Across Continents

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Angel Delight

I’d replied to the e-mail. Unable to resist inserting "Obeying zee orders" into the subject line. Well, so far at least, the Germans had been a regular feature of my travels. Hadn’t seen any for a little admittedly. But there’d been some suspicious looking beach towels around Surfers Paradise.

Emma, my trusty steed, and I aren’t exactly in anyone’s Frequent Flyer programme. But we do rely on my parents for advice on the best airline deals. Mum and Dad now experts in excess baggage and the byzantine rules of putting a bicycle on a plane. They do the research. I just make the booking. And cough up.

Latest effort my flights to and from New Zealand. Alas, without my bicycle. Far too expensive. My steed obliged to spend some time with friends in Australia. Few weeks there before a return to the road and the run down to Melbourne. Following my parents recommendation to the letter. As always.

Of course, there have been moments. The hop across the Caspian Sea. A small Lufthansa subsidiary my Dad said. Not quite. An old Russian Tupulov. Probably a cast off from Aeroflot. But it worked. Got me to Kazakhstan. And gave me a new-found interest in metallurgy. Metal fatigue and failure mechanics. Of rivets.

But never any hesitation to follow their considered advice. For an adult I may be, the odd grey hair – tell myself people pay good money for such mature highlights – but my relationship with my Mum and Dad is hugely important to me. Something this venture has really brought home to me.

Their opinion, their counsel, matters. Always has. True, as a teenager, I might have been a bit reluctant to follow their advice. Just once or twice. The odd moment when the only angelic thing in the house came in a packet. Add milk, whisk and serve.

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