Nothing, I think, could quite have made me hurry through terminal one of Singapore’s Chiangi airport like the words “free” and “internet” being prominently displayed together. Sadly, the long line of people who’d got there before me, combined with the approaching take-off slot for my flight on to Melbourne meant that it was all in vain, and I was denied the chance to make my first weblog post from Asia. Oh well, I suppose I will just have to write this the old fashioned way and fake the timestamp later…

The first (and longest) leg of my journey turned out to be surprisingly painless. My feeling of can’t-believe-my-luck smugness at being switched at the gate to an exit row masses-of-legroom seat [turns out the power of smiling sweetly at the check-in girl and pointing out how tall you are is not to be underestimated after all] was slightly diminished by the arrival of a large chap in his England rugby shirt ready to spill over from the seat next to me into mine for the next 13 hours.

But they turned out to be pleasant enough. At any rate, they left the flight in Singapore, for their onward journey to Sydney, the semi-finals, and Jonny Wilkinson’s kicking, to be replaced by an affable and chatty Melbourne businessman who was returning home, and, in the seat next to me, a reassuringly slim bloke from Singapore off on his holidays.

Two things amused me on my journey. One was the the following statement in the in-flight menu: “The cutlery on today’s flight is in accorance with government safety and security regulations. Qantas appreciates your understanding”. Which is fine, but rather odd considering that we had all plastic implements from London to Singapore, but metal forks and spoons from Singapore onwards. Evidently fork/spoon-related terrorism is strictly an ex-London phenomenon.

Also, there was the following PA announcement shortly before we landed: “ladies and gentlemen, this is a lost and found announcement: While the aircraft was being cleaned in Singapore we found a pair of earrings. If anybody has lost a pair of earrings, please describe them to the cabin crew, and we’ll return them to you…
That’s a silver pair of pierced earrings. If anybody’s lost them, do let us know.”