Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
The final morning, and it's a heavy case of Mondayitis as I prepare to say goodbye to as many people as I can find. Donna's been great, letting me stay at her place (I hate hotels). Trudi and Paul have been great company. Mark Deniz is not as weird as I thought he'd be. Sharyn is relieved, I think, that I didn't sabotage the launch of her book. Nicole as chair has dealt with lots of issues with cheerfulness and professionalism - if she threw any naneroonies I never saw them. I enjoyed catching up with Andrew, Keith, Amanda, Kaaron, Gillian, Cora. Emmy, Karen - oh dear, this is a mistake, trying to list people - Kim, Stephanie, Nicola, Bill, Fiona, Ella and oooh, lots of people who will be angry I have forgotten them, but I can't find many of them this morning. I'd really like to have had more time ...
Instead I go to a panel about the future of e-books. There's one of these at every convention but this is easily the best I've seen. Great job Fiona, Andrew and Sharyn. Fiona, the administrator of this site, takes me to meet Joffre Street Productions, who are doing the podcasts for the convention. We spend an interesting half-hour talking about the possibility of doing book trailers for the Husk Trilogy.
It's time to go. I sneak out and set off on the bittersweet drive back to Sydney - always a mistake, as it gives me too long to think and start missing the people I've just bid farewell to. I've cut the timing a bit fine, so it's straight to Sydney with no stops, arriving a little after check in time. No worries though, the plane is delayed. I appear a genius to the woman sitting next to me. 'The plane is delayed,' she tells her husband. 'But they didn't say why.'
I pipe up. 'Gale force head winds,' I say, guessing madly. It is fairly windy outside. 'Head winds can slow a plane down.'
'Really? Hear that, Stan? This man says it's wind.'
They don't look convinced. 'If I'm right, the other two planes due to depart to Auckland and Wellington should also be delayed.'
At that moment the PA comes on: 'A boarding call for flight XXX to Wellington will be made in twenty minutes. We apologise for the delay due to the late arrival of the aircraft in Sydney.'
I smile deprecatingly, but I feel their awe.
A few hours later I'm paying the exorbitant $95 airport parking charge - for the first time it's cheaper to get a taxi to the airport and return than it is to drive your own car - and I'm home before 1am. The dog is pleased to see me. Well, he wagged his tail, anyway.
Another Conflux over, and later that day I learn the great news that Karen Herkes has volunteered to chair Conflux 5. So I get to do it all again next year!
I do have a question though, Russell, why do you fly to Sydney first? Are there no direct flights to Canberra?
I still want my vodka-signed jellybean.
On a side note, and I swear to you I'm not lying, I seem to have fixed my tennis elbow by playing 2 games of 10-pin bowling. Literally overnight, after playing last Saturday, the pain and restricted mobility have vanished. I suspect it has something to do with the weight of the bowling balls forcibly stretching out the affected tendons.
Something to think about?
As for you and your bowling ball theory, Ms. Miller, do you really expect me to fall for that? A night bowling and my tendons snap, so you can remove your only opposition to being Writer God of the Universe!
Actually, I'll keep the pain - just to watch you playing ten pin bowling would, I suspect, be treatment enough.
And no, I wasn't playing against myself.
Yes, all right, *once* the ball fell off my fingers in the backswing ... but that was the stupid ball's fault. The holes were too small.
My arm is still better, though, so nyah!
Ah Karen, I'll pass you a shovel. You're not making it sound any more plausible, you know.