The Extreme Sport of Packing

So, the Boy Band is halfway through our world tour – leaping through the skies from Hong Kong, we hit Australia (hard!). But it’s a tough country and it barely yelped. Tonight, we jet off to South Africa.

Since the Malaysia Airlines aeroplane disappeared from the sky, my fear of flying has increased to an unhealthy level. And it’s not helped by tough questions from eight-year-old Lead Vocal: “Why did that plane crash? Will our plane crash? But hardly anyone dies, even if we crash, right? Do I have to wear that life vest if we crash in the sea? Really? Even though I can already swim 10 metres??? How do planes stay in the sky?”


They really shouldn’t. It makes no sense. Not only is it a heavy, metal tube, but it’s full of heavy people. We are lucky. We live in Asia, so most of the people are really skinny. But I personally add a few extra unwanted kilos, plus we smuggle on litres and litres of apple juice and Ribena and lemon squash for the Boy Band, whose food fussiness extends to liquids. (See: Food, Glorious Food.)

And what about the luggage in the cargo hold? What the Hongkongers lack in girth and height, they make up for with ridiculously large suitcases, bursting with weather-inappropriate clothes. And two of the Boy Band insist on bringing Trunkis on board (if you haven’t had the pleasure, they are those ride-on, child-sized suitcases, guaranteed to take you out below the knees if you step backwards at the check-in desk. And the kids ride on them for about 50 metres before they either beg to be pulled along, or dump the Trunki on the already overladen luggage trolley.) And those darn things are like the Tardis. I’m sure if they ever got weighed, we’d end up paying for excess baggage. Toys and more toys and blankets and secret snacks burst out of a fire-engine design suitcase when Air Guitar opens it up, just as we hear the “Final Call” boarding announcement.

But back to Australia. We had a blast at the family wedding. The boys didn’t disgrace us. We had drugged them with excessive iPad usage, so they were zombie-like during the ceremony and meal.

We didn’t do too much sight-seeing. Darling Harbour, a wildlife park, the toilets of the wildlife park, the toilets of Darling Harbour, the toilets of MacDonalds… Drummer Boy was very keen to see inside Sydney Opera House, but we knew that precious landmarks and Drummer Boy just don’t mix. “I pwomise not to bweak it,” he said, batting his baby blues. We didn’t believe opera house

By this point, he had already broken his Uncle’s swimming pool safety fence and a mannequin in Rebel sports shop. We knew our insurance would not cover the Sydney Opera House.

The other major break we’ve had is my toe. My left little toe, to be precise. It may now be the most expensive left little toe in the world. Thankfully, our medical insurance is picking up the humongous bill, only quibbling over the crutches and the fancy-dancy cast, which seems a little mean of them. It’s the most expensive left shoe my husband has ever treated me to.

We arrived back in Hong Kong from Sydney at 9pm on Saturday night. We were scheduled to fly to Johannesburg at midnight on Easter Sunday. It was going to be a crazy turnaround, but we were confident we could unpack and repack and get on our way.

Until I kicked the skirting board as I rushed towards the suitcase. More haste, less speed and all the jazz, my friends. Oh, if only I had a time machine. Or was less of a klutz. But no… a kick is a kick, and I heard the bone snap like a twig. I wailed like a baby.

broken toe

Fast forward eight hours (because they can’t give you anaesthetic until you have fully digested your children’s Easter eggs), and I ended up on the operating table at 6pm, and now have a bionic toe with a permanent pin in it, an ugly “Aircast” boot so I can channel my inner Stormtrooper, and a Tango tan from my toes to halfway up my left leg after an enthusiastic swabbing with Agent Orange, or whatever germicide they use in surgery.

But the tour must go on. We are now scheduled to fly to South Africa tonight. Thankfully, with wheelchair assistance at the airport. Little does the porter know, but by the time two members of the Boy Band, some Duty Free bags, plus a couple of Trunkis have been piled on top of me in the wheelchair, it will resemble a Bangkok Tuk Tuk.

