Monday, 10 November 2008


Monday’s game plan, with us flying north in the afternoon, was based on opportunities for Madam to catch up with friends with Hughesy indulging in activities that would kill time. 

Those were supposed to involve wandering around bookstores and CD shops. But once I’d picked up a couple of titles I just had to have (the new Le Carre, a Michael Dibdin/Aurelio Zen omnibus and a new Andrea Camilleri) reluctance to spend anything beyond what was necessary saw me sitting around cooling my heels while I waited for departure time. If that sounds a bit extreme, the reader needs to remember that straight after I’d picked up those titles I wandered into a CD store where I could easily have spent a couple of hundred dollars filling gaps in the music collection. I was better off avoiding unnecessary temptation and challenging decisions. After all, I had Inspector Montalbano to keep me amused.

I caught up with Madam and an online acquaintance in the coffee shop at the Hilton and induced a minor dose of excitement by announcing Gamba Osaka soccer team’s luggage was being unloaded in front of the hotel. 

I started reading, taking a break every so often to wander around, deftly avoiding be suited fit-looking Japanese scattered around the premises and talking animatedly into mobile phones.

We walked across to Gouger Street for yum cha, caught up with one of Madam’s ex-colleagues over a gelato and, thanks to an unexpected offer of a lift to the airport, found ourselves cooling our heels waiting for check-in to open. Adelaide Airport is an impressive facility, but I wish someone had reminded the architect who designed the place that passengers waiting for check-in to open might be there because they don’t have much choice in the matter and might appreciate something to sit on.

Once we’d separated ourselves from the luggage there wasn’t a great deal to do that didn’t involve enjoying the view across to the Adelaide Hills from the Coopers’ Ale House and a snack before the boarding call.

Once aboard, I immersed myself in The Patience of the Spider and, some three hours later, back on terra firma once we’d reclaimed the belongings, it was time to see about a shuttle from the airport to the unit. It wasn’t the speediest of transfers, but once we were back where the Adelaide leg of the trip effectively started there wasn’t a great deal to do until the time came to resume the northward journey two days later.

© Ian Hughes 2017