On Monday I left South Carolina.
It was emotional.
I really loved it there. Surprisingly, really – I like most of the places I go, but I’ve never become so attached to a place so quickly.
But I got on a plane in any case and headed out to Philly, where I was planning to spend some time wandering around the city before getting on my next plane.
Unfortunately I’d ripped my leg open in the ocean so I couldn’t really do that.
Instead I spent seven hours sitting in the airport.
Luckily it’s quite nice there – they even have rocking-chair s – and I settled down with work, a book, food… various ways to pass the time.
Then it was time to get on the plane, and a storm had started over the airport. Lots of flights were being cancelled. Ours wasn’t one of them.
We got on the plane and started down the runway, then the pilot turned right and powered down the engines.
“Sorry, ladies and gentlemen,” he said over the intercom, “I think it’ll be safer if we sit here for fifteen minutes or so and wait it out.”
Sighs and groans throughout the plane.
“For fuck’s sake” said the person behind me.
You’d rather fly in unsafe conditions for the sake of fifteen minutes?
Each to their own, I suppose.
For my part, I was pretty happy we had a safety-conscious pilot.
We took off after a while, and watching the purple lightning streak across the sky while we flew alongside the storm was beautiful.
We landed on time on Tuesday morning, eleven hours after we’d set off but after eight hours of flying.
I seem to be immune to jetlag. I think it’s because I rarely know what day and time it is anyway.
I went home, said hello to my cat, wrote out the agenda I’d been thinking about on the plane, and then went to a meeting about international relations in the forensic investigations field, with an explosives expert, over a cup of herbal tea (at Yumchaa just off Tottenham Court Road, which I highly recommend).
I love my life.
I got back home and called my mother to reassure her I hadn’t died in a plane crash.
Then it was time to email all my clients and catch up on a bit of work.
The next couple of days were spent at a security conference, which wasn’t ground-breakingly amazing but it passed the time.
On Friday I finally went through my inbox, sent off a proposal for (and won) a new blogger PR campaign, started going through my notes about TSFIC, and then succumbed to the sunshine and went outside to write my review of Learning iOS Forensics.
On Friday night my friend was having an OITNB party, but by that point I was desperately in need of sleep catch-up, so I went to bed.
Saturday morning saw me waking up late and blearily trying to remember what I was supposed to be doing.
Going to Camden, that’s what.
One of my friends is moving to Barcelona today. We were planning a leaving do for her, and I was in charge of buying the presents.
I hadn’t been to Camden market in a few years.
I was planning to hop off the tube, wander up to the stables, walk into The Best Shop In The World, and be like “Yo Thierry, I’m looking for a wooden cockerel and/or a dog toy shaped like a penis.”
But the shop wasn’t there.
Over the past few years, Camden market has grown in overall size while its individual vendors have shrunk.
No more big shops. Lots of little stalls.
It retains its quirkiness. Case in point: the Mad Hatter’s tea party that was happening outside the station.
Union Jacks on cheap phone covers, t-shirts proclaiming “I ❤ London”, all the other stuff you might as well buy from Oxford Street or somewhere near Victoria Station.
I did eventually find a guy who was selling the right sorts of things (although I didn’t manage to get a penis-shaped chew toy), and stocked up on presents before retreating to a bus stop.
I’m not a bold little teen goth anymore. Camden now is too busy, too dirty, too much stuff going on.
I longed for the relative quiet of my home borough.
When I got back it was time to binge-watch OITNB. By 4am on Sunday it was done.
If you haven’t seen it, do. I’d forgotten just how complex and well-written the characters were.
Also, is it just me or does Boo look damn fine in clown make-up?
Of course, going to bed at 4am on Sunday meant getting up late, which made the whole day feel strange. I didn’t do much except clean, try to get rid of the ant infestation that seems to have sprung up in my house recently, unpack my food shopping delivery, and then head out to meet up with a group of friends.
My friend Caitlin is leaving the country today.
She’s only going to Barcelona, so it’s at least close by. And we worked out that it used to take me the same length of time to come from Brighton to London to see the girls as it’d take for me to get from London to her new place anyway.
Still. It’ll be weird not having her just up the road.
We tried several places which were all closed (what, like no one drinks on a Sunday night?!) and finally ended up in Barrio North in Angel, which I recommend. Fun music, good drinks. Plus, on a Sunday it’s really quiet – we were the only people there.
At some point we all decided to find the dog versions of ourselves. I’m not sure how this happened. Apparently I’m an Old English Sheepdog.
Today I woke up feeling a bit ill, probably because my sleeping pattern has been erratic over the past few days and I’m still readjusting to the English climate.
This week’s looking busy – I think it might actually be nice to get back into a routine.
So, how are you?
Until next time.