The latest instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do.
Monday was set to be a jam-packed day. I got up early to fit in some work before going to a meeting of the organising committee for the Kensington Olympia Festival of Music & the Arts.
When I got home a couple of people came over to start work on the flat; the plumber removed a radiator, and the plasterer dropped off his stuff in preparation for working on the walls the following day.
I had client calls in the afternoon, then in the evening I went for some blood tests, because the last ones were apparently unreadable. I was meant to be going to the gym afterwards but instead I came home and went to bed at 7pm. I slept for twelve hours, which means I probably really needed to.
Mercifully, Tuesday dawned slightly cooler than most of the days in recent weeks. The plasterer came over in the morning and got to work. I also got to work, but on client stuff rather than flat stuff.
I worked until mid-afternoon, then went to the bank to sort some business things out, then came home. I was once again inexplicably exhausted by early evening, so I took myself to bed with a book.
Another cooler day! It’s almost as if London is getting back to normal. I spent the day doing as much of next week’s work as I could, since I’ll be working abroad and want to avoid having to work double time while I’m there. Meanwhile the plasterer was working on the living room, which is finally looking like it’s almost ready to be painted.
After work I had a driving lesson, and finally it didn’t go horribly. At last my driving instructor has started sounding like he thinks I might eventually pass my test.
On our way around West London we drove past this:
And this sign hanging from the flats next door, which made me smile:
Not in my name, either. While the Trump protests are happening I will be flying to the USA, which I’d like to avoid but it’s an important conference and I’m running a Women In Forensics event while I’m there, so I can’t exactly not show up.
When I got home from the driving lesson I went straight to bed, because I am very tired at the moment and I know next week is only going to make me tireder.
I did a load of client work for most of the day, then my friend came over to discuss plans for Kensington Olympia Festival of Music & the Arts over the next few months. While she was here we accidentally came up with a business plan, and now I think we’re going into business together. Not for a couple of months though, because we’re both obscenely busy in August and September.
As we were setting up a new business, a man was carrying piles of books into my house. My kitchen now holds the contents of a small philosophy library.
This does not make it easy to move. Luckily I’m going away for a week, so I don’t have to think about it until I get back.
My friend left on Thursday evening and I got into bed with Netflix, where I stayed until I fell asleep. I woke up again at 2am and decided to get some work done, since it’s helpful to get ahead of myself while I can. At 5.30 I stopped and lay there doing nothing until my alarm went off at seven.
Friday morning was spent on work, then in the afternoon I went to meet someone who’s thinking about becoming an investigator and wanted to ask me about it. We spent a pleasant hour in my favourite café talking about investigative techniques and getting started in the industry.
I’d been planning to get home in the evening and then immediately go to bed, because I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day, but on the way back I remembered I hadn’t dropped off the keys with the housesitter, which was a problem because I’d be leaving in the morning. I’ll get the bus over there, I thought, but then it started raining and I love walking in the rain, especially when we haven’t had any in London for so long.
I walked about six miles in the pouring rain and got absolutely soaked. One of the most fun things about walking in the rain is meeting other rain lovers who say things like “Finally!” and “Ain’t it beautiful?” and give you smiles and high fives.
When I got home I had a bath, read a book and went to bed.
I got up, finished packing, wrote a note for the housesitter, and went to the airport.
I was told off by the person who was printing my boarding passes because I couldn’t remember where I was changing planes.
“Where are you flying to?” she asked me.
“Providence, Rhode Island” I replied.
“We don’t fly there.”
“I know, I’m changing… somewhere.”
“Where is your connection?”
“I don’t know, I was just going to look at the boarding pass when you’ve printed it, get on that plane, then get off it when it lands and get on the one to Providence.”
Apparently that’s not an acceptable way to arrange one’s travels, and I was sternly reprimanded for not being more organised. Still she printed my pass and told me I’d be changing in Philadelphia (“Oh yes, that does sound familiar!” I said, as she frowned at me some more), and I got on the plane.
In Philadelphia we were told we ‘probably’ had enough fuel to make it to Rhode Island, which isn’t the most confidence-inspiring thing to hear from your pilot. We did make it though, and we flew over a very pretty cloud bank on the way there.
I had no books for the final leg of the journey – I’d hoped three novels would be enough to keep me going for nine hours, but of course I was wrong, and there was no bookshop in Philadelphia airport. But I survived despite being bookless, and arrived in the hotel in the evening, at which point I went straight to bed.
I got up at 6am so I’d have time for a swim before work, and I went for a swim in the hotel’s pool, which was much tinier than it looked on the website. It made me understand how a goldfish must feel swimming round and round in a bowl that’s barely large enough to give you time to get up any speed.
Following the swim I showered, got dressed and headed upstairs to be interviewed by CyberSleuthLab, who are showcasing women in forensics to encourage the next generation of girls to think about careers in the industry.
The conference began at midday, and in the evening the organising committee went for dinner in a local restaurant. Four of us shared a ‘Death by Chocolate’ pudding board, which was fantastic and I wish I’d taken a picture, but we attacked it too enthusiastically for that.