VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED: It's mid-afternoon in London and I've basically just gotten up and around in the last hour. I had the worst...the day in the history of my travels. It started with the flight to London being delayed for nearly three hours because of a medical emergency on the incoming flight and then when it tried to land it almost hit a small plane on the runway.

Once we took off from Atlanta, we were about two or three hours into the eight hour flight when there was another medical emergency. Not sure what happened, but our plane was met at Gatwick by an ambulance crew and we had to sit on the plane while they removed the ill passenger. There was a good bit of turbulence, the plane was packed and stuffy and there were enough children to start a small school. I didn't sleep a wink.

Once in London, things seemed to smooth out. Got through customs in a matter of minutes and got on the train to London and to the hotel in record time. I was supposed to have early check in but the hotel was packed and no rooms were ready until 2 p.m. I was so exhausted by this point, that I sacked out on one of their couches in the lobby. I suppose I started to look too much like a derelict because about two hours later, they magically had a room available.

I managed a two hour nap before having to go back to Victoria Station to get the 4:45 train to Lewes for my reading. I was on my second wind and made it there with no problems. Andie and her husband picked me up at the station and we went to an Indian restaurant for dinner with the night's co-host, an American ex-pat named Liz. There were roughly 20 people there, all attentive and interested and full of questions during the Q&A. I read nearly every poem in Slow To Burn and read a few new ones from Wake and the Memphis series in progress. It was such a warm group of people, and some read their own work during the open mic. The poems were all very good and one poet, Iona Jet, had us all laughing with her naughty poems about dating younger men and the pleasure of vibrators. I called her a "filthy Diana Rigg" and if you're reading this Iona, feel free to use it as a blurb. :) Andie and Liz were just amazing hosts and the Lewes Library was gorgeous. Thanks to both of you and all those who came out last night.

I got the train back to London and arrived after 11 p.m. I went straight to the hotel and went to sleep. Managed to get up and trudge downstairs for breakfast then came back to the room and went back to sleep. I'm such a lazy slug.

Tonight is the Kate Bush forum party, although so many people have cancelled at the last minute, not sure how many will be there or how festive it will be. I'll have another post on Monday after my visit to Cambridge tomorrow and my, hopefully, close encounter with Doctor Who on Monday.


Happy trails, Collin.
You were greatly appreciated, Collin - hope to see you again next year, and after a better journey. No-one could have guessed what you'd been through from the sound and the look of you.
Pris said…
What a flight! What a reading experience.

A schoolful of young kids on the plane...that gave me a smile, though I know it didn't give you one at the time.
Peter said…
Wild flights. Collin. Hope the rest of your trip is gravy now.
michi said…
collin, the trip to england does not sound like fun, but it could have been much worse. you could have BEEN the medical emergency on the plane.

have fun,

All I can say about that flight is UGH...sometimes it's NOT "better to travel"!

I'm sure you're glad you're there now.

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