We were almost strangely organised – that’s what comes of having a 5.30pm flight. The trailer was cleaned – both for my sister who is visiting to mind Buns for a few days and also for our own brains when we arrive back. We were so cool for time that we stopped for a snack and to buy the regulatory punnets of strawberries to eat in the car.

The flight on JetStar CattleStar was predictably freakish. No catering because ‘there was too much wind on the tarmac’ and as soon as we left the runway and hit the air the engine on our side of the plane began, and continued, to scream ominously all the way to Ballina. It’s always more holiday-ish to get out of the plane down stairs and have to walk across to the tarmac to the airport. We got our scary-Barina-hire-car sorted and then had to wait an age for our bags – we’d been so early to check in that it came out last. I walked over to M who, of course, had found someone to chat to near the baggage carousel. The first words I heard the guy say was ‘my wife was on all fours – you can’t really plan for anything’… They were talking birth stories. M’s powers of labradoring know no bounds. By the time this guys bags arrived it was like we’d been present at the birth of his baby – we knew that his wife didn’t like the birthing ball, and that most of the stuff they had studied up on had been useless…

We then spent a good 70 minutes trying to navigate our way from Bangalow to Rosebank with no map in the dark. This has happened at least twice before, and yet, it seems, we do not learn. I sent us on a looping round trip that added a good 20 minutes to the journey – we finally ended up on the road to Mullumbimby and realised where the hell we were. Relief. We finally arrived at J and Ian’s house, rousing Ian from where he slumbered on the world’s most magnificent couch – which was immediately coveted by M and myself. I ate toast, the boys drank red, and J arrived home from her school meeting with tales of a strange blue light that she and her friend had seen on the road on their way home.

We dossed down in the garden flat around midnight. Tired. But AWAY!!