Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Returning to New Zealand was much, much harder this time.

I’d had a real holiday – I’d seen my friends, done some film-making, and watched a lot of The Goodies - I’d been a kid again. In fact, the madness of those three things made me feel as though I had discovered who I was again - silly.

In a normal year I might well have only seen many of these people once anyway, but seeing the likes of Tim, Mickey and Herschel Krustofski practically all in the same week painted an unrealistically good expectation of every week in England.

The truth was, if I stayed, it just wouldn’t remain like this.

On the down side, for months now, when dropping off to sleep, I’ve been waking-up suddenly and sitting bolt upright with a start. Now I found this happening to me while I was sitting on a crowded aeroplane heading away from Heathrow.

Hoping that the person sitting next to me hadn’t noticed, I was able to make a note of the rather telling thing that I had been dreaming. I’d been standing in The Goodies’ office in a business suit singing I’m Puttin’ On My Top Hat.

Cathay Pacific, it must be said, have gone down in my estimation since I first flew to New Zealand with them in February 2004.

Now there were fewer TV channels. (no black-and-white comedy channel rerunning Sergeant Bilko today) Also, the guy back at the Heathrow check-in desk had said that they could only allocate emergency exit seats to disabled people, but when I’d told him he was wrong, he’d tried to do so. Unsuccessfully. Then, when I’d boarded the plane I’d accidentally sat in seat 33A by a window. So they’d made me move. Seat 33A remained empty all flight.

The second flight, from Hong Kong to Auckland, only had one working toilet on our side of the plane. When I asked the flight attendant for some milk, she said she’d go check for me, but never came back.

Finally, after the statutory 24 hours in the air, we began our descent into Auckland on a chilly Sunday morning...

Nuclear testing above the cloudline
Another of my famous up-side down shots (hey - we are in the antipodes)
I can see why they filmed Lord Of The Rings here
If you're ever floating a mile up in the air next to an aeroplane, don't go through this door
Ahh, they have changed the sign
At Auckland, I queued at Immigration for about an hour, wondering what unique problem they were going to invent for me this time. It was my two visas. They’d never seen that before.

Finally I made it out into the public area of the terminal, all ready to thank flatmate Dave for coming to pick me up and waiting so long.

But, ha ha, flatmate Dave had actually forgotten to come! I honestly found this tremendously funny. :)

The cab driver didn’t know the way to Howick, and tried to charge me for the time he spent looking up directions. I had none of that.

I got back to the deserted flat, and in my weary state texted Dave to ask where on Earth everyone was.

From: David
Date: 5-Nov-2006
Time: 10:04:00

I’m at church, Cathy’s at alpha camp, Tim’s at Pukekohe

Even Smokey the cat wasn’t anywhere to be found.

So I opened the freezer to get out the freezer-meal that I’d bought last September especially for this moment.

Dave had eaten it.

Finding my sheets, I made my bed (something else I’d failed to do before leaving in September) and crashed-out for a mere 3 hours.

Church that evening was good. At the start Melissa publicly welcomed me back, and everyone clapped. They made me feel as though I had achieved some Herculean battle against beaurocracy to be there.

Back at the flat afterwards I finally caught-up with Dave, Cathy and Tim. It was November 5th, so Tim had bought some rockets. We let them off, and somehow I felt as though I was at the beginning of another long new adventure in New Zealand.


2 comment(s):

At 3:01 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

Hey hey hey, kids... ignore grumpy ol' Uncle Goble here, he knows not what he says, it's the jetlag talking...
In fact every week really is full of seemingly unrealistic expectations that are actually met over and over again here in Merrie Olde England with your pal, Krusty the - hoo-hoo-hoo - Klown. Remember - my klown seal of approval is your guarantee.
(Bring in the seal... what do you mean, you could only get a walrus on short notice? What am I paying you people for? Eurgh!)

At 3:47 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

I heartily endorse this klown and/or spammer.


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