Friday, 13 January 2012

And so it begins...

This is definitely happening, then. Rach are I are halfway round the world - in Singapore, to be precise - stopping over for a couple of nights before completing the journey Down Under and starting life in Australia.

Above, you'll see the departures committee who waved us off at Heathrow early on Friday morning. Rach's brother and sister, Nathan and Heather, were joined by our good friend Gemma for a farewell breakfast in the Terminal 3 pub. It meant a lot to have friendly faces there, so thank you.

Fast forward to the flight itself, and to anyone who said travelling with Singapore Airlines was a good move, you were bang right. Excellent service throughout, almost more drinks than we could gulp down and even an early arrival in Southeast Asia.

What impressed me as much as anything, though, was this gadget in the toilet. Not your regular hot and cold taps, but an adjustable scale for water temperature with colour-coded arrows and a light that moved along the scale to indicate your preference. I'd be interested to find out whether this really is an exceptional bathroom fitting or if some of you have come across similar gadgets.

There were two couples with babies sitting fairly close to us. I felt sorry for the parents, especially when the seatbelt signs were on, as there really was nowhere to go when the kids started kicking off and crying. One of the dads looked like a long-haired Peter Crouch, he was wearing a checkered shirt and stood much of the time standing in the aisle, as if to accentuate his height. His partner looked nothing like Abby Clancy, though, so the analogy stopped there. It seems common for feet to swell as air pressure changes on a plane, although I didn't take this into account when using my index finger as a shoe-horn. Such was the squeeze that I bruised the finger, so perhaps I'll undo the laces next time.

The immigration hall at Singapore Changi airport was spotless and deserted, a world away from the chaos at Heathrow. It was still dark but the temperature was already closing in on 30C and the jackets and jeans we threw on back in England 24 hours earlier suddenly seemed very unnecessary.

We walked around part of the city before checking into our hotel. A lot of the streets are dominated by gigantic, sparkling high-end fashion boutiques. It's the year of the dragon in this part of the world and Rach looks pretty dwarfed next to this creation on one of the pavements. The Formula 1 fans among you may be distressed to learn the start-finish straight of the Singapore circuit, which we passed on our way from the airport to the hotel, has been deliberately flooded to allow dragon boat racing to take place over the next couple of weeks.

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