Once again I've been sidetracked from my original planned topic, but I'm sure you'll understand why today's post has me so absorbed at the moment. We just returned safely from Sydney last night after a great two week break. J and I recovered from our illnesses in time to spend a few days with my parents, visiting family and enjoying the fresh air and gorgeous summer weather. Despite everything I said in my post The Tyranny of Distance, I did need to be dragged kicking and screaming onto the plane. It was very tough to leave, and it was only love for my husband and a reluctance to keep living out of a suitcase that got me through the gate. We cashed in some air miles and upgraded to business class so no matter what mood J was in I'd at least be comfortable. He was a little excited and overtired but it was a really pleasant flight.
The pleasantness of the experience was shattered however, when we arrived at the baggage carousel to find one of our bags missing. It wasn't the small one with the easily replaceable baby bottles and toys, or the porta-cot, nor was it the one with my clothes. It was the largest bag of the lot, the one with J's clothes, many of them brand new, and all our Christmas presents from my family. While I was visiting my parents I took the opportunity to collect some things from storage and I had them in this suitcase too. Also missing are 3 limited edition children's books that I've had since I was 5, a gorgeous blue satin dress, an antique bead necklace that was my grandmother's, J's baby blanket (that he's slept with since he was born), a rather expensive beach towel, my favourite pants, my favourite t-shirt, and the charger for our camera, along with a number of other things that have no value or meaning to anyone but us. Cathay Pacific baggage services have been as helpful as they can be, while Sydney baggage services have not been helpful at all. Cathay just rang at 11pm to let us know they haven't had any luck tracing the bag but will continue looking. It's good to know they're onto it but, to us, it's looking more and more likely that the bag was stolen. So now I can't sleep.
I'm so incensed that someone would consider taking a bag that didn't belong to them, especially at this time of year. The trouble is, it was possibly the first time ever that I didn't lock the damn thing. A large, full suitcase, unlocked and bearing a first-class tag would be very appealing to anyone without a conscience. But, like I said, there was nothing in there that would be valuable to anyone but me. I've tried to be Buddhist about the whole thing and think "it's only stuff, we made it back safely and that's the main thing," but it was MY stuff, and it was all of great sentimental value. It's also the principle of it, who steals a bag of presents and baby clothes, at Christmas! I've just had to email my mum and ask for receipts for the presents she bought us, how Christmassy is that?!? Some of the items I'll never replace, no matter how much compensation we receive.
If there's any good to come out of this, it's an excuse to go shopping. And it's certainly distracted me from my post-Sydney depression. But I'm sad to say I've lost more than a bag full of stuff; a little bit of my Christmas spirit went with it, and that's irreplaceable too.