My search for a poem to suit our homeward journey didn’t find what I was seeking.
But I did discover Jumbo Jet by Spike Milligan.
I saw a little elephant standing in my garden
I said ‘You don’t belong in here’, he said ‘I beg you pardon?’,
I said ‘This place is England, what are you doing here?’,
He said ‘Ah, then I must be lost’ and then ‘Oh dear, oh dear’.
‘I should be back in Africa, on Saranghetti’s Plain’,
‘Pray, where is the nearest station where I can catch a train?’.
He caught the bus to Finchley and then to Mincing lane,
And over the Embankment, where he got lost, again.
The police they put him in a cell, but it was far too small,
So they tied him to a lampost and he slept against the wall.
But as the policemen lay sleeping by the twinkling light of dawn,
The lampost and the wall were there, but the elephant was gone!
So if you see an elephant, in a Jumbo Jet,
You can be sure that Africa’s the place he’s trying to get!
– Spike Milligan –
It’s hard to travel without rushing or waiting and today we’ve done both.
We couldn’t get a seat on a plane home from Milan in time for the National Party conference and the next best option our travel agent came up with was leaving from Zurich.
We left Verona at 9.30 this morning and were due in Milan at 10.55 with 15 minutes to catch the connecting train to Switzerland.
The train from Verona was late, leaving us with just 5 minutes to get off it, run with cases to find the platform for the next one and board, which we did with two minutes to spare.
That train was supposed to take us all the way to Zurich but about a third of the way in to the journey it stopped at a station and we were told to get off. Several announcments were made in German which didn’t help us and we had an anxious wait until a train arrived three quarters of an hour later and we were told in German, French and English that we should board it.
It was bound for Lucerne, and we were told we had to change for Zurich but not at which station. We found out in time but had only a couple of minutes to catch the connecting train which got us to Zurich Central Station.
It was just a short train ride from there to the airport however, we were too early to check in so had to hang round for nearly two hours with our cases.
Still, better too early than too late and at least we were able to wander around which was easier to deal with than the hour wait on the tarmac which Cactus Kate faced.
We’ve a flight to Singapore ahead of us now, four hours in the airport there then the final leg home. But I won’t relax until we get to Christchurch because we’re scheduled to land at 9.30 on Saturday morning and any major delay will mean we’ll be too late to vote in the election of directors at the National Party conference.
On July 31:
1856 Christchurch was chartered as a city.
1956 Jim Laker set a record by taking 19 wickets in a cricket Test against Australia at Old Trafford.
1976 John Walker won a gold medal at the Montreal Olympics.
Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History Online.