I use day in the loose, twenty fourish hour sense, as this day began one afternoon, finishing on the next.
We had just spent a fabulous week away with Ivan’s parents, at their home. Sunny skies, slip n slide, accidental tan lines. Quiet, birds, a breathtaking view, crocodiles and a mirroring chimpanzee. Family, swimming pools, warm ocean waves, lying in the sand. All good things must come to an end.
The first plane was delayed an hour. It needed a part a destination or two before it reached us. No biggie. It would take two planes to get home anyway, and at least we were killing time with family.
But that first plane had to make a stop. Almost as soon as we’d taken off, it seemed we were landing, picking up a few more passengers in a small town on the way to Brisbane. After about half an hour, we were taxied out onto the runway. And then we stopped. And stayed stopped. It was dark by now, and the kids were getting restless. After a small while, the captains voice spoke: there was a plane parked on the runway. Actually, as it turned out, there were two. And a fuelled helicopter to the side of us (read: heavy, and could not be moved without starting). There was no turning around, and because of the darkness, no reversing. So we waited.
Thankfully the plane was uber light on passengers and no one seemed to mind the boys crawling over the seats. Distributing the Caramellos my mother in law sneaked us amongst our fellow travellers may have helped with this. We chatted with passengers. We chatted with the flight attendants. We found ways to distract the boys. The attendants were accommodating, smiling and gracious:
Is there anything we can get you?
I’ve always wanted a pony. (Just joking. No I’m not. Sure I am…)
After awhile, a solution: another plane could take us on another runway. The pilot left to start her up and a mini van came to take us over in bundles. Finally, we were flying.
It was after eleven PM by the time we got to Brisbane, so off we shuttled to a hotel. Food? There’d be a delay. One-thirty, and it was time to sleep. Five AM and the baby decides it’s time to wake up.
Mid morning and we were flying again. We’re almost there! We could almost taste it. With the thump on the ground and rush down the runway, we were practically home. But then there was a problem attaching the stair exit thingy, so more waiting. In for a penny…
It was fixed and we were almost at our car. It was pouring rain so I waited undercover with the boys, while Ivan went to get the car. Except he wasn’t coming back with the car. And he was talking to someone in another car. Just standing in the rain. What was going on? Was he trying to help them with something? No. He was asking if they’ll help us.
Our battery was dead. The internal light had been left on in our car all week. In the cold wet, Ivan released the hand brake and pushed the car out of its spot. The person he was talking to drove up to meet our car, they popped the hoods and connected the jumper cables. It was too far gone, though. Every last speck of energy had been sucked away and a professional was required.
Thank God for the NRMA.
We were finally, well and truly Homeward Bound.
Walking through the front door, one of the first things I noticed was a big cardboard box. I’m not much of an online shopper (or shopper in general, really), so it was a little bit exciting. I walked over to discover it was our toilet paper delivery. I peered in, picked up a roll and read:
We’ve just signed up to this (incredible and inspiring) service called Who Gives a Crap. Launched by three guys earlier this year, it’s a monthly home delivery service, providing you with their eco-friendly toilet paper, while 50% of their profits go to WaterAid. WaterAid is an organisation dedicated to providing access sanitation and clean water across the globe. This is incredibly important stuff. To grab a quote from the toilet paper boys, “2.5 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet. That’s roughly 40% of the global population and means that diarrhoea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 2,000 children under 5 every day.”
As a family, we’re always going to need toilet paper – the family cloth is where I draw our crunchy line! Previously, we paid a little over forty cents a roll. We now pay a little over sixty cents. As far as we’re concerned, it’s twenty cents well spent.
So it was a long twenty fourish hours, sure, but who gives a crap? I have a toilet (and much more). And that’s pretty awesome.
P.s. I may or may not have turned the car off when we arrived home, after being told it needed to keep running in order for the battery to recharge. Meaning it wouldn’t start. And we had to call the NRMA again.