Borneo for Christmas? With this seemingly innocent question a holiday was born and with it a very different Christmas atmosphere than your classically traditional affair. Much heavier on the jungle, leeches, lack of oxygen, table tennis, pigs jaws, rain and much lighter on the presents under the tree (although there was no shortage of trees), last minute present shopping, traditional Christmas lunch than most years I've survived so far. Being away for Christmas does have the draw back that just prior to leaving, commonly a time to panic about all manner of things connected with traveling, becomes a time to rush around the country taking in as many Christmas activities as possible. Parents and sister missions completed it only remained, with some particularly last minute planning, on the last night before we flew to deliver a sofa bed to Eleanor's father and we were set for the off.

Flying to Borneo should be a boring journey, simply get on a plane and sit still for 12 hours until Singapore appears out of the mist, brace, land, change planes, repeat for a couple of hours and bingo your breathing Malaysian air. Our journey had a couple of extra elements to keep us entertained. Arriving at Heathrow is always a good time to check your insurance against bag loss but on this occasion it was early and such thoughts were the other side of the fog in my mind, that is until the check in lady asked if we were worried about our bags at our Singapore change. 'Should we be worried?' 'Well, sir, it is rather a tight connection.' 'But, it's an hour and a half!' 'Exactly, sir.' With the bright smile of someone who knows that if it does go wrong she wont have to sort it out we were assured that we would not have to see our bags in Singapore and they would be transferred automatically. At least we had 12 hours to worry about it. The plane provided the rest of the distractions being a new Airbus 380. These are huge, double decked, planes. I'd never seen a set of stairs at the back of a cabin before. Since they are new the big plus is they have an excellent entertainment system which kept me, and perhaps more importantly the bunch of scouts sat near us, amused for most of the flight.