On the plus side, the aeroplane will be lighter (and therefore more likely to stay in the sky), because now I only have to pack shoes for my right foot. Every cloud, dear readers… every cloud.





Parp! Parp! I’ve won an award!!

And a few more parps! That, dear readers, is the sound of my own trumpet.

After years months weeks of hard slog, crafting this blog with the same attention to detail and depth that James Joyce paid to Ulysses, I have been nominated by a fellow Mummy Blogger (M’logger? Mugger?) for a Liebster Award. Thank you, Motherhoodhonestly for sharing the bloggy love.

A Liebster Award is like a blogging love-in: an award by bloggers, for bloggers. There’s no trophy. Only the glory and a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s heartening to know that one fellow blogger enjoys my work.

In accepting this award, I am obliged to answer 11 questions posed by Motherhoodhonestly, and then nominate 11 other bloggers (who have fewer than 500 followers) whose blogs I enjoy.

1. What is your morning routine?

Pretend I don’t hear The Cute One yelling “Mama! Mama! Mama!” at 5.30am. Hope that the Roadie will go get him out of his cot before he wakes Drummer Boy. Give in and fetch The Cute One into our bed at 5.35am. Shuffle over to make space for Drummer Boy at 5.36am. Admit defeat, put ice on my black eye and bruised kidneys, and head for the living room at 5.47am. Try to huddle in the dark on the sofa and encourage quiet time… give up at 5.52am and switch on the lights, the television, an iPad and my iPhone… Oh, this is too painful. I won’t bore you any further.

2. Where was your favorite vacation spot?

We actually (and I can hardly believe I’m writing this) had a fantastic holiday with the Boy Band last October in Danang, Vietnam. You can read the review I wrote at Jetlagandmayhem

3. What is your guilty pleasure?

Reading at the gym. I can even read iBooks while using a weight machine. It’s an unsung skill, being able to count 20 reps while simultaneously reading.

4. If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone (living or dead), who would it be?

Urgh, I hate coffee. Could I just have a Coke Zero with Oscar Wilde, please?

5. What inspires you?

Other mums who do so much more than me and achieve amazing things.

6. Name three of your favorite features about yourself.

My philtrum, my uvula and my opisthenars.

7. If you could go back in time (knowing what you know now), what career would you choose?

Queen of the World.

8. Name a habit you picked up from your mom.


9. Describe a perfect Friday night.

Glug, glug, glug. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

10. What is the best television show you’ve ever seen?

I can’t decide between Teletubbies and In the Night Garden.

11. The thing you use every day (other than your phone)…

Three-ply toilet paper.

Phew! That’s done! And it didn’t even cause a brain sweat.

Now, here are my nominees:

motherhendiaries (wryly amusing – I dare you not to smile – or snort!)

iamthemilk (best blog post titles ever – and the posts are good too)

Eatingcoventgarden (so much food, so little time)

oneclassymotha (great title, great blog – laugh-out-loud funny)

5boysandadog (ha ha ha! she has more boys than me!)

Now, those of you that are following really closely will notice that that list looks suspiciously shorter than 11 names. Well done, both of you!

I have to be honest, 11 seems like a lot. Like a ridiculous amount. Because putting things like links in is really hard work for a newbie like me. So, I’m hoping that 5 is enough. Equally, I’m hoping that no one snatches my Liebster from my sweaty palms for breaking (bending) the rules.

You might think I’m being a tad lazy cutting 11 nominees to 5, but let me tell you, it’s a lot of hard work being Liebstered. I know, you only see the glamorous side of it… It’s like the Oscars. We ooh and ah over the shiny jewels and the shimmering dresses – but those celebs worked their butts off to slide into those Spanx. And those diamonds are heavy! So, between creating links to other blogs and trying to find how to add a Liebster badge to proudly display on my own site, I am running out of steam. And my work isn’t done; I’m off to write posts on the 5 nominees’ blogs to let them know I shared the Liebster love with them. An award-winner’s work is never done! I need an agent!!