On Tuesday I wandered into town to pick up a few last bits and pieces and somehow found myself in the Disney store purchasing a brand new shiny pink princess bag that was ‘just exactly the right thing’ for Moo to take on the plane, apparently. I’m sure that wasn’t on my list.
I decided to pop in to my old place of work while I was in the vicinity and was not surprised to see that it was was busy, it was nearly lunchtime after all. It was good to see a couple of familiar faces behind the till and catch up with all the things that had not changed since I left. I was a little surprised when one of the customers I used to help came up and gave me a big hug and asked me how I was getting on in France. For some reason I did not expect her to have any recollection of me and certainly not my family circumstances, but she even remembered Moo’s name. We had a long chat about life in general and as I left she took my hand and told me that she would never forget how kind I had been to her when I worked at the shop and how much she missed seeing me in there. I never thought of chatting to her when she came in as particularly kind, I was just doing my job and being polite. It just goes to show you how many echoes your actions have, and how such small gestures can make such a lasting impression.
In the afternoon we went to the cinema, I thought it would be a nice treat for Moo to take her first love to a film. ‘I’ll get some sweets for them to share’ Thought I, ‘that will be nice’. A big selection bag was duly purchased and Moo, in the interests of quality control, had to try them out. She picked a big yellow chewy thing, bit into the end and screamed. It was not exactly the reaction I was expecting, and on further inspection, the ‘chewy’ sweet appeared to be fashioned from a substance akin to concrete. The adverse effect this had on her teeth was soon apparent as a previously un wobbly tooth had barged it’s way to the front of the tooth fairy line. It took about half an hour to calm her down, but it was the thought of missing her cinema trip that helped stem the tears. The offending bag of sweets had been consigned to be distributed amongst the staff on JJ’s office, but I would urge caution regarding the yellow chews.
Fantastic mister fox came and went as did the box of emergency ‘not so hurty’ smarties hastily purchased en-route. Thanks are due once more to JJ for sorting out the tickets.
When it came time to leave, Moo was adamant that she had to give first love a big hug, although, being nearly 7, he was just as determined this was not going to happen in public. After a frantic chase around she managed to rugby tackle him to the ground and a big hug was had. That’s my girl.
We said our goodbyes and for the next 2 hours Moo was inconsolable. The tears began almost as soon as he was out of sight, and despite the reassurances that we would see him again soon, they continued for the whole way home and lasted through bath time and hair wash. It was only when I told her it was time to get out of the bath and have tea that she stopped weeping about her friend, but only because she was now crying bout having to get out of the bath. I was really hoping this wasn’t going to last or it could make our imminent very long journey much, much longer.
Thankfully the tears dried in time for a quick tea while I had a shower and made sure all our bags were packed into the car, and then it was time for a slow roadwork strewn drive to Heathrow.
Check-in went relatively smoothly after a little weight juggling between bags, and it was time for a coffee and to say another goodbye. I can’t thank JJ enough for all the driving and housing assistance, it would have been an awful lot more difficult without her. I would also like to thank her for her cheery goodbye, I know she didn’t really feel like waving us off with a smile, but I’m so grateful for her thoughtfulness.
So it was off through security then the long walk to departures. Molly kept asking if we were still in England, and the length of time it took us to get to the gate, I’m not really sure that we were. Moo was thrilled to bits with her backpack full of goodies, and whilst I appreciated the toys and book and watch she got, and the flight socks toothbrush toothpaste combo wash bags we were given, I was wondering just how much more luggage we would end up with before we got on board.
With boarding, stowing of the many bags and Moo into pyjamas all accomplished it was finally time for take off. We watched London recede before our eyes and about 30 seconds after we broke through the clouds Moo was sound asleep. I had a very nice meal, availed myself of the complementary bar and joined her in the land of nod.
I managed about 5 hours sleep in all which is not too bad, and had two uninterrupted movies before Moo woke, just in time for breakfast, although by now the local time was was around 2pm, sausage and eggs were much appreciated. I have been truly blessed with a daughter who takes travelling in her stride and she plugged herself into an in-flight movie for the rest of the journey.
She was a little annoyed when I disturbed her to get her clothes on, but thankfully there was time enough for the end of the film before we landed. We began our descent through vast amounts of cotton fluff clouds and I wondered just how much lower we could get when all of a sudden we saw the sea right below us. By the time we broke cloud we were close enough to see the faces of the fishermen and despite Moo’s small concern the we were about to land on the water, the airport island suddenly appeared and we touched down thankfully, although only just, on dry land.
We got off the plane and made our way to the ferry terminal and, as our flight had landed early, when we checked in we had been bumped to the earlier sailing. By the power of free WI – FI and social networking I managed to let hubs know we were going to be early, and we were transported by the ‘magic’ driver-less train to the waiting ferry. We left behind the bright lights of Hong Kong international airport and headed out to the, by this time, very dark sea. Moo’s initial excitement soon turned to drowsy napping when she realised it would be a little more than the 5 minutes she thought it would take to cross to the water. In around 40 minutes the darkness was replaced by a dull brightness in the sky, which soon grew to a huge neon glow as we approached the shore. We watched in open mouthed wonder as we passed the technicolour flashing neon wonder that greets you, colours and shapes scaling and cascading over the vast casino buildings, each more spectacular than the last.
We were still open mouthed as we disembarked into the heat of the night and desperately hoped that our case had make as smooth a transition to the earlier sailing as we had. After passing through Immigration we were greeted with our successfully transferred luggage and a digital display that welcomed us warmly to Macau and informed us that it was just after 8pm, the temperature was a balmy 19 degrees and the humidity was at a, quite literally, breathtaking 94%. A warm welcome indeed. But the welcome I really wanted was waiting just around the corner and all thoughts of heat and heavy bags disappeared as we both ran into the arms of my beautiful Hubby.