Pre holiday panic (14.22)

Wednesday I go to sleep composing in my head the emails I didn’t send today but need to send tomorrow. I wake up some time around 2:00am, listening to heavy rain smacking against the windows and find my mind caught in a thought loop about the different ways ough is pronounced in English.

* thought (or)

* bough (ow)

* enough (uh)

* cough (oh)

* through (oo)

Then I start putting together sentences using as many different ough pronunciations as I can think of, creating a kind of test for a class of english language learners. A class that I don’t teach.

I’m worrying because I have had a runny nose all week and Husband now has a tickly throat. Our French friend from Pub Quiz is also on holiday this week. She messaged me from her yoga retreat in  Portugal where she has been confined to her room after testing positive for covid. We sat at a table with her for two hours last week. Did she have the virus then? Has she passed it on to us?

I packed four books for a 2 week holiday. I am taking two in my carry on bag because I don’t know what kind of reading mood I’ll be in in the plane. There is an hour and a half tube ride ti the airport, and the best way to spend that is to read because it’s a nice chuink of reading time and it distracts you from how long the tube ride is and it  also calms down any pre-departure nerves you may have for whatever reason because…. reading!

Work has been frustrating this week. I’m angry with myself for still being so slow. I have to read everything several times and start second guessing myself on my responses. A lot of the people I’m dealing with are in a different time zone so mornings are busy with meetings (virtual), but the afternoons are busy too, because people work late to keep up with London and that’s when the emails come in droves.

Thursday I am jagged all day as our airline seems to be messaging me every 30 minutes with some update about my flight. Please arrive early… Please note your departure time has changed…. Please note your your connecting flight time has changed….

Friday and I wake up before the alarm,  which is set for 4.30am. We make it to the Tube station in time to join the crowd waiting for the first Underground service of the day. I sit on the Tube, lost in the wintry Eastern Ukraine of Andrey Kurkov’s Grey Bees until we reach Baron’s Court and the underground emerges into the overground and the grey light of the sky appears. It’s not the night we started in, it’s morning now.

Heathrow, and we are stopped on our way into the terminal by muscular men whose shirts read “Security”. People are shuffling in bags, pulling out documents. “What time are you flying today?” one asks us. He doesn’t listen to the answer and waves us through. Check in, security, all done and we still have almost three hours until departure. So much for the airline’s warnings that we needed to arrive early.

I’ll report back from our destination, but

Some wildly different literature choices for the flight.

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