Archive for September, 2007

The Ants are Winning

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I was really impressed by the lack of insects in the apartment when I got back from YAPC. But this morning I discovered that underneath my Japanese books there was an army of them. Little black ants that don’t bother me unless they are on my table, or on my skin, or on my chairs. Actually I think they are bothering me now.

Marty was supposed to get rid of them weeks ago but he thinks that they are cute and talks about them “stomping around the apartment” as if this is a good thing. Today I’ve tried brushing them up, sucking them up with my Dyson, and washing the floor with some smelly detergent in the hope that they won’t like it. But still there seems to be the odd ant here and there.

Violent Weather

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I’m hoping that Marty will bring dinner home with him tonight as I don’t fancy going out shopping during this storm. The storm is close and the lightning just hit something beside the apartment – not sure what though and I’m not going outside to find out.

Will I Ever Learn To Cope With Jetlag?

Monday, September 10th, 2007

I am in a strange limbo state: too tired to sleep and too tired to do anything useful. I tried reading email but I doubt I could provide anyone with a coherent response. I considered logging into Skype so that I could chat to some people but I can’t get my brain and my mouth to work together. My body is confused and I can’t work out whether I am hungry or thirsty as I just feel queasy.

I am horrified by the thought that within a month I am planning on taking another 12 hour plus flight. Hopefully in the next day or two I will start to forget how dreadful I feel at the minute.

Travelling Home

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Watching my Macbook being tossed down a rolling ramp by harassed security staff makes me wish I was anywhere but Heathrow airport. Tony sent me a link to an article that claimed that travellers passing through Heathrow suffer from higher stress levels than fighter pilots, riot police and Formula 1 drivers. Since I travel a lot I try to do everything I can to make sure that I wouldn’t be stressed now. I stayed at an airport hotel last night as I couldn’t bear the thought of transferring through Heathrow. (Virgin had already posted an announcement apologising for the amount of delayed luggage as it sometimes takes up to three days for them to get luggage from connecting planes when they are supposed to have it within an hour.) I never wear clothes that require belts and I no longer carry any make-up or liquids. My shoes have laces and zips so that they are easy to slip on and off. And I make sure that I arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before my flight.

I was in quite good form today as I got up early and had a leisurely breakfast before leaving the hotel. The security queues were long but I wasn’t pulled out of the line for a random search so it didn’t bother me too much. I was stopped last week when travelling to Vienna and was made stand in one of those machines that takes multiple x-rays of your body. If you thought security was annoying before wait until they make you stand on an x of the floor with your hands above your head as you try to understand the instructions required to get into the three positions they want.

I have started paying for internet access at airports as checking my email and being able to write in this blog help me to feel relaxed. And I have also been really lucky since I managed to find a seat to sit on. Terminal 3 is basically a large shopping centre and I can’t imagine that it has anywhere near enough seats for all the people who are walking through it. Now I just need to mentally prepare myself for sitting on a plane for 12 hours…

Making Me Smile

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

After a conference I like to read blog reactions. I haven’t come across anything about my actual talk but I did come across a comment about myself. And I must admit that being called “utterly lovely” has made my week if not my month.

YAPC::Europe 2007 – Making Announcements

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

This year, for the first time since Belfast, I had to be at a YAPC conference for the opening. I couldn’t afford to be a late as I had an announcement to make just after it began. I was surprised by how stressful I found this and if I have to do it again I am going to find the conference venue the evening before the event. I was also shocked that it was just as stressful to make a short announcement as it is to give a talk or tutorial. I always feel fine once I start speaking – which is just as well or I would never agree to speak in public again.

I was announcing, on behalf of the YEF Venue Committee, that next year’s conference will be in Copenhagen.