Once upon a time, women donned sheer pantyhose, their perkiest hat and best coat to board a plane. Men wore suit and tie. It was something to look forward to and brag about to your neighbours.
We've flown half-way round the world with our four kids in the last two months - to Hawaii for Thanksgiving and then to New Zealand for Christmas. We're home now and we won't be hopping on a plane for many a month. Shame, because air travel is just still so glamorous. It's exactly like the new TV show, Pan Am (which I've never seen, but friends say is ghastly, sexy, sexist or boring, depending on their world view).
A picture of our our arrival at Auckland, NZ, shows three pairs of feet. My feet, which always swell up to twice their normal size and stay like that for a day. The enormity of my cankling is fierce - babies scream and grown men weep. Our youngest son, Cy, seven, somehow arrived with only one shoe, but still carrying his two-day old school lunch of spaghetti bolognese. And the other person pictured is my sister, Sharon, who met us at the airport at 5.30am and was wearing one of each of her sneakers...
My new huge legs have everything to do with ignoring the Joan Collins old-school mode of embarking gracefully and presumably slender-legged. On the plane La Joan C. has always exhorted us to; move the legs and feet continually, don't eat the plane food (not even a salty cracker, especially not a salty cracker) don't touch alcohol and sip water continuously.
Just as I was shoveling down a plateful of beef bog with a chaser of the kids' leftover meals of cheese on whitemeat, finishing with wafer-thin choccies, I suddenly remember. "Joan, Joan... Why have I forsaken you?"
And how very much I could have achieved on that 12 hour flight. That plane ride could have lent me time to write that elusive novel (about what? who knows...) or at least address the 100 "Happy New Year! Joy!" cards we failed to send before boarding. Or at least at least, watch some of those improving arthouse films I've read so much about in the New Yorker. Instead there's loads of staring into space for me and blobbing mouth-wide-open at any of the blockbuster movies with weddings in them. Contributing to the fuggy air, tinged with the all-too-human movements of humanity. Yes, our seats are next to the toilets again.
Any glamorous travel moments in your weekend?