Grounded / by Mario Mirabile

Travel can be a pleasure - at least so I'm told. A flying visit to Canberra for a meeting you don't particularly want to attend is anything but. A 5:00AM alarm, getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport and missing my flight made a particularly bad start to the day. A brief panic before a replacement flight was arranged just added to the stress. I now had an hour and a half to kill, and airports are not the best place in world to pass the time in my book.

Fortunately, a colleague had told me before the trip that our tickets, despite being cattle class, allowed us access to the airline lounge. I was able to get a nice coffee and a comfortable chair while I waited for my flight. I got to my destination and - after a totally forgettable all day meeting - I headed back to the airport with a few colleagues for the flight home. Naturally, we had allowed JUST enough time for a quick visit to the lounge. As we had a quick drink to steady our nerves, we could see some nasty weather closing in on the airport through the picture windows, and it wasn't too long before a thunder storm delayed all flights. Last time I was weather delayed at Canberra airport, I spent nine hours wondering if I was ever going to get home. It was made worse by the fact that renovations at the airport meant none of the amenities were operating. No such problems on this occasion. I confess that Sir Richard Branson's stocks of beer,  red wine and bar snacks took a hammering, but I did propose several toasts in his honour during the two hours we took advantage of his hospitality. We all floated home safely in the end. It really is the only way to fly.

Tech Talk
Nothing special here. I traveled light and only packed my nifty little Olympus XZ-1 compact. I would have loved to get outside with an ultra wide angle lens, or even with the XZ-1, but I don't thing I would have got far if I tried to leave the terminal. As it was I had t shoot through glass, and ended up having to clean up the reflections in post. Still not a bad result.

Olympus XZ-1 compact.