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After my last breakfast at Denny’s for a while, Eunice went to church and left me to do battle with my newly acquired books, pots and shopping from the Palm Springs Outlets. The check-in luggage was still some 4 kg below the permitted 23 kg limit, but needed quite some effort to close. My hand luggage now included a small roller case filled with pots, my ‘laptop bag’ filled to bursting with clothes and two large DSLR cameras in their cases. Although the weather was overcast, it was still warm enough not to need the jumper and jacket I would have to wear as they would not fit in my luggage.

At the Air New Zealand check in desk, I got even warmer as the check-in hostess refused to put an ‘approved hand luggage label’ on my roller bag. ‘See what they decide at the departure gate’ she said.

As our departure time approached, I was reassured to see many passengers with more items and larger sized items of hand luggage around me, only to become worried again when they went to the first and business class gate, where such things were permitted. In the end, the staff at the gate offered to add my roll on case to the check in luggage without any extra charge. I could only hope that the pots were strong enough to survive being thrown around.

We left 20 minutes late, but there was a strong tail wind so that we were still on schedule to arrive forty minutes early at Heathrow.

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