Thursday, 24 April 2008

Bye London - hi Washington

Sunny, warm, temp 22

We're in Washington! Wanted to do a quick post just to let you know. I should really give the temperature in Fahrenheit but don't know it...22 celcius would be about 70 - 75? Anyway, it's gorgeous here. Rain in London when we left.

The flights was great - very easy check in. Since we've flown a gazillion (approx) miles on British Airways we qualify for the BA lounge. Wonderful. Had breakfast there - read the papers, watched the flights, and the rain. Then walked to the gate. The plane was a 747 - love them. Those are the ones with the two levels. Was hoping we were on the upper level, but nope. Actually, last time we flew one was a Qantas flight from Syndey to Los Angeles last fall. We were on the round the world tour - first class!!! and we requested row 1. The very best seats since no one is around you...and it's in the very nose of the plane. The pilots are up above. And since it was first class we all, in effect, had our own little cabins. Absolutely amazing experience. I joined Michael for dinner someplace over the his 'cabin'. They set up a table, with linen and silver and china, and I sat facing him, and we looked out the windows on the clouds below. Beyond magical. I'll never, ever forget it.

This flight wasn't magical. We were paying, so the best we could do was World Traveler Plus - which is slightly above economy and well below business...and not in the same galaxy as First. But - one trick I've learned...always ask for the emergency rows - especially in economy. Way more leg room, and the people in front can't put their seats back. Or, failing that and perhaps even better, always ask for the first row in your section. Again, lots of leg room. That's what we had. Extremely easy flight.

And now we're in Washington for the malice domestic convention. Wonderful. Unpacked, picked up soft drinks, had a Shirley Temple in the bar (Michael had a diet coke) - no one makes really good Shirley Temples anymore, do you find? Michael averted his eyes when I ordered one, as though my clothes had just fallen off - or I'd made what Gordon Ramsey called a 'bum burp'.

Had fun in London - but am exhausted. Not keen on returning anytime soon. Really feel quite drained by the whole experience. I think trying to promote one book, edit the next and write yet another - and try to have fun in one of the world's great cities, might have been at least one thing too many. Really kind of disenchanted by the whole thing - but I think I'm just pooped. Feels like forever since I actually had a holiday and I think I was going to London thinking this might be one - but of course it wasn't. happy to work - especially promoting - but trying to do it all felt like being yanked in all directions. And I can't honestly remember the last time I had two days 'off' in a row. Not writing, not promoting, or traveling, or editing, or giving speeches.

All these things I love - and am genuinely grateful for. But sometimes I just want to curl up and cry. Feel like that in the last couple of days.

But I adore Malice Domestic - so this will be a tonic.

Speak soon - will let you know what the conference is like tomorrow. Right now we're back in the hotel room and will nest. Bliss.


Elizabeth said...

Lucky you in the Washington area in April. Are the azaleas out? I see that Lindsey Davis is the guest of honour at Malice Domestic. Falco is one of my favourite detectives and her website is great fun. Isabel, my 16-year-old latin scholar (off to the Ontario Classics conference at Brock next week), adores Falco and Helena too. So much fun when you can talk to one of your offspring about books you both love. If you have time (I know, dream on) try to get out to Middleburg, VA. It's about 30 min. out of DC. and in the heart of 18th century VA, complete with dry stone wall, lots of old money and horses--it's hunt country. I highly recommend "Skandina", a swedish antiques store there, which has an international reputation.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Elizabeth,

Yes, I'm really looking forward to meeting Lindsay Davis too! And thanks for the Middleburg suggestion. I doubt I will have time but it sounds worth a separate visit. Gorgeous. And that antiques store sounds especially dangerous.