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Posts Tagged ‘journey’

The intrepid traveler gazes out into the grey morning over the tarmac at Heathrow….Terminal 2…the Queen’s Terminal. The first leg of the journey is over. Thank goodness! I survived a snoring old soul, a fractious baby and an over active gentleman in the seat in front of me. The writing was on the wall when I sat down in my seat. I was just getting settled….book positioned glasses near at hand and earphones in my pocket. Suddenly the chair in front of me surged back into my face. The plane had not even moved onto the runway and he was in relaxation mode! I debated whether to say something to this over zealous passenger as I envisaged eating my dinner lying on my back. There was another concern….. I shuddered at the thought of his rather oiled hairdo slipping into my delectable airline food. Thank goodness that I had recently acquired the status of ’advanced years’ and it had magically transformed me into a patient and tolerant  human being. I decided to wait and contemplated the result of such an intervention. Would revenge set in from the vantage  position of the front seat as a result of me meddling? Instead I would pull out my much practiced teacher’s voice.

“Young man, would you be so kind as to raise your seat?’

My squashed legs ached and I would far rather have just taken a swing at him with my handbag but I am sure that the civil aviation rules would just not allow that sort of  behaviour.  Pity! As this course of action would have gone a long way at assuaging my pent up frustration. All that was behind me now and thank goodness my ‘dark side’ did not get the better of me!

The bag lady......

The bag lady……


So here I was sitting back people watching for the next 10 hours.
There was the obvious ‘not so young’ honeymoon couple off to Portugal. They gazed into each other’s eyes and whispered to each other.

 A pair of over anxious parents were next with their clearly genius son…..the questions were enough to make any brain ache! But the wonder and curiosity in that little face was precious. Pity we cannot harness that energy. I am sure it could provide enough fuel for a plane to take off!


I must have been a soft target as I then got nailed to take part in a survey. You know the kind….. What do you like about this place? What would you improve? I tried to take it seriously as I realised I was representing a carefully chosen group which would affect their statistics.
There were many positives in this recently overhauled terminal 2. But I don’t think the surveyer expected the replies that she got from her carefully selected person.
“I like the chairs without arms as you can sleep across them when you have a long delay like mine. The extra length allows you to have a place for your makeshift cushion and there is space for my feet to curl up too.”
I would love to be able to have access to a shower. One for the ‘common man’ that does not cost £60! All my earlier research drew a blank and even the sweet talking of the gentleman at the rather elegant public lounge came to no avail.
So I will continue to ‘slum it’ and sit right at the back of the plane.

 It is all part of it……the pain with the pleasure. The intrepid traveler is getting to see the world.

Nothing quite like a coffee to wake one up....

Safely at my destination………

 

No matter where you are, no matter where you go in the world, you will need someone to stand by you.

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‘Ek wens ek vlerke soos `n arend dan vlieg ek oor die see…….

 

The engines groaned and the plane shook as the landing wheels lowered into position. The vibrations had been part of my last 24 hours. I reminded myself that I should also don a pair of those grotesque earphones. Everyone else seems to wear them to block out the cacophony of plastic squeaking and mechanics rumbling. No, this would only lesson the excitement in my stomach. I need to hear each sound, savour the anticipation and enjoy all that was once familiar. I strained my neck forward to take in the lights and scanned the horizon for the recognisable landmarks.

 

 I had maneuvered my case off the turnstile with my one good arm and made my way through customs. As I clung to my South African passport I took in the familiar accents and people. Bright adverts and logos lined the corridors. There was a barrage of thoughts that flooded my head as my eyes and ears responded to the stimulus. One being…….I miss my regular dose of the Nando’s humour! I loved their regular adverts which always make use of any current events or politics. It always amazes me how it is the somewhat insignificant things that come flooding back when I put my feet down on South African soil. I can feel that I am back and I have not even got out of the airport building!

 

So much to do and say......

So much to do and say……

 Their bright faces stood out in the maze of people gathered at arrivals. It was wonderful to be able to finally see their familiar faces in the crowd! They were there waiting for me and as we jumped into the ‘bakkie,’ Kurt Darren’s voice rang out through the speakers. Tears of joy rang down my cheeks…..it was so good to be back with all that was dear and familiar.

 

‘Die rivier is vol maar die trane rol……..’

The stay in Johannesburg was short but just enough time to get over the jetlag and the swelling in my long suffering arm. The bonus was being able to make brief contact with dear friends. My only regret was that I could not get to see everyone. All too soon I stepped onto another aeroplane and the next leg of my journey had begun.

 

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http://www.myspace.com/xseptemberleavesx/music/songs/maple-tree-73735223

 

You can always count on me and I will plant you a maple tree…….

We planted a maple tree today in honour of Canada Day…… all 4 metres of it. It is thin and scrawny but the bright green leaves indicate that it is a healthy specimen. It stood in our ravine at the bottom of our garden and was cosseted by the many elms and grander maples that surrounded it. But in this position, it fought for light and sustenance as the bigger brothers took preference.

I will carry you on my wings……

The birds protested as we gently carved it out with a big ball of soil attached to its roots. I think they thought that some larger disturbance was afoot. It made the journey up to the front garden perched in our wheel barrow. It looked rather ungainly as we trundled up the side rocky pathway and the leaves shook in protest as the gentle wind blew around us. Its new abode awaited it in the front garden.

I will build you a house of stars and give you safety while you sleep…..

It was to be the only shade tree on the front lawn, a bastion to welcome us home at the end of a long day. It had a position of importance with no competition for sustenance. The hole which will nourish it for years to come had been filled with all ‘the good things for trees’ like bone marrow and rich garden soil.

The most beautiful place in my heart belongs to you……

This tree carries hope for us as a family here in our new country. Like this tree, we have been pulled out of the ground and replanted. Thankfully, we have carried with us ‘our soil’ i.e. the customs, memories and traditions. We have carved out a new environment and the food to sustain us comes from the support that we have received. The faithful friends and family back in South Africa who keep in touch and from the Canadians that have shown us kindness.

You can climb up on the peak……….

A maple tree is meant to grow to 18 metres, we have a long journey ahead of us, but it is sure to be an exciting one!

Our young maple tree.

 

 

 

 

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