Sunday, 18 April 2010


I can count the amount of times that I’ve felt really down since leaving the UK on one hand. Heathrow departures, a lonely day or two in Perth, the days before and after I stopped working for the Polo Player… and right now.

Try to understand. For five months, there’s been one constant date to look forward to. I’ve spent hours thinking about it, imagining the scenario, trying to guess at what might happen in that moment. At first it was months away, a dot in the distance. Slowly it’s crept closer until it was two weeks, then just a few days ago, when it was only seven days away. Finally, the talking that we’ve been doing since November has some relevance, we were now discussing plans for next week. A few days time. I imagined walking into arrivals and looking around for a familiar face, not just walking through a sea of hopeful relatives and cardboard holding cabbies, heading for the exit and finding a way to my hostel. I’ve spent hours wondering how I’d feel on the plane there, what we’d say to each other, and the next two days spent holed up in a Sydney hotel room.

Knowing that in all probability this now won’t happen, at least not on the date or with the ease it should, has been a pretty big blow. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to something for so long then realising it’s not going to happen the way you imagined. That you’ll be arriving at the airport as usual, and checking into your lovely but non-refundable, non-changeable hotel room alone, instead of with the person you’ve been waiting five months to see.

Yesterday morning I woke up and checked the BBC News website, only to see that the flight ban will continue long into the weekend. Today I checked Qantas and saw that his flight is indeed cancelled. Then I cried, because there’s nothing I can do about it. Hundreds and thousands of people are out there, delayed, stranded, feeling frustrated. This ain't reality TV, and a sob story won’t get you through.

But more than anything, I look at the headlines in amazement. We live in a world where terrorist attacks and light snow ground planes. Not ash, glass and rock from sodding volcanoes. In an obscure twist, for the last couple of days I've been killing time in Taupo and volcanoes are visible from every window I look out of. Yesterday I walked around part of New Zealand’s biggest lake and there three of them stood, huddled together in the distance.

I can't even direct my anger at anything, because all these stupid volcanoes dotted around the world are really bloody beautiful.

It’s like trying to get angry at a large, potentially lava spilling Labrador.

I know it could be worse. I know he'll get to Sydney eventually. But it won't be Tuesday April 20th, and that's why I'm sad.


Kirsty said...

Oh no! I've been trying to think of who I know that this might affect - but gosh, I never even imagined that it might mean your man wouldn't get out to you on time! I really hope he finds a way soon... from the UK side, it's causing total chaos. I didn't expect it to go on for more than a day or two - utter madness. But, better safe than sorry (that old cliche). Hope it all works out!

Anonymous said...

Aw, that really is shitty mcshitty. I guess you just have to remember that he WILL be there SOON - they can't keep him away forever. Chin up :)

Elaine said...

Hugs Jo. You must be totally gutted. xx

Ellie said...

I'm so sorry!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Kirsty - Yeah we weren't expecting it to last this long's just sods law.

roseskie - Yeah, Qantas have put him on a flight leaving on the 26th April, nearest available one apparently. But thats dependent on the volcano sorting itself out.

Elaine - Yep pretty much! We're both a bit down at the moment.

Ellie - Even more reason to get a pedicure now though, right?

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Jo. What miserable news. But you guys have come so far, a few more days and he'll be there!

Anonymous said...

I know it is frustrating, but he'll get there eventually and when he does the delays will be long forgotten.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

soupy - few days / a week. I vote everyone gets their hoovers out and aims them at the sky. All for a good cause.

perp - You speaketh the trutheth, alas, the wait continues...


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