harbour Bridge can be seen in the background.

Our virtual flight is about to depart

All aboard our virtual flight to Japan, flying a Qantas Airbus A330-300 from Sydney to Osaka, just as we did back in October 2018.

A perfect day to fly, but…

The sky is clear and the breeze is an insubstantial breath. It is the perfect day to fly. I was supposed to off to Osaka in less than an hour, but COVID-19 has seen all travel cancelled. So I’m going to do a virtual trip here.

Marshalling to Melbourne

Catching the Warrnambool train from Marshall Station to Melbourne in order to watch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Because that’s what I do.

Gunna Gundagai

The Hume Highway is closed in both directions and I’ve been receiving emergency warnings for fires to the south of us.

When I walked Kita out for his business I saw fire engines racing south, lights flashing, and a police car speeding north.

The dust clouds can be seen blowing in the gusty winds under the amber lights. There was actually some rain a little earlier. Big, heavy drops that did nothing but stain the car further.

Should we evacuate? The car is packed but the roads are closed. I wonder if our journey will continue south tomorrow.

A quick stop at the International Airport

On my way back from traversing the Carlingford Line I stopped by the International Airport. In contrast to my anxiety filled departures I am always overcome with a strange feeling when I visit for fun. It’s a combination of nostalgia and anticipation for a non-existent journey.

Sydney’s landside departures area might not be as airy and modern as many other international terminals, with low ceilings that looked dated when I first flew out from it almost a quarter of a century ago, but I love that it retains that same feeling.

I wandered around the airport, browsing through several shops. I imagined that I was heading off on a trip. Looking through the WH Smith activity books and toys I felt a tinge of regret that Alex has outgrown most of these and that he was never into them much anyway, prefering his electronics.

Lunch was a katsu chicken burger from Chicken Confidential, probably the best I’ve had in a long time. I just sat and watched aircraft taking off into the brown skies or taxiing in, passengers walking past on the way to their gates. I could feel their excitement, pretend it was mine.

I realise now what has changed. Now I plot my route, look up the weather, plan and worry. Here, today, I am simply living in the moment, as I did all those years before. And I wonder if I can return to that point.


Mints and flowers

A tour of the Royal Australian Mint, the history of Australian coins, robots and powerful presses. More interesting than expected!

The National Museum of Australia has the Dreamworks Exhibition, sketches and maquettes, some fun computer tools and an exhilarating dragon ride.

The museum also has interesting Australiana and Alex cried at the extinction of the thylacine.

There was no bike hire shop, but we had a brief wander around Floriade, taking a shaky Ferris wheel ride.

Dinner at Dickson, back to the apartment exhausted.

Canberra Light Rail

In Canberra for a couple of days with B and Alex. The weather was miserable this afternoon and everyone was tired, so the other two returned to the hotel. I decided to ride the length of the new Canberra light rail track.

The route may not be the most scenic, but it was very pleasant just to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride between the city centre and Gungahlin, past the offices and parks of Northbourne Avenue, the racetrack and exhibition grounds and then the rows of new apartments.

There is something special about riding the rails, and I’m glad Canberra has got a commuter system at long last.