I spent Thursday not packing till the very last minute. I hate packing and it was only three days and two nights and did I mention that I hate packing? Anyway, my suitcase was far too big so I threw in two cocktail dresses and far too many pairs of shoes and let the choice be made on the night.
My mum picked me up nice and early Friday morning and dropped me at the airport well in time for my flight and after a slight suitcase padlock malfunction. I had time for a coffee and muffin, which I regretted - I am becoming a coffee snob and I was too close and able to watch the barrista. I had time to do half the remaining New Ceres Nights slushing before boarding. I was sitting close to my gate and watched first a unaccompanied kid get off the plane that arrived - I kinda might have had a tear in my eye as I watched him hug his brother and sister and tell them how much they'd grown and tell the stewardess he was visiting for 6 weeks. I ended up watching, all up flying there and home, about 10 or 12 kids get signed over to the flight attendants for flying across the country. It was fascinating to see parents and grandparents sign forms and leave their kids - like they were mail, or something?
Then the very first ULTRACOOL thing happened for the weekend when I watched the captain walk up to the gate to fly my plane and saw she was a woman. My very first flight with a female captain!!!!!! I was soooooooooooooo excited. She was not young. She strode up with her hat and suitcase and posse of crew. It was so freaking awesome! And all I could think was that there is a black man in the White House and a woman flying my plane - welcome to the New World girliejones! Everything is bright and shiny and AWESOME!!
Anyway. Ahem. Had a good person next to me on the flight - read his science nf book all flight and left me alone. I read Devilish and the rest of the NCN slush and sorta watched the movie which had Richard Gere in it. I watched a family ahead of me and realised where I had seen people interact like that before and felt glad that certain bits of my life are finished and over. Got off the plane and was met by editormum and her dad and she had a sign "girlie jones" - like she'd been away so long that I'd forgotten what she looked like.
Then we left the aircon and I discovered this horrible horrible thing called Brisbane Weather. OMFG it is HUMID! I cannot cope with humidity. It makes me grumpy and short tempered and my hair frizzy. And what the hell is with it getting HOTTER after it rains and not getting remotely cooler in the evening, even at 2am? I did not like stepping out of our apartment and my glasses steaming up. Nuff with the weather.
We had three apartments at some place in some part of the city (I didn't really get acquainted properly with Brisbane) - catsparx, Rob and ladnews, editormum and cassiphone and me. Worked really well, I thought. Good location, nice apartments. Aircon. When we worked out how to use it. I got to hug cassiphone, exchange some gifts (I got earrings with cups of coffee stamped into them!!) and then we were off to dinner with catsparx, Rob, benpayne and others. Dinner was lovely. Then back to the apartments via the SevenEleven and alcohol providing places for debriefing. Then back to our apartment for more debriefing with T and T and bed by I dunno? 4am?
We woke up early to get cassiphone off to her breakfast and then met up with Cat, Rob and Tehani for a (long) walk into the city, quite a good breakfast and chat, an extra $50 note that showed up and then a nice long wander through Pulp Fiction - what a lovely shop. I bought two Jim Butcher books but am mildly annoyed at the subtle yucky references to women at the beginning of the first one I started on the flight home. Then the others waited for me whilst I nicked into a Starbucks and bought Two!! mugs (new series! grrr) and some coffee and then we left Tehani and wandered around before heading back to the apartments for general lazing and chatter. And I had a meeting with Rob.
We then went out for a quick meal, others joined us before Tansy and I headed off, already behind schedule, to frock up. We frocked up and headed off to the Orbit launch of Trudi Canavan's book prior to the awards. Lots of people, too many people, lots of loitering. It was a very lovely awards night - everyone looked swank, the awards went off without a hitch. Though there was a tad too much of an infomercial feel to the beginning of the show for me - I'm assuming Orbit sponsored the event, on account of the preawards launch, the bags on the seats and the cohosts, both Orbit writers shortlisted in the awards and talking about their books a lot. Ron Serdiuk gave a really lovely speech - really inspired me. And then it was onto the awards.
Then we did the post awards cocktail party - kissed and congratulated people. It was far too stuffy and airless for me so Tansy and I escaped and sat downstairs till we all moved onto the bar where we stayed awhile before returning to our apartment for girlie talk and debrief. Guested at Cat's roomparty towards the end of the night before more talking with the two T's till about 3am.
Again with the early morning for the organised breakfast which was lovely. We got a chance to talk with a few people we hadn't chatted to the night before and then we all headed off to the industry talks. I really enjoyed the session I got to watch - I had to leave in the middle but the discussion was very interesting and I got a lot out of it, much to think about and look into.
Off to lunch with deborahb and benpayne and book meeting. Then coffee with Ben before I had to catch a cab to the airport. And by the time I got there I was soooo tired I could feel my brain grinding to a halt. Too tired to eat, drink, read or move, I sat and listened to knitting podcasts till boarding. Remarkably I lucked out and having changed my seat at checking ended up with an empty middle seat in our row. But it's a loooong way to Brisbane and back. Sitting for a very long time, whenever I asked, it was always 2 hours to go! I listened to more podcasts, imagined commentary for the little dramas in the people around me and finally landed at midnight.
And ... I'm looking forward to going next year and seeing how the FQ wrap up their final Awards year. Should be good, I'm thinking.