It’s 1pm and I’m about to set off from home on our Australia and Singapore adventure when I receive a text message from Mr Thomas ‘i have left my case at home-don’t ask!!!! Had to turn back for it-should be there by 1.50pm-sorry.’
Mr Thomas and Ioan (thankfully) arrive safely in Park Road at 1,50pm. Messrs Long and Lewis and Mesdames Rushworth and Smitham have efficiently organised the loading of the buses and by 2.05 we are underway to a tearful goodbye.
I think most of the parental tears were accompanied by a huge sigh of relief at the thought of three weeks peace and quiet from their ‘little cherubs’.
Mr Thomas’s late arrival turned thoughts to his pre-tour experiences. When the residue of the kit had arrived in school the previous day, most of the kit for Miss Smitham, Miss Rushworth and Becca Williams had not arrived-a frantic phone call later found the answer. He had left them off the bottom of the list. What do they say about ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’? Anyway, with three women left unimpressed, he better watch his back while we are away.
Progress made by the school’s recent numeracy initiative was called into question the week prior to tour. The students had been asked to collect their numbered kit bags from Mr Thomas’s room. When she got home, Bethan Dallimore who was no.15, couldn’t understand why all her kit had the initials NW on it. Careful examination of the bag revealed that she had picked up bag 51 (Nicholas Williams), ” Well at least the numbers both added up to 6″ she said.
Back on board the coaches, Davies Brothers have come up trumps, Our coaches are spacious and air conditioned, which is a relief with the weather outside stiflingly hot and forecast to get even hotter as we approach London.
On bus 1 Miss Smitham and Mr Thomas distribute the packed snacks from Tescos. They are really appreciated and certainly refreshing. Many thanks go to Martin and Bev Baker for securing them for us.
The driver on our coach, Paul, is very chatty and asks us where we are going and what we are doing, When we tell him we are staying in Melbourne he says “Did you know that Melbourne is the city with the second largest population of Greeks in the world?” “Blimey!” I say, “Which city has the most?” “Athens.”
Perhaps the ‘Donkey of the day’ award is not going to be an open and shut case.
3.30pm-we cross the bridge and leave Wales behind for three weeks. We see the first post on the facebook group. Kelly Collins has posted, “Sean’s pretty special-Look after him Mr Mason” Don’t worry Kelly we will and we know all our little cherubs are ‘special’ and will be doing our best to look after them all.
We make good time and arrive at Leigh De La Mere services at 4pm. When we get off the bus, the heat hits us-Blimey it’s hot, thank goodness we have air conditioned coaches.
We have a half an hour stop to freshen up. All arrive back on the buses on time-well done troops and we are back on the M4 by 4.35pm.
Sam Williams tells me that Tom Northey had caused a stir within the group when he had said that he “wouldn’t be going to the theme park in case he got an ear infection!!” The lads reckoned that Holly had put her foot down.
We arrive at Terminal 2 at just after 6pm, make our way to check-in straight away and Imran takes us through, one group at a time. Well done mums and dads, only 3 bags exceed the 23kg limit; Elliott Rees (23.1kg). Elliott said it was my bag tag that took him over the limit. Kaitlyn Egan (23.2 kgs) and Grace Bevan-Hendry (23.3 kgs). Their friends better not expect any presents-they won’t have room for any when we return.
The award for the lightest cases went to Milo Fleming and Olly Smith at 17.1 kgs each-It looks like they’ll be bringing loads of presents back.
Miriam Higgs and Shanaye Grant both scraped in at exactly 23kgs, but only by wearing 6 layers of clothes each. Tough going in the heat.
We went straight through security. Max Treharne was asked did he have any liquids? Only this-he produced a two litre bottle of Pepsi-he wasn’t allowed to take it through.
Adam Fielding took all of his toiletries out and put them one by one into plastic bags. They were all too large and went straight into the bin.
We were all through by 7.30pm and found an area in Departures and told the group to reassemble at 8.45pm when we would go to Boarding for our flight at 10.05.
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