The lesson is simple. Just don’t get out of bed…

Anyone got a sledgehammer I can borrow?

So, as I post this, I’m at the MediaConnect Kickstart conference in sunny QLD. I say sunny because, well, that’s what all the travel brochures suggest it’ll be. Anyway, I have a somewhat storied history with MediaConnect’s conferences. I’ll preface this by saying that these are all basically health/time issues, and don’t reflect at all on the conferences, which are excellent – I wouldn’t spend the time doing them otherwise.

Anyway, previous conferences have seen me betrayed by Cityrail, turning up at the airport as my plane was due to leave (I got lucky – it had been delayed by an hour), struggling with a spine that decided to give out (I spent much of the conference either in pain or in la-la land on painkillers), or immediately post surgery – once with my all-too-frequently-mentioned on this blog snip, and once four days after an emergency appendectomy. All of this probably points to a stupidly stubborn streak in my psyche, but that’s not the point. Today, so I thought, was going to go smoothly. Alarm set for 5am, to the station by 6am, and at the airport at 7:00am at the latest, giving me plenty of time for a relaxed coffee sitting as near the Qantas Club as possible without actually going in.

At least, that was the theory. The practical, as it turned out, was a little more adrenaline-filled.

  • Alarm goes off at 5am. But unbeknownst to me, one of the kids has switched it from “
    buzzer” to “radio”, and turned the volume way down. Alex continues snoring…

  • Di wakes up at 6:30am and notices that I’m still, well, there. Wakes me up in a panic.

  • Panic, dress, throw rest of stuff in bag. Debate for 4.7 seconds if it’s worth waking everyone else in the house to bundle them into the car and drive to the airport. A bad idea – it would take us ten minutes minimum to get them into the car, they’d quite fairly complain the whole way there, and we hate driving through the city. We’d also be winging it, directions-wise.

  • So I drive into the station to get a train. There’s just time, as long as I make the North Shore train.

  • Which of course I don’t.

  • So having bought a ticket – including the ridiculously expensive airport station surcharge – I check the boards. Nothing until 7:10. Phoning home to check the timetables reveals that it would be theoretically possible – with connecting trains leaving with a one minute gap – to hit the airport station at 7:51 exactly. One minute after check-in for my flight is meant to close. So I head out to find a taxi….

  • This is where my luck was in; I found the Indian equivalent of Michael Schumacher, who got me from Hornsby Station to the Domestic Departures terminal in a flat 25 minutes. Thirty kilometres. Throught the busiest parts of Sydney, including the city. I was in the car, and I still don’t know how he did it. Clearly, God must have liked me this morning, as the traffic lights were almost uniformly green the whole way along. Of course, the cab fare means I’ve now got a second mortgage, but these things happen…

  • The check-in counter is packed. I use the electronic machines, and amazingly, they work… but I’m told the flight is full, so I have to check my larger bag in anyway… so back to the queues.

  • Naturally, to cap things off, I get to the front of the queue just as they’re pushing people through for my flight – including trying to push some in front of me.

  • So, no coffee at all yet – my caffiene system has a dangerous amount of blood in it right now – but surely things have to be looking up soon. Right? RIGHT?

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