And feeling like I am finally on planet earth after a fairly gruelling flight home.
The visit to family was fantastic. But a few weeks before we left; Boo took a turn into Behaviour-land which made some aspects of the journey challenging to say the least. He is back in school now and we are back in the arms of his tutors, supervisor and the Director who are going to help me work through this latest phase of behaviour, please god.
However, let's focus on the positives!
Firstly, in case you have never flown halfway around the world with an 11 year old with moderate to severe autism, let me give you the benefit of my experience!
All credit must go to the excellent Singapore Airlines, and Sean in the Dublin office who booked all our flights and ensured we got our special assistance.
Let's not talk about the first leg from Dublin to Heathrow (Achh!)
and instead have a look at Boo on the new Airbus A380, in the economy section upstairs where we got our requested "two seats away from everyone else".
Yup, that is a multifunction Keyboard remote on his lap which operates microsoft word on the seat-back t.v screen. Flip it over and you have over 300 movies and T.V shows all of which can be restarted and fast forwarded to the credits endlessly....
What you can't see is the in seat power point where you can recharge your portable appliances, useful for when you need to be entertained in transit. The crew let us board first (before the mobility impaired who gave us dirty looks) and Boo was happily entertained and happy for the entire 13 hours of the first leg to Singapore.
Service, food and drink onboard are excellent but when we got to Singapore Boo needed a fix of carbs and caffeine.
We didn't do much else in Singapore but sleep and have a good rest at the Airport Crowne Plaza which is at entrance to Terminal 3. Literally across the concourse.
Singapore Aircrew assisted us from the aircraft, through immigration and baggage to the concierge desk of the hotel. I was exhausted by this stage and happily stayed in our deluxe room with a rainshower, plasma tv and intranet BROADBAND.
Boo was not interested in going anywhere so we just zipped in and out of the Terminal for meals (plenty of noodle bars and coffee places) and used the Skytrain to check out the rest of the place. The hotel is literally on the edge of the runway which suited aero-files like ourselves and sent a cooling breeze across the enormous but safely shallowish pool.
40 hours after arriving we checked out ready for the 7 hour flight on to Melbourne. After some more carbs of course.
When transiting, I follow the golden rules for child keeping. Dress them in stripes and make sure they have i.d. on their person. I wrote my mobile number on Boo in indelible pen and attached a tag to his shoe with his name and diagnosis.
And on arrival we rented a huge australian air conditioned car.
The first few days were quite cool but by the Saturday after New Year, the temperature started to rise.
After a delightful lunch with The Imeldas , and a walk around my old home town -
I brought them out to the Farm and hit the pool.
Which kept us all cool and amused.
So that is part one of our trip. Have to go and attend to the workblog now.
Thanks for sticking with me. More Soon