Finally home after another fun board meeting in Melbourne. Every quarter - basically February, May, August and November - I attend the professional association board or Council meeting as the Western Australian representative. Fly out of Perth very early Saturday so I have some free time cruising Melbourne in the afternoon then the meeting runs all day Sunday, most of Monday and I come home Monday night.
This time on Monday - evil weather! Decide I should go to airport a bit early - flight at quarter to 7 but it takes some time to get from the middle of Melbourne to Tullamarine and town was being tiresome so I went back to get the bags and headed out around 4.30. Hit the airport just after 5pm when the weather was being really disgusting - hail had been forecast but the taxi had had to slow due to the heavy downpours as we went along the freeway.
Check bag, get drink and some water and sit down with book and paper to await the boarding call. Didn't happen. Instead my fellow travellers and I hear that the plane due to take us back to Perth has been hit by lightening and needs an inspection in the hangar. Earliest departure will be 8.30pm but worst case scenario - 11.30pm - stay tuned!
Ring husband (DH) to inform. Qantas allow us all to have $20 of food from anywhere in the terminal on them by just showing our boarding pass. Have some noodles "extra spicy" which apparently means how I would usually have them - mild but they were nice.
Next announcement - 9.30pm departure. Don't call home this time as DH had gone for a swim. Wait a bit longer - now no plane. Qantas will put us up overnight and we will all go home in the morning. Go to collect bags and find that our transport vouchers are back inside the terminal leave bags with Qantas staff member. Go back through security check who always look sideways at my handbag (aka the hand haversack) - "Yes! Yes! You've actually seen it before and it hasn't changed. Maybe you should have looked better last time..."
Join queue for Cab Charge and details on hotel plus gain copy of form letter with apology for lack of plane and explanation. Request computer access to explain to boss why I won't be at work and am shown into a staff room to access e-mail (on a reread this afternoon - I was tired when I wrote this!!)
Get to hotel after queuing for cab and queue for room. DH calls exactly when I'm trying to check in as predicted. Tell him I'll call back. By the time I hit the room and its king-size bed, it's 10.30pm Melbourne time. Put kettle on for cup of tea. Call room service for skim milk. Phone not working properly. Try to call husband - no answer
Everything else in room is king-sized including the vanity unit where the only mirror lives which is so high I can't get close to the mirror to remove (or replace) make-up.
Have shower in lukewarm water. Doesn't seem to have a hot but certainly has cold. Also no where to put shampoo, conditioner, face washer, soap and comb requirements. This room was designed for a 6 foot tall bloke with no hair. That much is obvious.
Try to call husband - no answer. Try mobile a couple of times with the same result and realise that there is little to no signal in this room. Try to call husband - no answer.
Blow dry hair. Drink tea. Try to call husband - no answer.
Make second cup of tea. Organise clothes and early wake-up call after setting up alarm clock. Try to call husband - no answer.
Go to bed and am rudely awakened by early wake up call but pleased by this as the alarm clock never goes off. Repack suitcase and go down for brekkie and 7.45am bus ride back to airport.
Recheck suitcase which has gained 2 kilos in weight (how can this be?) and enter the departure lounge after suitable bag scrutiny occurs (again!) Realise I can't call husband now as it is WAAAAAY too early for Perth-time. Hover around shops. Our plane is apparently due at 10am. Buy a book I haven't yet read and some more chocolate to replace the stuff I consoled myself with the night before. Plane will now be 10.30am.
Time ticks past 9am and I call DH who got many messages last night apparently - some unrepeatable and possibly not making much sense either I suspect. Tell him I should be home by 10 past midday. Buy shoes (well I've read the paper and started the book already and my knitting is in my checked baggage - roll on Airline Review!!)
Plane now departing from the other end of the terminal (WTF?) and at 11am. I rang DH from my seat on the plane at around 11 once the doors were shut and we had a definite departure time. Managed to be back in Perth at 1.30pm only 16 hours after we were supposed to be there.
Guess I was lucky we weren't on the plane that WAS hit by the lightening and I am home safely but now have lost a day basically to an Act of God.