Illusions of familial bliss. 

Yesterday afternoon, I went to meet LMC at the corner as she was walking home from school. I needed to go to the supermarket, and I didn’t want her to walk all the way home when I was in town anyway. 

I waved as I saw her walking toward me, and she broke into a run.  Then she threw her arms around me and said happily, “Boy, am I glad to see you!”

Before she had a chance to explain why, two ladies who had just walked out of the bank and stopped nearby  both smiled at what they saw and heard. They probably thought I was her mum, and that she just loved me that much. 

One said, “Oh! How beautiful!” The other said, “That’s so nice to hear! Just lovely!”  

They both beamed at LMC and then at me, as if I had performed some kind of child-rearing miracle. 

As LMC and I walked away, she explained that she wanted to go to the supermarket, and she needed to work out what to wear for a disco-themed out-of-uniform day for school. And could she have something special for an after-school snack?  It wasn’t so much that she was happy to see me: it was rather that it suited her hopeful plans for me to be there at that time. 

Even so, I’m glad she didn’t blurt that out in front of those ladies. It would have been awful to shatter their illusions of our idyllic family life almost as quickly as they were created. 

Kia Ora and going the Extra Mile.

Tonight I’m on a trans-Pacific flight from LA to Melbourne via Auckland. There are kids on this flight who have been on a trip to Disneyland courtesy of the Koru Care charity which is sponsored by Air New Zealand.  To continue the Disneyland experience, the flight attendants have all dressed up in fancy dress to serve the kids and make their flight more fun.   

 
Dinner and drinks were served by Minnie Mouse and Tinkerbell, while coffee was served by a CHiPS police officer.  

 
I have to say that he did take it very well when I asked when the rest of the Village People were coming out.

I’m so impressed by the continual efforts of the staff to do everything to make the flight memorable and fun. It’s a great war to promote the charity, too. 

They’ve also been wonderful to me after a very long and emotionally exhausting day. After a painful and tearful farewell followed by extended flight delays and an international connection time that was whittled down from 6.5 hours to 47 minutes, in which I managed baggage claim, terminal transfer with all my luggage, check in and baggage drop, security checks and getting to the right gate before they closed the flight. When I realised I had made my flight, I burst into tears of relief. The attendants were just lovely and so supportive, and did everything they could to reassure and comfort me. 

I love flying with Air New Zealand and I love the way they treat their clients. They’ve won me.