Hello there. It’s been a while. And I figured that there’s no time better than the present to get back into sharing everyday sparks. Maybe not quite every actual day, but if I notice things that you might also like. And that might take our minds off whatever we are going through for a minute or two. Whether you’re in lockdown, or enjoying the fresh taste of freedom on a European holiday (deep down I’m happy for you friends, really), or somewhere in between, it seems like the time to celebrate the little things.
The first day of a new month seems like a good place to start again, so here is the sunrise from Sydney’s northern beaches this morning. The sun is now rising around 6.45am and there have been some spectacular morning and evening sky shows over the past few weeks. Almost like nature knows that lockdown is no fun at all, so it’s throwing an amazing opening and closing ceremonies to make us feel a little bit better.
As backyards go, it’s a pretty lovely one and we’re very lucky to be stuck in this part of the world, although things do feel like they’re getting a bit out of control. People are getting very cranky and the divisive cracks seem to be widening. I’ve stopped watching the news and reading comments because they are not helpful and just make me mad or sad – both of which are bad.
You know what makes you feel glad? Sunrise. 10/10 would recommend.
Before I go on, I do want to say that I realise how lucky I am to be able to travel – especially on overseas adventures to the other side of the world. So, any criticism that I make of plane travel is in that context – a lighthearted whinge, not a serious complaint or gripe about the sad state of my world. Just so we’re clear.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, my first travellin’ post is about the craziness of long haul flights. I think I’ve mentioned before that on the height scale, I’m closer to ‘pixie’ than I am to ‘giant’, but even so, I find myself tucked into crazy yoga positions as I try to fit in my seat – the one that is to be my chair, bed, cinema, restaurant (and everything else) – for the first leg of my trip: the 14 hour flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi. At least my neighbour was lovely and just the right amount of chatty. A German chap who’d lived in Sydney for six years, he warned me early in our conversation that he had a strange eye condition as he had been hit at close range with a tennis ball a few days ago and now had a medically-induced dilated pupil to ensure that his eye didn’t explode. We joked about the inconvenience of an exploding eye while flying, but luckily he survived the flight with both eyes in order. Although I did panic when I heard a loud hissing noise – turned out he was just deflating his neck pillow. Phew.
Anyways, it was my first time flying with Etihad and they were pretty good. A feature that I particularly liked was the way they managed the ‘wake up’ part of the flight. It’s always so arbitrary – you board at a certain time and you know your arrival time at your destination, but everything in between is really just a mish mash of hours and days as you cross time zones and you’re served dinner when your brain is expecting breakfast. In the olden days, the staff used to just plunge the cabin into darkness to encourage people to sleep, then flick the bright white lights back on whenever the plane clock said it was time to wake up. Like the end of a disco, it was always a shock to the system and felt a bit like being punched in the face. Those days are gone – I appreciated Etihad’s thoughtful way of sending you to sleeep and gently waking you up with their version of sunrise / sunset. Here’s the overhead light sunrise – imagine it through bleary eyes and a frazzled mind to get a better idea of how it seemed at the time…
And to finish that first leg of the journey, here are some mugs that I noticed in a shop at the airport in Abu Dhabi, where I had a few hours between flights. Just because in my confused state, I thought these were pretty amazing.
PS, I’m posting photos on Instagram as I go – I’m everydaysparks there if you want to join me…