So, I'm sitting at home, taking nice deep breaths, trying not to watch the clock and freak out about how soon the flight is. I mean, people fly all the time, right, and nothing ever happens to them. The chance of dying in a plane crash is far less than the daily risk involved in getting in a car. So I'll be fine. Because I can't even drive a car, which makes me practically risk free! I'll be totally fine. Absoluuuuuutely hunky dory.
Then the phone rings. It's Quantas customer service. The flight has been delayed, they report, and thought that as we were travelling with a child that we might want to know.
Well, Quantas, that's all very decent of you, but that now gives me an extra hour to freak out in. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!
Dear reader, I recovered. Even though we sat at the airport for another two extra hours, watching flight after flight take off before us, and trying to induce Grumbles to take a nap (completely unsuccessfully, bien sur). On a positive note, I ran into my cousin Denise, who was taking a holiday to Malaysia with her family. On a bum note, I was eating my dinner at 1 in the morning. It's a topsy turvy world.
Still, we landed in Hong Kong with no trouble at all. The key to not melting down during take off is to (a) have a small child to attend to, and thus divert all your freak out abilities into stopping them from freaking out and (b) cola flavoured Chuppa Chups. Since the original flight was delayed, it put our second one out of whack also, but the wait was only an hour, and then we were off once more.
We made it half way through the second flight before trouble struck. Sure, we were bored, and our vegan meals supremely unsatisfying (note to airline staff: Jorth cannot live on fruit alone!), and sleep just wasn't happening, but generally things were good. Then Grumbles announced that she didn't feel very well.
"Do you think you're going to be sick, honey?" I asked, wiping down her face with a washcloth.
"No, just a bit funny in my tummy!" she answered brightly.
"Well, thanks heavens for that, because throwing up on an aeroplane would really be...."
The rest of my sentence was lost in the sudden grab for a sick bag. I got it under her chin just in time, as she chucked and chucked and chucked. In between moving her hair back from her face and muttering encouragement, I gazed at the bag in dismay, certain it was going to burst or leak or just fall apart from all the liquid. Miraculously it remained intact, and I handed it to a poor steward as soon as I could.
And where, I hear you asking, was the mightly Galumph during all this drama? Hogging up the bloody toilet, that's where!
Exhausted, Grumbles fell limply asleep in my lap, as I glanced nervously at my watch and calculated that we still had 5 hours left of the flight. Thankfully, she broke the monotony by awakening twice more and chundering away. Who wants a quiet life, eh? However, I shall give credit where credit is due: she didn't moan, squeal, sook or carry on in any way whatsoever. Once she had done her business, she would just lie back and smile at us. The head steward came over and told her in a very campy clucky tone that she was just a marvel, and an absolutely credit to her parents, which cheered us all up immensely. The warm fuzzy feeling lasted until we touched down, where I breathed a huge sigh of relief: we had made it and Grumbles had finally stopped vomitting.
We all stood up to collect our carry on luggage, and exchange pleasantries with our fellow passengers whilst we waited to disembark. "My dear!", squarked one old English bird sitting behind us, "I had no idea the wee one had even been ill! What a blessing you have there!"
"Thank you!" I smiled back. "She's been great, hasn't she!"
Then Grumbles threw up all over our shoes.
Welcome to England!