Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...


Virgin Blue: Huge Thanks!

I am normally on the complaining side of the equation when it comes to customer service and I am rarely impressed by the way companies deal with me which makes it particularly noteworthy when they do it well. On Friday I was not just pleasantly surprised but utterly blown away by the lengths to which the check-in staff of Virgin Blue at Sydney Airport went to help us.

Our online check-in failed to work but we had run out of time and had to get to the airport as quickly as possible. It was raining, hard. The traffic ground to halt a not even a kilometre up the road. We got to the airport and the transfer bus from long-term parking failed to arrive and then got stuck in a traffic jam of taxis. We missed the flight and would have had to buy a ticket for a different flight and not use our tickets for the Australian Open that night.

The ground crew not only didn’t make us buy another flight, they moved heaven and earth to get us on any of the next three flights out of Sydney and they did it despite the fact that we were both, frustrated, angry and upset (I was rude too, but Emily kept her head!). Thanks to them we missed only the first set of the women’s singles match that night – the first of three – and saw all 5 sets of the men’s.

We would probably have gone straight home and not gone to Melbourne at all had it not been for the people that helped us. Instead we had a fantastic weekend away, saw a day and a half of top class tennis. I can’t thank them enough.


  1. You can take the boy out of Hertfordshire...

  2. Damn right! If that wasn't the case I'd currently be talking with an Australian accent and I don't think any of us want that.

  3. The last time I saw you, wasn't there just the faintest, slightest hint of a...? Er, well, no, perhaps not, maybe it was just my imagination after all.

    Nice bathroom, by the way; is it yours?

  4. It's terrible the things you pick up. I now say "you're alright" when someone apologises for minor infraction like stepping on my foot.

    Worst of all you start doing these things with heavy levels of irony and then find yourself doing them for real. My latest one is resisting the urge to curse and saying "fffar out". Awful.

  5. ...and no that's not my bathroom. It's in the Bavarian beer cafe in Sydney.