Sunday, 26 April 2009

Lessons

I've never had much luck keeping a diary. I always thought the cause was a general flakiness on my part, but in truth the only thing slightly flaky about me - despite my hopelessness when it comes to footwear, my forgetfulness of personal details, and my fear of nearly all social situations that don't involve very close friends and wine - is psoriasis.

No, the real cause is my uptightness. I can't put the words down about my personal life as events unfold unless I'm sure they will accurately reflect the truth and continue to do so forever n' ever. Or maybe it's not even the truth - it's not as if I'm averse to gross exaggeration - but it's something about needing to see things from a distance, needing that perspective. Maybe it's because I know how wildly inaccurate I can be when I'm up close to something. I can storm out of an argument ready to take drastic - bloody! - action, but an hour later I feel like a wally and have an uncomfrtable wedgie - that's my tail between my legs.

So, often my blog posts are written a few days after the *insert embarrassing public encounter* took place. That's the only way I can explain why I haven't been able to write about the Big Scary Trip. But while I gather my thoughts, here are some of the lessons I have learned since I set off on my London adventure:

1. Window seats - never again. I'm an aisle girl, ie. far too socially inept to say "Excuse me, I need to get up and use the loo" to a total stranger (a total stranger I've been bumping elbows with, receiving trays over the head of, and trying not to fall asleep on, for 12 hours).
2. You cannot defeat jet-lag, no matter how clever you think you are. No amount of lavender spray, reading really boring books, deep breathing, or whispering in earnest "please please please go to sleep" alone in the dark at 3am will work.
3. Londoners are very pissed off. "What's that effing bus lane for?" "That coach is EMPTY! What is the POINT of it?" "This is a DEAD END! Why? Why? It's effing Ken Livingstone!" - all copyright My Dad, in the first three minutes of collecting me from Heathrow (which he will obviously never do again now...)
4. Removing the responsibility of two small children does not necessarily free you up to achieve great things...it does free you up to watch Trisha and stroll around the shops in the April sun, however (but see 2; I was a Trisha-watching, window-shopping zombie).
5. I love doing readings, and become a bit of a performing maniac when faced with a room full of booksellers, publishers, agents and the like. Who knew?
6. Him Indoors can manage without me very, very well indeed.

More anon.

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4 comments:

Nik's Blog said...

Thrilled it's all going well (jet lag aside).

N

Luisa said...

Hurray! Welcome back, you reading-aloud star, and I hope the jet-lag wasn't too bad the other way around.

Geraldine Ryan said...

It was so lovely to meet you at last, Emily! I just wish you could have stayed longer but I'm glad you found your inner Thespian and performed like the star you are!

Emily Gale said...

Thanks, Nik, Luisa and Geri.

Strangely, the jet-lag was much easier coming home, leading me to suspect that I was wide awake at 4am every morn in London because of something else...nerves, I guess.

Geri, I really really really wish I could have stayed longer, too.