We touched down in Dubai only 10 minutes late due to heavy air traffic over the Arab State and simply moved a couple of gates to our second flight, this time to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. We boarded a similar monster to the first one and got chummy seats again on the other side of the plane for a change, so we felt quite at home really! This flight gave us a sandwich over The Gulf of Arabia and drinks over India, we had a sleep over the Indian Ocean and breakfast over a set of islands we’d never heard of!

The haul into Kuala Lumpur got a bit bumpy at times but all was well and we arrived safely although we were surprised to be asked to leave the plane while it refuelled. Only 90 minutes later we took up the exact same seats we had before then took off on the final leg to Melbourne. This time around, drinks were served over the Java Sea (doesn’t that sound dead exotic!).

Sleep was fitful for the two of us but, as the day only had 16 hours in it, it didn’t feel too bad. Mary and I then chalked up another first when we flew over the Equator although neither of us could make out the thick, black line on the ground! Dinner was served as we reached the northern coast of Australia. Yippee! Tie me kangaroo down, sport!

I must tell you about Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system. For information you can follow the flight path of the plane from take-off to landing, including altitude, speed, distance and time to destination. Movies include all the best classics plus the latest blockbusters such as ” Brave” which Mary watched and “Lincoln” which I dipped in and out of.

But the music section was really fantastic. It included all the UK number 1’s since the charts started, so I listened to the songs that were Top of the Pops on each of my first 30 birthdays. The day I was born, Perry Como was at the top with “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes” but I found some wonderful songs including Cliff’s “The Young Ones” when I was 9, “You’ve lost that lovin” Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers when I was 12, at 15 Manfred Mann”s “Mighty Quinn” and the late, great Andy Fairweather-Low’s Amen Corner singing “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” on my 16th birthday. Memories indeed!

As we flew over Alice Springs it became Wednesday!