Back from my quick LA/NYC trip. Six flights in 7 days with two long-haul, two 5-hours and two one-hours. Travelling with the Qantas crew was fascinating and about half way through I started taking copious notes. I learned a lot being in the crew bus with them from airports to hotels, during the milling around of check in and check outs. Chatting to a Captain’s wife one day, talking to a young female pilot the next. Listening to two young Southwest Airline flyboys (one in a leather bomber jacket and the other with AN AMERICAN FLAG PRINT TIE I’m not kidding) asking my friend excitedly about the A-380s. Hearing about the configurations of 774s and the fact that there are places in the plane we don’t know about, where crew can go to rest. I got teary saying goodbye – it had been the same people on all the planes (bar the MEL-SYD/SYD-MEL flights) and was pulled into close hugs by two of them when I said goodbye. I got to visit the flight deck of the 747 when we’d landed at JFK and sit in the Captain’s chair. And wear the Captain’s hat. The look in my eyes in the pic; you can see the ten-year-old girl in there, thrilled to the core. LA was great: walked Downtown and discovered wonderful deco architecture. Saw the stars in the footpath. Had a Balboa Bar at Newport Island just like Marissa on the OC. Shopped at Fashion Island which is not an island, and again in Costa Mesa. Twenty-four hours in New York was better than no hours in NY. Met my agent Virginia; it was really great to spend some time with her talking books and writing and publishing. I hope you all still have your fingers crossed for some news soon. I know you must be getting pins & needles. It’s been ages. Walked all the next day, from the hotel in Brooklyn across the bridge and up to the beginning of the High Line. I will say this now: the High Line is one of the best things to see in Manhattan. It is a triumph of regeneration of space. It’s like a botanic garden, elevated above the city. The trip home went well, but deteriorated rapidly from SYD-MEL once we found out that all the flights were chocka, filled with Logie peeps. We managed to get a seat in Business, behind Lisa Wilkinson and in front of Rebecca Gibney. We scoffed champagne to celebrate the finish of our trip and by touchdown, we were laughing hysterically about stupid stuff and I’m sure annoying everyone. It was that same delicious feeling of being back in school, aged about 15, and giggling unstoppably with friends and making the teacher cross. And annoying everyone else not in on the joke.
Now I have to go and find some breakfast outside of the house. It’s early and I don’t want to wake the family with the coffee machine and by cooking eggs. I think I might go and sit in a cafe with the papers. Back to regular, writerly and readerly transmissions tomorrow.