Well, that was a new experience. A long time flying devotee, airports and airplanes have always been places where I enjoyed a drink. Or two… or more.
We arrive at the airport early, two teenage travellers and their 50-something parents. Fumble and fuss, fuss and fumble until we are all sorted out and can take a seat.
I grab my book and coorie deep down into the seat and start to read. Do not think about wine! Do not think about wine!
Luckily, I’m reading a quit lit classic, Clare Pooley’s Sober Diaries, and it is the perfect book for this first flight being so engaging and easy to read, so funny too. It certainly helps.
I realise that I have usually drunk at airports when in the Qantas or Emirates lounge where the drinks are FREE – and you’d never expect a Scot to pass up that sort of an offer. This time we are Vietnam Airlines economy and there’s no hope of a free anything!
The bushfires in New South Wales have been burning for weeks. The plane climbs above the smoke haze and we fly above steep plumes of grey and pink. As the sun sets, there’s a red glow from below, the fires still burning.
The plane takes us north, beyond Australia’s further escarpments and floodplains and over the Timor Sea. A blood-red moon hovers between smoky grey slipstream clouds.
I finish The Sober Diaries, and immediately start reading from the beginning again, realising that I am just like many other mums who drank too much to be healthy, without going completely wild. Nothing special about me, just a common or garden grey area drinker who could never seem to manage to have ‘just one.’
The plane’s drinks trolley rattled around for the last time. It’s a tonic water for me again… and I keep reading. I know I will need to keep reading and reading.
Hello Hanoi! We made it, escaped the bushfires and escaped old habits of boozing when sky high too.