October 29   From the road

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Well, I’m in bed, just preparing to go to sleep in preparation for the second leg of the journey to World Fantasy con. We’re flying with a stopover in Dubai this time to see what happens when you break up the trip.

I stayed up last night since the taxi was booked for 3.30am. My mum very generously let me and the puppy keep her awake, first finishing off reading for the short story comp I was judging (I read 185 short stories in a week.  I will never ever do that again. Ever) and then watching some Dexter. I dropped off to sleep a couple of times but mostly was awake and ready to go. After the cab arrived and he was able to deal with my three suitcases, we swung past Jonathan’s house and then headed to the airport.

Ahhh there is nothing quite like those bright fluorescent nauseating lights of the early hour airport is there? We’d both been stressing about various things to do with this flight but we checked in 4 bags with not even a blink of an eye from the check in desk and we were able to check the bags through to Toronto. Then we headed off for coffee and waiting at the gate. We’d found out that the flight was not full but after we boarded, the flight attendants came round and told everyone there was so much room on the plane you could sit anywhere you like. It turned out basically everyone on the plane got their own row. I quickly abandoned Jonathan after takeover for the row of 4 seats just behind us and having taken something I’d be prescribed by my doctor, went to sleep for 5 hours and 2 more hours of dozing.

I feel like we hit the holy grail of travel. I’d been quite worried about travelling with this back issue that has reared its head in the last week. I’ve had a neck issue since April. And mostly that’s to do with desk job work and peering at computer screens for long periods of time and developing bad posture. If I don’t go to the physio every week,  my neck seizes up and I lose mobility. It’s happening now even after I visit the physio but with the exercises she’s given me and heat packs and so on, I’m able to manage it down from immobile. Basically we think it’s stress and once the wedding is done, we hope to make proper recovery. But this past week I’ve been developing something in my lower back. I think it’s freezing up with lack of movement – it’s the worst in the morning when I wake up. And I suspect I’ve worked too hard this last fortnight so I’m sleeping too deeply and not moving enough in my sleep. The back seems to get less sore throughout the day with movement. And hence, I’m a bit worried about the sitting on planes this week. It wasn’t great after today’s flight but I think being able to lie down made a big difference. (I’m also travelling with those heat packs you can get which are adhesive and warm up after you stick them on you? They are great).

Anyway. We got to Dubai and escaped the hideous experience that is LAX for once. A lovely man met us for the tour thing we’d organised which is basically stayover at a hotel and transfers covered by the airline. He directed us through passport control etc and CUSTOMS GAVE OUT PRESENTS. They gave everyone boxes of chocolates. Seriously. I mean, in LAX you practically get repeatedly body cavity searched walking in and out of rooms. This was NO COMPARISON.

The hotel is not fab. It’s ok. We’re here for the day and we took a brief walk in the 35 degree heat to vaguely glimpse some of the Dubai skyline off in the dusty distance. And we mostly sat and chatted and began the big long industry conversation that we will get to have from now til home time. I LOVE it. And yes, I have already taken notes and ideas are brewing.



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