Monday, December 03, 2012

Let the GWT begin

It probably wasn't ideal, the GWT having been over 12 months in the planning and 6 months in the organising (not that I spent all of that 6 months actively organising, of course) to wake up at 04:00 on the day we were due to fly with a most horrible pain in my left eye.  Horrid, it was.  And it made my eye and my nose cry with enthusiasm.  I ended up with the sort of headache that you get when you've been crying for hours (not that I do, often, cry for hours).  We weren't ready to leave by any means and although I had intended to get up quite early, I hadn't intended it to be as early as 04:00 and nor had I intended to be weeping from one eye while I was doing the packing!!!

But pack I did - although it was extremely haphazard, and I seem to have bought a few more clothes for me than for The Builder :-S

The beds were made up ready for Barb and Greg who are coming on Monday for a few days of winter holiday in the Peak District.

Lindsey drew my attention to the fact that airports usually have pharmacies in them and suggested that I should take my eye to visit one when we got to the airport.  This reminded me that we actually have a pharmacy in the village so I pottered up there. The pharmacist diagnosed and eye infection and gave me some ointment.  This seemed to help quite a bit - although it is remarkably odd trying to see through an eye which is already blurry and which is now also covered in a thin film of grease!!

Our flight was due to leave Manchester at 17:45.  I really do prefer flying from Manchester if I can. It's a much more pleasant experience than flying from Heathrow, even if your flight does leave from Terminal 5. Which ours, being a Lufthansa flight, would not. It usually takes about an hour and a half to get from our place, or from Sheffield, to Manchester airport. But if the motorways are clogged it can take much longer. So we arranged to meet Gareth and Cally, who were coming to the airport with us, at midday.  And lo, the motorways were not clogged and nor were the roads and it took the expected hour and a half for us to get there.  Gareth and Cally took possession on the car and disappeared off to visit his family in and around Glossop. And we strolled in to an astonishingly empty airport. There was almost nobody about.  The blokes in security were so bored they decided to run proper security checks on us - they tested my pouch for explosive and my phone for things to make the explosives go off and our backpacks for all sorts of things. I don't think they were really expecting to find anything though.  And funnily enough - they didn't.

So there were were, airside, with hours left before our flight.  As part of my bank account subscription I have a travel package which provides travel insurance and access for me to some of the airport lounges.  So I paid for The Builder to have access too and we ambled in to one of the lounges and ate nibbles and drank wine until it was time to leave.  All nice and quiet and civilised, with comfy chairs and room to spread out.  Then we caught our flight to Frankfurt, where we went through a much, much busier security procedure and then Whooooooooooooooooooooooshed our way to the departure gate for the flight to Singapore which we got to just as people were standing up ready to board.

Eleven and a half hours later we were in Singapore.  So were our cases.  But where was Lindsey who was on a flight from Melbourne which was due in at much the same time as our flight from Frankfurt?  No sign of her.  My phone had died from lack of battery and I really do not enjoy using The Builder's phone.  But more to the point, Lindsey wasn't answering her phone.  Probably not arrived yet then. More to the point, I couldn't find her flight on the arrivals board.  I wonder if that might have been because we were in terminal two and her flight was due in to terminal one?  So we joined the remarkably huge queue for a taxi, figuring that rather than wandering aimlessly round the arrivals area, we might as well go and wait for her in the reception of the place we were staying.  At which point The Builder's phone rang.  Lindsey had arrived!!  So we abandoned the taxi queue and took the Skytrain to terminal one where we could see Lindsey waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for her luggage.  She FOUND her luggage.  And came belting out of the luggage area - and completely vanished :-S  Thank goodness someone invented mobile phones is all that I can say.  Took ages to track her down!!

The taxi queue in terminal one was minute compared to that in terminal two so we hopped in one and came to the apartment that Ian had found for us to stay in.  A remarkably good find, I must say.  All the more remarkable given that he isn't coming to Singapore.  This is where we're staying.  It's about a ten minute walk to Orchard Road and is really rather nice.  I was a bit surprised at the paucity of resources in the kitchen.  Two saucepans but no sharp knife (and no wok, which seems odd given that we are in South East Asia!).  We did eventually find the sharp knives and a bottle opener.  But still no wok.  We also found, in our wander down to Orchard Road, a useful little supermarket and a rather nice Japanese restaurant.  Alas, there was no space for us in the restaurant. But the supermarket provided us with gyoza and munchy things and wine and we had a light supper before heading off to bed.

The Builder has developed a cold.  And although my eye is now very much better, I think the other one is going out in sympathy.  Not sure how Lindsey is.  It's only quarter past five in the morning (it's Monday December 3rd - the blog thinks we're still in the UK) and she hasn't appeared yet

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