Four flights and a funeral

So, funerals eh? They can tend to take on a surreal or hysterical quality at times, and I can attest to this fact having taken four flights in 24 hours to attend one last Friday. I’m not going to go into details, because that would be a downer and we’ve had enough of those, and it’s 2013!!!!! Year of not being 2012!!!! Woooooo! That Man’s Pa was, however, a wonderful and beloved man, and we were very sad to farewell him.

Can I just say, d’you like what I did there? Four flights and a funeral – FFF – geddit? Yep. Didn’t think so. Anyhow, bright and early at 4am we were bound for Sydney airport for our whirlwind 24-hour tour of Brisbane and around 30 or so family members. Bright? Who am I kidding. It was HOURS off sunrise. I have to say, I’d take the four weddings version over the four flights, particularly when two of them are with Tiger airways. Flying with Tiger does bring a particular feeling of suspense and adrenalin though, since you don’t actually know whether your terminal will be in the airport or in a hangar down the road, or whether, in fact, you will take off on time or in 3 hours when there are sufficient people to make up a flight. It’s the perfect motivator.

After eating a muffin containing a fly (a small fly, and it was in the bag – figured it couldn’t have eaten very much) and two very strong coffees I was all fired up and speaking Swahili. Hmm.. Perhaps too fired up. Halfway back from the airport we had a call that another brother had just arrived from New Zealand. We did a U-turn back to the airport (you can do those up there. Oh the liberation!) I tried to sit on the rest of the phones so we could make it all the way back the next time.


While I was ensconced in food prep for the masses, That Man negotiated some exercise time with his cousin, a personal trainer, and came back nearly vomiting. HA I say, and HA again. I mean, are you ok? Hair was straightened, shirts were ironed, (women were asked, but women refused. I am woman. Roar), faces applied, dresses donned, then we stood and waited….. And waited…. And were handed A RUNSHEET OF DEPARTURE TIMES. With car compositions. I mounted my objection by correcting my ‘Kym’ to ‘Kim’ and taking possession of some contraband carkeys and stealing contraband people.

Thus all was smooth, but for the minister who forgot the orders of service, and eventually turned up with them 20 mins late. Folding and inserting and racing in to the church, we sang along until we got to the part where the order of service called Pa ‘Sarah’. Hmm. Is this some Navy thing we don’t know about?

Wake shmake. You know how they go. The best part was when That Man’s pilot brother talked about the games bored pilots play… Only allowing each other to touch the controls twice to land the plane, in two swift manoeuvres. The uncle who takes phenergan, travacalm, Valium, motion sickness tablets and refuses to leave the country, yet was catching a flight home the following day was turning some interesting shades in the glorious Brisbane sunset. Colourful. Families, and funerals. Even when they’re black.

Have you been to any eventful, unusual or awkward funerals?