Menoptional [men-opshun-ul]; the condition of making decisions and weighing up conspiracy theories.

It's going to be one of those posts; the kind where I ramble a bit in order to get the thinking organised. As opposed to organising my thoughts in order to ramble. Jus' warnin' ya.

Y'see, it has been rather a helter-skelter ten days since I got back from Edinburgh. It is grand to have lots to keep one busy, but there comes a point where it needs to stop and a review of the situation be taken. First there was the prepping up for Rodeo day. It required quite a bit more 'tweaking' than I had perhaps thought, but that's fine. Just one small technical hitch on the first post as it turned out - but not the end of the world as we know it. During that few days, I was also frantically coping with a few changes going on in software at RedBubble, finding my uploads weren't quite working to plan... won't bore you with that, but suffice to say it meant working into the wee small hours again.

Had to turn  myself out on the Wednesday for that passport interview; just made that my grocery shopping day too, in order to maximise benefit of the outing. Housework also got caught up on. All day Thursday was Rodeo day and I hardly left the keyboard the entire time; in between more 'bubbling'...24 hours! Took Friday morning to catch some zizz then onto some serious catch up on my spiritual reading and getting AVBlog 'up posted'... this whilst trying to listen to the cricket.

These two items are not necessarily inimical, but the focus of each does tend to detract from the other!

Saturday the passport arrived. Fine, that meant I could get onto organising flights; but I made myself post up to Tuesday on AVblog and here first. Completely blanked on TAKE blog. Partly this is because I generally have it loaded up by the month. However, I had entirely forgotten that, due to the Stinky Lily Expedition, which took up the normal time frame of such posting, I had only gotten as far as the 12th. On the morning of the 13th, then, I got quite the shock to discover I had no photo post out!!! First time, amazingly, that this has happened. Again, not the end of the known world, but she does not appreciate a breakdown in systems, does she precious?  sigh.

Anyhoo, Sunday morning dawned and I did the bloggy rounds early so as to get to researching airlines. When I came through to the lounge, I found this...

This couldn't be good news. If you saw the caper with Orson the Ovine, you'll know why I was concerned. I am fast coming to the conclusion that Eric the Guide Stuffy in Training is a bit of larrikin; could this be the plotting of the end of the world as we know it? No, wait, that is Herbutt the Hund with him. HH is as steady-paced and wise a character as you'll find among the stuffies. Apart from Newted, that is. What's this though??? They are distracting me even now!  Where was I?

Oh yeah, Sunday lunch time and switched through to the lounge, fired up YAMspetoo and plugged in searches for flights to the Under Arm Australia. YAMspetoo? The Asus tablet with attachable keyboard and mini-mouse. Y2 is my second Asus of the 10inch variety, but the first was a notebook not a tablet- it came with me to India but sadly only survived a year in the heat, the dust and the total brutality I poured upon it. Such service it gave, producing items at which a much stronger machine might have wrinkled its circuits. I then was forced to purchase a stronger machine. Enter Voovoo the Vaio. Full brawn laptop, not without her quirks and foibles, but a sturdy specimen who serves now as my permanently placed office machine. She's still on Mumbai time, so I left all the bloggies 'there'; which is why you get them so early this side of GMT.

Another digression. sigh. I had been reminded by family recently that Edinburgh is now a fully international airport. The idea of skipping Heathrow holds very strong attraction. I shall not bore you with all the toing and froing and hesitations and rethinkings.

At 03:48h BST on Monday I finally hit the purchase button.

Aussie dollar against the poundHow could it take more than 15 hours? Well I had to wrestle with the decision to spend money. I've mentioned before that I do not have any income as such. (Forget RB - that's hobby-level stuff. Or worse. The 70 hours a week I spend on it holds no $value.) Living from savings enforces frugality. This is not a problem for me as I do live very simply on a daily basis. However, there are certain compromises that I now find I am not prepared to make in regards to travel - particularly at such very long distances. The compromise is that I have, since leaving India, opted for business travel. One of the things that struck me straight away is that flights from UK to OZ cost the same in pounds sterling as the same routes (but OZ to UK) in Aussie Dollars. It twists the brain a bit. The numbers look the same but mean very different things. AUD is currently half GBP. Those 'same' figures are actually double what I'd be paying were I in OZ and booking it.

I tried every which way, but I could not trick all the little etherimps into thinking I was in the Udderparts of the globe. The brilliance of Artie Intelly at work. There was the additional bugbear of not currently having access to my Aussie funds, so having to pay in GBP anyway was part of the trouble I suppose.

Having heard of recent stowaways on board aircraft from South Africa, I gave this option some serious thought. It lasted about - ooooooohhhh - 87 nanoseconds; they had climbed in beside the landing gear. One froze to death, the other most of the way there. No, the idea of going to OZ in November is partly so's to top up on therms. Okay. I could hitch by engine - it'd be warm there. Problem. Vertigo. Not to mention weak shoulders. It could end the world as we know it. sigh. Scratch that then.

Other factors in the decision making - with whom could I get the best trip (ie only one stop/change) out of Edinburgh and definitely avoid Heathrow? Short answer; Etihad.

