I had forgotten how vile long-haul flying can be. This little tot has helped to drastically reduce my carbon footprint, in the air, but flying anywhere more than four hours is remarkably like giving birth - you forget how painful it is, just a couple of weeks after the ordeal is over. Mothers of two tell me that approaching labour brings the memories flooding back of just how excruciating it can be, and you have to question how you'll get through the the inevitable hours ahead. Boarding our flight to Australia was similar, and I had to wonder how I'd arrived at the daft scenario of flying anywhere solo for more than twenty minutes with our thirteen-month-old son. Normally his limit to sitting still is one episode of Hairy Maclary, and even then, he likes to lap the living room. Lapping an A380 can be limited though, let alone doodling away any time at all on the floor. So as we were herded onto the plane first, I found myself wondering how we'd while away the next eight hours in a jam-packed, thoroughly toddler-unfriendly, confined space.
We did survive. Though an hour out of Sydney I was forced to do some devious plotting as to how I might wake the stewardess. She had drifted into gentle slumber since the captain announced severe turbulence (that never found us), and had seated every passenger for the last three hours of the journey. After sitting angelically on my knee for almost two of them, I switched Hairy Maclary off the laptop and subjected tt to the realm of nothingness for three minutes, which effectively woke the purring Singapore Girl, and had her ringing the captain to enquire as to the possibility of the seat belt sign being switched off. It worked but Hairy Maclary and Hercules Morse have been flogged to death and are officially off the ratings list.
The human race has suffered at the hands of long-haul flying for long enough. Surely the pursuit of recreational space travel could be shelved for a while, until someone invests the same amount of effort into teleportation.