Plane Witch

plane witch

She looked a bit like this but not as pretty

We had an absolutely amazing time in London. But as they say, all good things must come to an end and it did. Which meant one thing … that horrible twenty-four hour flight back to Sydney.

I’m a little ashamed to say that I’ve been a bit spoilt with the international travelling I’ve done over the past decade. Long-haul trips abroad were usually work related so Rob’s company would fly us business class. It’s very hard to go back when you’ve been ruined by spending many years in the pointy end of the plane.

I know. Princess.

This London Marathon trip was obviously self funded and there was no way I was paying for business class seats when I had serious shopping to do and we couldn’t get any using air miles.

So on the way out we flew economy. I know, bloody outrageous isn’t it?

It was actually pretty okay and non eventful on the way to London and coming back was supposed to be easier as we’d managed to get premium economy seats.

It wasn’t easier.

Our flight was delayed by nearly two hours so it was nearly 11.30pm by the time we boarded. By this time several hundred people had gathered at the gate and I was alerted to the extremely high ratio of children under the age of two getting on the plane.

And stacks of babies. (Because obviously with four children of my own I have never ruined other people’s flights with my own screaming children. Surely not.)

I could feel the panic in my throat just looking at them, praying to whoever would listen that I not be anywhere near them. Particularly the herbal earth mother type couple I’d spied. I’d already made up my mind that she was the kind of mum who would let her baby scream “because it’s just a baby and that’s what they do”.  I know, my contradiction is staggering.

Seriously, being inside my deranged head space sometimes is exhausting.

So we got on the plane and herbal baby was in the row in front. The fact that it even bothered me is disturbing given I have four children and have taken them on flights many, many, MANY times. But obviously it’s different when its my kids. OBVIOUSLY.

Anyway herbal baby was over tired and screaming, like my kids have done before. But it irritated me anyway. I was over tired, had run a marathon the week before (I am going to milk that for MONTHS), and a screaming baby wasn’t in my plans for the next twenty-four hours. Sleep, food and movie watching was. Nothing more.

I started having highly irrational thoughts. “Seriously, they should have taken a day flight and not subjected us innocent passengers to herbal baby cries” … “So selfish and inconsiderate, feed it for God’s sake”….”at least I had the courtesy to leave the 3 of my children that can’t behave at home and only bring the one that can” …. I’m totally ashamed to admit it but yes. I did.

Straight after take-off Holly decided she wanted to sleep and it being midnight was completely understandable. So she put her seat right back and went off to sleep. We were in premium economy so putting your seat back really doesn’t affect the person behind much as there is plenty of room.

Unless you are a cranky old witch. Who we happened to have seated behind us.


Premium Economy.
Even with the seat back there is plenty of room.
Unless you are a complete cow apparently.

I could hear her moaning and complaining about the seat being back and she was so bothered by it that she swapped seats with her (presumably) long-suffering husband. Grabbing on to the back of my seat and pulling a few strands of my hair in the meantime. Which I might add she did for the entire trip.

Then she pressed her button to alert the cabin crew and when they arrived she said “how long do I have to sit here with the seat like that before I can ask the kid in front to move it forward”.

Bitch. I would now ensure Holly stayed asleep with her seat back as long as possible.

The meal trolley came and went and I heard her snarky responses to the cabin crew, complaining that she didn’t like any of the options so “would starve”. The hostess kindly pointed out that you can go online and choose any of the meal options in advance if you are fussy. I could have hugged her.

Unfortunately when we stopped off in Dubai, witchy witch got back on seated behind us again and the look on her face when she saw Holly was priceless. Gosh it must suck to be so sour all the time?

Herbal baby also got back on and started screaming it’s head off. I’d had approximately zero sleep up until this point so was a bit irritated but it wasn’t anything headphones couldn’t fix.

When the meal trolley came around again, sour grapes behind us complained to the cabin crew again about Holly’s seat. Even the crew member was irritated by her and said to Holly “the person behind you would like you to put your seat up. But just move it a tiny bit”.

As I sat there, herbal baby crying in front and evil cow behind us … something suddenly dawned on me. Letting that baby bother me (which I am already aware makes me a total hypocrite), and becoming all narky of people around eventually turns you into a sad, bitter and angry post middle-aged woman like mean old cranky pants behind me.

I wasn’t having a bar of that.

So the next time I got up to go to the toilet, I stopped and talked to the young herbal mother (she really was) and I asked her if she was okay and we talked about babies on planes and all of a sudden the annoyance left me and I felt nothing but pity for her. Especially after she told me that Sydney wasn’t even her last stop, she was heading to Wellington after we all got off our 24 hour flight and that she’d already missed the connecting flight because of the delay at Heathrow.

I went back to my seat feeling all warm and fuzzy and certain that I wasn’t going to turn into a burnt out old mole like the plane witch behind, and that in fact I am a nice person.

Whilst I was still in my own little daydream about my life changing moment, Holly turned to me and asked “Mum can I put my seat back now that everyone’s finished eating?”.

“Sure darling, push it all the way back” I told her.

So said life changing moment didn’t make me change my mind about travelling the last ten hours of the flight with both mine and Holly’s seats as far back as they could go. I could feel the anger from the old bat seeping through the seat and BOY DID IT FEEL GOOD.

Maybe I’m not that nice after all.

We flew into Sydney feeling much more refreshed having layed down most of the way

We flew into Sydney feeling much more refreshed having been lying down most of the way


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