‘[[After this preface, my readers will return to that precise period in my life when, with a person very dear to me who accompanied me thither, I arrive at Dover, Tuesday, June 5th 177o, in order to embark for France’ – Charles Burney, The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771), p. 1).
As I embark on my travels to Sydney I was reminded of the opening to Charles Burney’s Present State of Music in France. Much the same as he, I am accompanied by my dear friend Christopher Barr who also received funding from the Winston Church Memorial Trust to carry out research on role of the international concert hall within the local community. It just happened to be that our trips coincide, and we have taken advantage of having some company on the long 24 hour trip from Edinburgh to Sydney.
Apart from the incredibly early start of 330am, where I woke both my husband Gordon and cat, Arthur to say goodbye to them for the next 30 days, the first leg of the journal [Edinburgh – Doha] went off without a hitch. The plane arrived and took off in time and what a beauty it was. What a change from 18th-century travel, where dear Charles would have spent many uncomfortable days in a horse-and-carriage needless to know that in a few short centuries, man would dominate the skies in massive flying, tin birds!
The real challenge was fighting the sleep on this first leg. We had agreed that to maximise our chances of beating the jet-lag, sleeping on the second flight would put us more in-tune with Sydney. Trying telling that to my tried, 3am eyes. But fight it we did, which was greatly help with the array of movies on board.
The next leg, however, was not quite as restful. Apart from the fact that a 14 hour flight is a daunting experience to undertaking [I dislike the feeling of being trapped in a box for such a length of time], The plane was filled with young, babies who I can only presume agreed that such a long confinement is enough to send anyone into a tantrum. However, this did make our plan of sleeping for at least 6 hours quite tricky. Flights are never comfortable and while I am not one to use an eye mask or listen to music in order to drift off, it was definitely necessary for this journey, though I only managed to catch 1-2 hours at a time. It is certainly not a journey to undertake over a short period of time if one can help it.
But once again, the flight took off and arrived on time and after a short stint at security we arrived at our beautiful apartment in Sydney. Tomorrow, I will make my first trip to Sydney Living Museums, where I wonder what treasures I will find 🙂