Now this interested me because it was with this line that I flew to India the very first time and - though at that stage I did have to get from EDI to LHR first (and then the ***awful night flight by Air India from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai but -that's a tale for another day). Now, they fly direct from EDI to AUH then, as you'd expect, to SYD, (but I noted for future reference that they do fly direct into Mumbai also). Only certain times though. Other situations would require dropping in at some slightly left-of-field places like Dublin, or Amsterdam. Not that those places themselves are lof; but in terms of flying and wait-overs, not good.

All went well for the going, but the return options were a wee bit tricky to maneuver also. I know my planes and I was kinda holding out hope to make it work with max time on the Airbus; but gave in eventually to the 777 for the simple reason it is the shortest hours and only the one stop, right back into EDI.

My memories are fond of that first trip with Etihad; still have the flight blanket I somehow managed to stow into already bulging hand luggage and which served so well during an incredibly cold Mumbai winter. As with any establishment, though, the experience will depend very much on the crew dynamic.

Deed done. Out November 4th, back December 24th. ...but wait! yes there's more!!! Remember all that kerfuffle about having to get the UK passport because - I had read - it would be required for booking said flights? It dawned on my in the dim midday hour of Monday that I had never once been asked anything remotely like border control data entry throughout the whole process. Every possibility, of course, given the depth and deviousness of Artie Intelly, that the address details were enough to match up with recently acquired travel book. The tickets got emailed within an hour and say they are confirmed, so no worries there. Did I hallucinate that info in one of my no-nighter spells? Was it misinformation in order to exert control over the masses? Is 1984 catching up and the end of the world nigh???

Have hardly slept a wink since. Adrenalin. It's only 114 sleeps, after all.

Not that the time was wasted; have kept the mind and hands busy. Found myself here at Wednesday morning with the only post not done for the week being Thursday's - which it is now... Okay, I did catch a couple of hours kip somewhere about 36 hours ago. Am on overdrive. Better get some meditation in to try and wind it back a bit.

[note to self; may not be best idea to talk so much of the ending world, having booked a joyously anticipated trip to World's End.]


Bouncing Bertie said...

The psychology of spending money during periods when one is not earning is, I think, interesting. Even when I knew I had more than plenty in the bank, when I gave up a well paid job to go back to study a few years ago, I suddenly became much, much more careful about how and when I spent my savings, and buying things like plane tickets became much more fraught! But I'm glad you finally got it done, and avoiding Heathrow is always a good decision (and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future). From Aberdeen most people try to go via Schiphol, and these days we also have the option of changing in Frankfurt.
Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about the planned trip Down Under.
Cheers, Gail.

Milton and Mr. Stubbs said...

So glad you nixed the idea of stowing away! It took our mom 3 months to let go of her money and book a flight. When you don't have much to begin with it is hard to let it go she says. Hope you can meditate and unwind!

Joanne Noragon said...

Isn't this exciting!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, it must be a relief to have your tickets and confirmation of your flights. I like to travel but the airport stuff and ticket purchasing is a pain! It is an exciting trip!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh yes, when I swapped from tech/finance into medical, I had two years without income but only managed that due to maintaining the frugality. Mother taught me well! We have to beware it becoming in implosion though, and now it's done, just have to prepare...Yxx

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...yes, it was a bad idea from the moment it was a germ of a thought! The only slightly annoying thing about all this was that if, after all, I did not physically actually need to have the passport I could have been onto it sooner and possible got better deals.... but everywhere it was "oh no, don't book tickets till you have the passport"... Hey ho.... Yxx

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It IS deae lady, IT IS!!! Yxx

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It was 15 hours of pain right enough. But fading now! Yxx

Murphy said...

As uncomfortable as airline travel is, it is probably a bit better than hanging on from the outside. Of course if you were hanging on then leg room would be ample. Something to think about! Imagine how different the week would have been without electronics!

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

Pee Ess - Oreo's mom has challenged our mom! See details on mom's boring blog:

Merlesworld said...

I hate flying and sea travel, but hanging on the side sounds awful, I'm waiting for those machines that transport you in a minute or two.

Charliedownunder said...

Crikey Aunty ..... do you EVER sleep? I just get tired reading about all you fit in one day let alone trying to live it. You're heading downunder??? Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!! Now remember ...... don't try and smuggle any critters in with you. Don't want you to get into trouble like Johnny Depp.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh Merle if you only knew how I long for the 'transporters' of the 24th century!!! this is why, now, I have decided that as longs as it is at all within my reach, I will travel business - but that may not last long at those prices!
Y xx

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
You make a fair point...only thing is at 4'10", leg room is least of my trubs!!! (I dooo need to keep them well raised though, as age has ensured the ankles get well swollen when travelling.) Yxx

ps I'll be over shortly.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Managed to get a full night of catch up last night Charlie mate... yes, I was even thinking I may avoid bringing a stuffie on this trip in case the border folks go ape... but perhaps Mr Pickles the monkey could come?

Will be talking to your mum about contact in the near future! Yxx

Mark Muller said...

oh that's a lot of annoying and stressy stuff before we can start... maybe thy want to make sure that we really deserve a howl-i-day after all that stress?
easy rider