Kate and I had been planning this, off and on, for many months. Before this, even, I had been planning to go to Ireland with the various friends of mine in the Melbourne Claddagh Dancers for their pseudo-Pilgrimage to the Willie Clancy Summer School (Scoil Samraidh Willy Clancy) since before the previous one in July 2002. But this wasn't just going to be about dancing - we planned to tour round parts of Ireland and visit friends and famous places in London as well. Then the job offer from EDS came through, I handed my resignation into Lochard, and everything suddenly got one thumbscrew more complicated...
My timetable, in the end, was relatively simple. I packed up the bulk of my belongings to be sent up to Canberra on Saturday the 14th of June. I finished up at Lochard on Wednesday the 18th, I drove up with all my remaining possessions to Canberra on Thursday the 19th, I completed all my paperwork for my new job with EDS on Friday the 20th, and then Kate and I packed and flew out on the morning of Saturday the 21st of June.
The combined Armstrong / Dowling Clan was out in force to see us off, and after the champagne and farewells we boarded our Dash 8C twin-prop aircraft for the journey up to Sydney. We got tickets for the journey through to London, and the seats furthest back in the plane. The transfer through the maze of Sydney Airport to the Singapore Airlines SQ222 to Singapore was relatively uneventful, and we managed to get window seats - alas, right next to the toilets. The same plane took us to Heathrow, but the new crew added 100 to the flight number, thus allowing us to travel as my old favourite SQ322. No window seats this time, but this may have been for the best as it was easier to get up and go to the loo when we wanted to.
After another uneventful flight (from memory) we got picked up by a driver that Susan had sent; thus, we arrived in the luxury of a Volvo S90 to Copperfield St, Southwark, our base for the next seven days. Susan greeted us and we settled in and had a decent breakfast.
© Paul Wayper Last updated
Monday, 13th of January 2003.
Part of the PaulWay Plane.