It’s a long journey, from Willunga to Adelaide Airport, by public transport and mother-in-law. The 10pm flight started at 4.30pm, at bus stop 99, Aldinga Road. As good a place as any to shoot for the moon.
Bus then train. I watched Seb, who is certain of his own indestructibility, pick out some music on my old phone while I wondered if, forty years ago, my own parents smiled through their fears. Then a short wait for Anna’s mum to pick us up on North Terrace. I spied with my little eye seven taxis that might have taken us, but the one we wanted arrived eventually. So to the airport where I was quite pleased with how calmly I took the news that there aren’t any international Qantas flights tonight, sir. Which flight were we looking for? Oh, QF8441, booked via the Qantas website? You’ll need to go to the Emirates desk, sir. Well, of course we will, and happily.
At the Emirates desk Karen was enormously helpful, and also impressed and surprised that we proposed to attempt Europe with only cabin luggage. Thus garlanded, the seasoned travellers, seven feet tall and ready to master the world armed with nothing more than a few toiletries and a spare pair of knickers, ran into the Border Force, who confiscated our toothpaste. And so the world was made safe for democracy.
The man in front of us in the queue reassured his interlocutor on the telephone that, what with the Coroner finding in their favour, they were surely home free now. We all have our reasons for wanting to see the world.
Once on the plane I started experimenting with the in flight entertainment system. The first few channels, bees on lavender, whispering forests and misty lakes, bore a creepy resemblance to the screens in the euthanasia chamber in Soylent Green, which cheered me up a treat. Anything to take my mind off a seven-year-old, already four hours past his bedtime, alternately hypering out on flashing lights and snarling at his brother, who did what he could to de-escalate the situation by emulating the Sphinx, if not quite so consistently. Ten thousand kilometres to Dubai.