An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
My latest novel

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ambition

August 31: Somewhere in the skies over Africa, en route from Harare, Zimbabwe, to London Heathrow...
 
It's taken a long time, but after 43 years on this earth I have ambition.  Monetary ambition, that is.
 
I've fulfilled my life's ambition four times already - that is, to write a book.  Book number five is in production and the beginnings of six are here on the laptop, but now I have a new goal in life.
 
I won't say that money doesn't matter to Mrs Blog and I, but I will state categorically that we are not materialistic people.  We save - and then spend - to maintain our lifestyle, namely to live four or five months of the year in Africa and the rest in Australia; but we are not focussed on 'things'.  We live in a two-bedroom flat rather than a house; our first TV set lasted us 17 years without replacement; we recently bought our first new couch in 19 years; our DVD player is second hand; and our vehicle is a 22-year-old diesel Land Rover.
 
I don't want a big house - it would be too hard to secure when we're away, and would only get robbed; I don't want a new 4x4 because it would only get nicked from its home in Zimbabwe; I don't want a plasma screen TV, because I don't have room for one; and nor do I have space for a three-piece suite.
 
No, Legion of Fans, what I aspire to is business class.
 
I am writing this from an exceedingly comfortable fully-flat bed in Club World (that's British Airways for business class) on board a Boeing 777 somewhere over Africa).  I have finished my very agreeable brunch (entree smoked salmon; main course hearty English cooked breakfast with real scrambled eggs - not powdered as I'm sure it is in economy) and, as the sun somewhere in the world is above the yard arm, I am drinking a premium international lager beer. 
 
It's the little things that count, though. My table is wide enough to accommodate both laptop and beer and my legs are at their full extent.  There is no overweight man or stinky backpacker trying to claim the armrests on either side of me - I have two of my very own.  I also got to eat my delicious meal with metal cutlery (memo to BA - don't think terrorists don't fly business.  In my books they do).
 
I'm flying Club World courtesy of my very good friends at a certain international fuel company.  I'm off to Libya to write a story for their company magazine and they have a very sensible policy that anyone (even contractors) flying more than five hours for duty must travel in Business Class.  This is a very good company to contract for, LOF.
 
Mrs B and I have flown in the upper classes a very few times over the years - courtesy of some airline friends of friends who scammed us upgrades, and the odd trip on points.  I was also flown to the war, in Afghanistan, business class courtesy of my very good friends the Australian Taxpayers (though I can't say I enjoyed that flight as much as this one).
 
I feel a little sad that the small but perfectly formed Mrs Blog isn't with me.  She's spending a fun-filled week in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, with friends, while I go out to bring home the bacon (which may, given the current shortages of food in Zim be exactly what I do bring back from the UK!).
 
I wish she was here with me as she, too, is a big fan of business class.  And I miss her.
 
All I truly desire in life now is to make enough money so that Mrs B and I never have to fly in World Traveller (ie economy) ever again.  It's not too much to ask, is it?  I mean, I don't need to be the second richest person in the UK (and I couldn't anyway, as I'm not interested in kids' books); I don't need board games and movies made of my books (I take that back, a movie would be nice); but I do need leg room and half decent food.
 
So please, go out there and buy a book.  Oh, and tell about 180,000 of your friends to, as well.  

13 comments :

ali g said...

Now...that couch of 19 years.. those who have slept upon it could only possibly exclaim about it's passing..."dear God thank you "

bec said...

Indeed, Ali G.
Wait: does 'passed out' count as 'slept'?

Joshua is very appreciative of your reply to his questions, Tall Tony, and immediately produced another 20 questions about Africa for you... to which I replied "You'll find out when we take you there after you've started big school".

As a result, however, I am more than ever convinced there is a market for your Pirate Monkey Book for Overly Inquisitive Boys.

You should ask that very attractive publisher of yours what she thinks.

redcap said...

Damn. I'd nearly convinced myself that business class was over-rated. Re the metal cutlery, there's not much point in withholding it. I have a pal who's a forensic pathologist and he did a study that found you could do rather a lot of damage with an ordinary ball point pen.

Hann said...

I checked, A & R book store didn't had much, I would ditch them in future if I'm you, but Big W had hundreds of your books packed out whoop hooop!! Stacks full!
Go WA's Big W, the $'s should start rolling in. Do they serve caviar too?

meggie said...

I got upgraded once to first class. Not really impressed, but I wasnt in the air for more than 21/2 hours, so it doesnt really count.

Gargoyle said...

I aspire to be a Qantas Club Platinum card holder. Just another 50 or so flights to Karratha and I'm there! That's 50 flights in ECONOMY...

I will pay in blood and sweat with my stinky co-sardines for the privilege!

noddy said...

If only that old couch could talk, what stories it could tell!!!!!!

tonypark said...

Pip pip, noddy. Do you remember you remember you and Donna on the old couch? (for other readers, Donna was a store mannequin. Noddy is an unusual character).

Thanks all for your comments. Gargoyle, you need to push for business class. I just made Gold on the strength of my Harare-London trip!

Di said...

You're on, Tony. I will tell 180,000 friends to buy your book, but you have to do the same for me! How will I ever go cattle class again?

noddy said...

Poor Donna, I still grieve for her. I blame Tony and his drunken parties for her demise

JJ said...

well T, just for the record - the new couch, second hand DVD player and little two bedroom flat are all doing beautifully back home - my Mum has even 'adopted' your two plants moving them around the place to soak up maximum sunlight and feeding them what she calls 'a vitamin tablet for plants'. i do have to say, the place is missing my two fave drinking pals so hurry up home or bring on Africa!!
p.s - in just a couple of days, it will be Jane, 23.

JJ said...

well T, just for the record - the new couch, second hand DVD player and little two bedroom flat are all doing beautifully back home - my Mum has even 'adopted' your two plants moving them around the place to soak up maximum sunlight and feeding them what she calls 'a vitamin tablet for plants'. i do have to say, the place is missing my two fave drinking pals so hurry up home or bring on Africa!!
p.s - in just a couple of days, it will be Jane, 23.

bec said...

Happy Birthday-to-be, Miss JJ!