Sunday, March 11, 2007


I dunno why I titled it that. I'm not going to Russia and I'm not going skiing. Although dad and bro are. Skiing, that is.

I am going away for five days tomorrow, so won't be here until Friday. And even then, probably not a lot. Saturday is my birthday (you can send cards and flowers, magnums of champagne, etc. via my publishers, darlings) and Sunday will be spent recovering from it, so don't expect much from me until maybe Monday!

I shall leave you with these two, who already know something is up and are being deliberately adorable in the hopes I'll take them with me.

Oh, and while I'm gone, do find time to read either I, Spy? or Maneater--depending on your preference, see how democratic I am?--and tell me what you think!

ETA: oh, and yes! I forgot I was going to post the winning I, Spy? contest entry today. Well, here it is. The winner is DawnM, and here's her tale of woe.

This happened a few years ago now, just a couple of days after Concorde crashed in France, and I was due to fly out from Luton or Stansted. It was one of those rare blindingly hot, humid days that you get in England. The departure lounge wasn't so bad, not the most comfortable seating but at least it was air conditioned. After waiting about an hour they finally let us go through boarding, only to find ourselves in another lounge. This one however had even more uncomfortable seating and not enough to go round all the passengers. So, of course I'm one of those left standing. And standing . And standing. Because they wouldn't let us on the plane, or back to the departure lounge. And there weren't any facilities and no air conditioning. Well, I don't do well in the heat and by the time another hour had rolled by, I'm close to passing out. Finally, they let us on the plane, and we all think we're about to go.
Only, it turns out the plane had an engine fault, as they informed us once we were onboard, and they're waiting for a part. Now they knew all this so I can only surmise it was pure sadism on someone's part to get all of us out of the departure lounge, where we could have been reasonable comfortable in the first place. Inspires great confidence in airlines, especially coming straight after a plane crash. And of course, no engine = no air conditioning. And 2 or 3 hours wait before they get the part and get it fixed. So everyone's baking in their seats, and you're not allowed off the plane and back into the terminal. And this was supposed to be a short flight, so there aren't any drinks or food. Well, you can imagine.
Just to cap all this off, I'm sitting right at the front of the plane, just behind the pilots' cabin and the stewards' alcove. And right on the other side of me is a woman who's informed the steward that she's terrified of flying. Oh, joy! Now, having worked in hospitals for longer than I care to think, I have the medical sense of humour and can find just about anything funny in the most inappropriate situations. So I kinda appreciated the stewards take on the plane crash because I understood institutional humour. Only the problem was, they'd forgotten (maybe that's being generous they might have thought it amusing given there was someone frightened of flying in the front seat) that you could hear them quite clearly through the curtain, and their humour was morbid to say the least, and didn't go down to well with most of the passengers.
Definitely not the most pleasant flight I ever had, especially as the long delay meant that it was night by the time I got to the hotel, and the kitchens were closed.

Sophie sympathises: after all, she worked at Stansted and often experienced its erratic air-conditioning. In fact, she's such a geek she could probably figure out where you were flying to: was it Belfast, or Derry?

Dawn wins a free download of I, Spy?. Thanks everyone else for entering--there were some truly terrible tales in there!--and keep your eyes peeled for the release of my next book from Samhain, Ugley Business, due out in May.

1 comment:

  1. Hey this is great news...i'm sure you're gonna have a good time...and well as your birthday is just round the corner you can also visit my blog on Birthday Wishes sometime to enjoy all the wonderful stuff that i've posted there!!!