It seems I have stumbled at the first gate (luckily not the boarding gate for my flight to Perth). My preflight routine, sentimental goodbye and nervous excitement I feel are to blame for causing my 'not at work, yet not quite on holiday' brain to forget to take a morning image resulting in what will be the failure to submit the full complement of morning, noon and night photos on the first day! Coupled with the limitations I am discovering of the iPad to upload photos taken by it's camera, it is beginning to look like this blog may be more about words than pictures, so I'll endeavour to make them worthy.
I'm writing this from my qantaslink flight to Perth from Alice Springs, blessed with having three seats to myself (while 2 large Maori men are squished into the 2 seats across the aisle) and satisfied by a corned beef and pickle sandwich and two perfectly portioned squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk.
On the plane's ascent I marvelled as always at the beauty of Central Australia and confirmed in my own mind how deeply in love I am with the landscape of the area I now call home. There's pretty landscapes everywhere but to me the red soil, blues skies and rugged mountains are indescribably special and seeing them at an increasing distance gives rise in me a feeling of minor anxiety that for the next day my surroundings will consist of fluoro lit airports and flying cigar tins before I arrive in the populated chaos and built environs of London. Hard to take when last night I shared pre-dinner drinks and nibbles with a rock wallaby on top of a mountain (really, although he declined the delicious yet considered somewhat unrefined black beverage I was drinking from a black can).
I'm yet to have that 'in limbo' feeling I find comes with long haul flying, not really a part of a timezone so not really a part of the world, I expect it to hit once I leave Australia. I find it a confusing but necessary period that helps the transition from home-to-away. At the moment I'm still getting used to the idea that after six months in the planning I am on my way!