And a big thanks to them for their Internet.
I am safe, happy and well, thankyou. A little jet lagged still, but good.
I set off on Monday evening, after giving a 90 minute lecture. With my many thousands of saved up frequent flyer points, I managed to get an upgrade to business class.
Free grog ahoy, mateys! Good way to travel if you can get it! No cankles for me! And sleep! Sweet, sweet sleep!
Unfortunately, being a. Alone, b. Tired and c. Drunk makes me a bit….. Wistful, and a bit melancholic. there was ample time to think about things, and plenty of things to think about.
So I did what I have been doing quite a bit of recently. Had a good, long howl. Luckily the jet noise drowned out my sobs. The stewardess, bless her heart, saw me having a howl and brought me tissues and gave me a hug. A hug with the upgrade!
I don’t know quite what I was howling about- a few things probably. Not things to discuss here.
Then I had another snooze, and read my Caitlin Moran book, “how to be a woman”. Piss funny. The stewardess probably thought I was insane, laugh, cry, howl.
addition: written from Spain.
I arrived in London. Mercifully quick run through customs. Then checked into my hotel in Bloomsbury.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Phillipa the day I got to London. I was quite tangential, moving from stressful topics to topical topics to “oooh, we are in Trafalgar square!”
I love how London, for me, can go to the grandiose, to the comfortable, to the familiar. I love the buzz. I don’t love the crowds.
Some things I did in London
– met with Skinny Latte (philippa) and met her lovely husband Tom. SL is like my sistah from another mister, and it felt like no time had passed since I last saw her. We had dinner at a lovely authentic Italian restaurant (most restaurants are chain ones and the food questionable. The night ended with some ice-cream, quite drunk, and bundled into a taxi.
– met with my friend Sarah, had dinner and a lovely chat. Night ended again with me being bundled into a taxi. Re- acquainting myself with my old mate, Fruli.
– having some beauty treatments at the Aveda spa, the most relaxing facial ever, followed by a healthy but posh lunch in the adjoining cafe.
– going down Oxford st after that, which cancelled out some of the relaxation. Seriously, I got hip and shouldered a few times. Never again.
– seeing my mate Daz and his wife Siobhan in Covent Garden. Having to negotiate the hordes of ugly, badly dressed folk near the station on Saturday night (theatre/pub night). Trying chilli beer.
– going shopping on Kings road in Chelsea, home of my favourite shop, Anthropologie. Parted with some cash. Bought some investment shoes.
– going for a run around the circuit that is Regents park, being distracted by the gentility of the surroundings, and getting lost. Note to self: bring more cash than 3 quid.
– long phone conversations with a special friend back home. There are two people and one canine that I particularly miss.
Anywho, today I flew to Malaga, in the south of Spain. Full of rich people and pommy retirees following the sun. Lots of grey hair on the flight. It is quite fitting that a geriatrics conference should be held here.
Traveling alone can be quite a scary thing. However, what I fear is not what one would think- I am not particularly scared of being mugged/otherwise assaulted/kidnapped or blown up. Perhaps I should be more afraid of these things, but I am a seasoned traveller.
I am most afraid of myself, more specifically, what is going on in my head. There is a great fear of feeling lonely. Of what will happen when I get home. There is guilt. There is anger. Lots of unpleasant emotions that might threaten to send me home prematurely, howling all the way back. I fear being paralyzed by my feelings.
Yet I realize that these feelings pass, and often give rise to greater understanding of myself (shining the torch into the crevices of the hole I alluded to in a previous post). I feel braver for facing them. I am certainly not paralyzed, on the contrary, I am doing a brave and proactive thing.
Tonight, for instance, I was feeling a bit bleh, having been reminded of things at home. I was going to have a night in with the proceeds of the minibar (peanuts and Rioja for dinner, anyone?) but decided to head out instead. I was rewarded with a beautiful night, seeing the grand marble architecture all lit up at night. I found a restaurant, sat down and enjoyed a great (and cheap) seafood paella, eye candy waiters and some wine. While I was eating, a fellow on the street (probably an itinerant gitano) broke into a flamenco song, a capella, complete with hand clapping.
After dinner, I had some home made helado (ice cream), which I ate with aplomb and got all over my face and fingers. I then wandered around the main street and did a big belch in appreciation of my meal. Nobody with me to rebuke me for a belch. I romanced myself tonight. I feel good. Alone, but not lonely. Not now.