"No - wait, I need to look whimsical!"
A quick blip from Christchurch airport this evening while waiting to board the flight to Sydney. Christina dropped me off at Nelson airport at lunchtime, and then came and sat with me till it was time for me to board - I took a couple of photos of her on my phone.
I'd like to say that it has all been trouble-free so far, but alas - no! Ronel and Xandre came out to meet me at Christchurch, the plan being that we would go for coffee together as I had several hours to kill. But due to a major electronic glitch with my booking, we spent the entire time that they were here standing in the check-in area, while six Air NZ staff, and two other people on the ends of telephones, tried to sort me out with boarding passes for the onward legs of the journey.
The whole ticket is a Virgin Australia one, but I will never actually be on a Virgin Australia plane, as it's all codeshared, with Air NZ across to Sydney and then Etihad onwards to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Although I was showing up as having reservations on all legs, the computers could not marry it all up as one journey. At one point, I was even issued with a visa for Australia, as it looked as though I was going to have to reclaim my bag in Sydney and re-check it to Abu Dhabi. There's only an hour and a half turnaround there, so there was going to be someone waiting at the aircraft on arrival to run with me through the airport..... but at the last minute, the computer decided to say "Yes" to my bag being checked all the way through, thank the Lord. I, however, will still have to pick up onward boarding passes from the transfer desk in the transit area in Sydney.
AND the computer has stuffed up the sector across to Sydney so that I will not get meals or movies included, which I should have done. So I've had all-day Eggs Benedict and bought some snacks. And at least I have my current Poldark novel to read.....
See you on the other side!