The Universe Is Expanding


That’s the only way to account for it. Not least because at 37,000 feet over the Andaman Sea I had just finished watching the truly excellent The Theory of Everything, the story of Professor Stephen Hawking. Whatever the reason, the journey to Australia really does seem to be getting longer. Endless, in fact.

It began to hit home sitting in the lounge at Heathrow this last Monday evening. There is only one British Airways plane a day to Sydney, always at the same time. Mike looked up from his screen just long enough to inform me that the previous evening’s flight hadn’t even touched down yet. Jesus. Over 24 hours still to go then. Mike is a bit of a plane buff, I won’t say spotter, but he does have an app on his phone that enables him to see where any plane is at any given time and where it’s going. (My attempts to read thusly interrupted every one and a half minutes by unofficial announcements on the destination of each and every aircraft accelerating down the runway.)

The concept of time is such a confusing thing, even to theoretical physicists never mind the likes of me. Thanks to the difference in time zones one arrives in Australia two days after leaving England and yet you’ll still manage to lose a day along the way. British Airways, and I assume all other airlines, maintain for as long as possible the pretence that we never left the time zone of the recently departed country. Thus they serve dinner after take off and breakfast eight hours later after a period during which the traveller is encouraged to get some sleep. One lands at Changi, Singapore, shortly after breakfast is cleared away.. just in time for sunset. At teatime in other words, local time.



Sunset over Singapore. Excuse the less than perfect iPad photo.


There’s a one hour refuelling stop and we’re on our way again. Usefully, the pilot has also found the time to spin round the hands on the clock. On re-embarkation dinner is served promptly. So promptly in fact that the breakfast croissants have barely had the opportunity to digest. Is it any wonder that long haul travel is so very exhausting.



Journey’s end. For a few days at least.

Far North Queensland, Australia


I’d toyed with the idea of a blogging break. But how about, instead, a postcard just occasionally? I don’t know how long I can keep it up. Much will depend on WiFi/mobile availability which from memory can be patchy in the more remote places. On the spot reporting. That means even I don’t know what will happen next..