I flew back from Tampa, Florida yesterday morning after spending just over a week in the US on business. I had woken up at 05.30 Eastern Time the previous morning in an attempt to maximise my chances of catching some zees on the plane. In an unexpected act of financial generosity my workplace had sprung for premium economy seating for my overnight return flight (actual business class was out of the question – I work in the public sector) and I had selected my bulkhead seat on the BA app a week earlier so I had all the legroom necessary for my 5’4” frame.
Thanks to the combination of my trusty neck pillow, the foot rest, a gin & tonic followed by a perfectably acceptable red with dinner, and my sheer exhaustion from the trip, I actually managed to lose consciousness for a good couple of hours somewhere over the Atlantic. My plane landed early, border control was well staffed – so no queueing, and I collected my suitcase in record time. These minor miracles all resulted in catching the coach from Gatwick to Oxford an hour earlier than the one I had expected to be on. In a final confluence of serendipity the clocks went back in the UK while I was away, meaning that the time difference shrank for 5 hours to 4, thus making it 20% easier to adjust back to GMT on arrival. Never before have the deities of international travel made it so very easy on me.
I hadn’t counted on doing anything this weekend. The whole 48 hours had already been written off to allow for the symptoms which normally accompany my jet lag; alternating between shaking, weeping and swearing at anyone (usually Terry) who, with my best interests at heart, refuses to allow me to go to bed at 5.30 in the evening. Instead, I stayed up last night until 10pm (which is pretty close to my normal bed time – night owl I am not) and slept more or less solidly until 8.15 this morning. I now have a free weekend stretching out in front of me, unstructured and free of obligations, with which I can do anything, as long as I stay awake until tonight.
So, perhaps rashly, I am going to take a shot at NaBloPoMo again. I did this 2 years ago, and found it to be difficult but very rewarding. Since moving to Oxford my blogging output has diminished to almost nothing, although ideas continue to percolate. So for the next month I will, attempt at least, to publish a blog post each day. The majority of these will be written on the fly, although I have several drafts saved from the past year or so, which will get roughly kneaded into some kind of shape and then offered up at the alter of micro self publishing.
At best, I hope this will rekindle my enjoyment of writing, and of sharing my ideas. Too often I let the maxim “better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” prevent me from sharing my views. It’s still something I find scary, but I have spent the past week living a rather different maxim, “feel the fear but do it anyway” and I want to continue in that vein.
And at worst? At least it might help me stay awake.