I had heard a lot about Australia’s tight entry procedures and had made sure that I had carefully completed my entry card. Reason for visit? I ticked the ‘conference box’. The list of things I was bringing into the country included medicines, so another tick. I passed by people standing in line for the nothing to declare exit gate as I was courteously directed to the Arrivals gate. It might have been coincidence, but Brisbane is due to hold the G20 conference and it might have been assumed that this was the conference that I was attending, arriving early as a sort of ‘Agent 006 1/2’ security officer.
In any event, I sailed through and was met by Ruth Higgins holding up a sign with my surname, spelled correctly. Her husband John was on chauffeur’s duty in the car outside. It was still dark – or rather dark again. Tuesday 30 September became a ‘lost day’ and although I had not done anything but sit in an airplane seat, I was glad to be shown my bed and to keep up my reputation as the Martini Sleeper – Anytime, Anywhere, Any Place.