Sunday, 6 November 2011


I’m writing this in Auckland’s Domestic Terminal with a couple of hours to wait for my flight to Napier.  The flight from Hong Kong was completely uneventful: just how a long-haul flight should be!  So what is there to tell you?  Unsurprisingly the answer is ‘nothing’.  The odd thing is that when I was sitting on the plane waiting to disembark I thought of all sorts of things to say.

When I got to Immigration I realised what makes entering NZ so special compared with any other country I’ve been to - including the UK!.  It’s the friendly welcome.

Having come through the Biosecurity checks quickly and painlessly I was out in the sun walking between International and Domestic: a walk I have done at least twice a year since 2005. It is a walk which, for some inexplicable reason, I feel is the proper start of my journey home and not just a journey between countries.

Things are different in New Zealand.  Domestic flights are still like they were between Glasgow and Lewis in the Good Old Days ie about 25 years ago when security as we know it today was unnecessary, where the same staff greeted you at the airport year in and year out and therefore knew you.

Mind you there are still moments like that at Stornoway.  A few years ago when I was travelling weekly between Stornoway and Glasgow for several months I walked towards the check-in desk and as I approached it the person behind the desk already had my boarding pass prepared and gave it to me with a ‘I’ve given you your favourite seat again, Mr Edwards’.

A couple of years ago as I boarded the Auckland to Napier flight for the last leg of my journey home to Napier and was welcomed on board with ‘Graham, you’re back. Wonderful’ and a chat before I took my seat. The flight attendant is a lady (I nearly said girl’ which to me she is but I realise that that isn’t PC these days) from nearby whom we know.  How special and at home does that make you?

 So my next posting should be as a Hebridean in New Zealand.  See you there - I hope.


  1. Welcome back :) Glad it all went well.
    NZ - two degrees of separation?

  2. Great GB. Glad it has been a painless journey. Yx

  3. I'm glad all went well once again with the flight across the world - and also glad that at both ends, you're back in Blogland! :)

  4. Welcome home. Happy to hear the natives were friendly!

  5. In England it's so not PC to say, "lady"...it's woman!

    On the loo doors "Ladies" has been replaced with "Women", which I hate!

    Glad you've arrived safely.


  6. Good to hear the flight was uneventful!

    Sometimes, like you, I am thinking of a lot of things I want to put on my blog, but by the time I get round to actually sitting down to write, my mind either goes blank or can't settle on one topic. Therefore, I always use the notepad on my mobile phone to keep track of those ideas popping up, just one word is usually enough to trigger off the whole strange machinery that is my mental library.


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