Thursday, 8 December 2011

Back in Perth after a month touring Australia

I enjoyed our month away, but it is good to come back to base.

Jim and I got our delayed flight home yesterday, with no problems at all.  One interesting fact shared with us by the pilot on take-off, was that although we had been delayed 24 hours, at least we were in hotel accommodation.  Whereas, people had landed at Perth on the incoming flight, but because the landing bays were still occupied by outgoing (but grounded) flights, the incoming passengers could not disembark - for about 5 hours!  This is similar to the railway industry where if you run out of platform space, the trains simply have to wait outside the station (usually in a tunnel) until the platform space becomes available.  Until the train (or plane) ahead moves, there is simply nothing staff can do about it.  And on a plane, you can't simply jump to ground level to get out - you need the staircase - and if there is an electrical storm, nothing will be moving on the airside of the terminal - they won't move either planes or disembarking kit.  There were some snotty remarks on the Jetstar website to the effect that the writer hoped the air crews had distributed free drinks and meals while people were cooped up, unable to disembark.  This is a potentially worthy thought, except that on a budget airline, they will be flying with the minimum of extra weight, and will not be carrying extensive stocks of food and beverages.  In this situation, it is always the front line staff who get it in the neck, when they have no control over decisions taken regarding on-board stock levels. 

Because of my transport background, I made a point of thanking all the staff I spoke to, for excellent service given.  And we did indeed receive excellent customer service.

So this morning it was back to the domestics - shopping, cooking, washing.  I spent a happy hour or so doing the filing.  I usually record musuem and art gallery visits by sticking tickets and postcards into a scrapbook and making a nice display from each page.  Because I don't want to be carrying home the weight of a scrapbook, at the moment, all the ephemera is being filed in plastic sleeves in a ring binder.  My filing session certainly made the point that over the last month, I've been to a lot of museums and galleries!  This must mean Jim has sat in a lot of tea shops, drinking tea, eating cake, and reading the newspaper, while waiting for me! 

Jim has just come in from his bike ride to the library to get a new supply of books.  The librarian asked him whether he had lost a pair of cycling gloves, and showed the lost property to him.  These were not Jim's.  She said Jim was the only person who she thought might own them, because Jim is the only person who comes in, wearing cycling kit.  There's always something different about Jim and me, that makes people remember us!

It has been a wonderful month.

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