Picking up where we left off…

OK, so it’s been nearly three years since I updated this blog. In fairness, I have had a minor issue to deal with, in the form or Breast Cancer, and I did keep writing throughout that journey (see www.boxysboobjob.com). But it felt wrong to use that blog for more trivial posts, now I’m well again. So I’ve left the boob job as a relic of battles past, and am picking up here where I left off; blogging about my crazy travel, F1 antics, and generally embarrassing mishaps.

For the benefit of those I haven’t already bored to death; before we go on, I should probably provide a quick recap.

This time last year, I’d planned to go to Australia to celebrate my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, my boobs had other ideas and I ended up having chemo on my birthday. But that was ok, I just decided to celebrate my 41st instead. So one year on, I’m picking up where I left off and heading out to Australia to celebrate in style. I’ve upgraded my flights to first class, I’m having a week in Melbourne, four days in Sydney, three in Auckland and four in Fiji. In my usual style, I have a pretty packed itinerary and can’t wait!

BA First Class

So I’m sitting in the BA Concorde Lounge at T5. I’m on my third glass of champagne (no idea what it is; I’m the uneducated one at the end of the bar who’s picking the wine with the nicest label), eating nuts (all good intentions of finding something healthy went out the window when the barman starting talking…) and wondering whether I’ll make it to the plane, let alone Australia?! My 20:50 flight to Hong Kong is delayed by an hour, but I don’t mind – I have a 7-hour connection in Hong Kong, and I’d rather spend an extra hour here than there. So as long as the barman doesn’t keep topping up my glass with bubbles and strawberries (loving the strawberries, on so many levels!) I’ll be fine. I’ve already been to Tiffany’s, I just need to make it past Prada… famous last words…

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So I made it to the plane. Tick. One of the crew turned me left at the door and showed me to my seat. On first impressions, it doesn’t look that different from Business Class – lots of leg room, a flat bed, and actually less storage space than in Business? But the seat is more spacious and comfortable, and when the wine list arrives the difference becomes clear. Within seconds of sitting down, a delightful cabin attendant called Russel arrives with one question: champagne? Do I look like I need more champagne?! Clearly yes, and he returns a minute later with a bottle of 2015 Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle… no idea if that’s a good vintage, but it’s what I was drinking in the lounge, so I congratulate myself for not mixing my drinks, and settle into my surroundings.

After a flutter of snow and sub-zero temperatures hit the UK this weekend, there was some disruption at the airports and the captain soon comes over the tannoy with an update to our delay. Apparently, we’ve boarded wonderfully quickly – thank you – but we’re in a queue of seven other aircraft waiting to be de-iced before takeoff. This process is likely to take another hour, so it’ll be a while before we push back. My long connection in Hong Kong improves again and Russell reappears, bottle in hand, with that look on his face – the one where he doesn’t actually have to say anything, just leans forward, raises his eyebrows slightly and presents the bottle… Marvellous, thank you.

We finally push back around midnight, by which time I realise that perhaps I should’ve familiarised myself with the navigation on the in-flight entertainment system before the wine list? Still, I manage to find Taylor Swift in the ‘essential albums’ section and all is good in the world 🙂

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Once we’re in the air, dinner is served. Enter cabin attendant Jemima. She’s never met me before today, but Russell’s obviously had a word, because her first question (before asking which meal I’d like) is which wine I’d like. I’ve already decided I want the scallops and salmon to eat, so I explain that I’m considering the 2016 Stellenrust 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch. The slight snag is that I actually like the sound of the Chateau Faugères 2010 Saint-Émilion Grad Cru, but not sure red goes with fish? Jemima has clearly experienced such a quandary before, and suggests I start with the Stellenbosch? Perfect. I like her already. A little later, as she clears my dinner plates, she returns with a 2015 bottle of Argentinian DV Catena Tinto Histórico and just leaves it on the table in front of me, saying see what you think of this one too… Oh Lordy, I can see how this is going…

AN: It’s worth pointing out that I’ve packed my gym kit in my hand luggage, with all good intentions of squeezing in a workout in Hong Kong; partly to kill time but also to work off some of the plane food and wine before exploring Cathay Pacific’s Business Class lounge… Odds of this actually happening are diminishing as quickly as the wine…

After dinner, Jemima reappears and asks if I’d like her to make up my bed… maybe in 20 minutes or so, when my dinner has settled? She duly returns a little later with some pyjamas, slippers and a Liberty bag of bathroom goodies. I toddle off to the bathroom to change, and return to find my bed made up with duvet and pillows. I snuggle down and am out like a light…

Next stop, Honkers. Odds of getting to the gym…?

#BoxyOut xx

 

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