I awoke at 5.58am, two minutes before my alarm was due to sound. I had just come out of a dream in which I worked for The Who and I couldn’t find kettle leads to power the guitar amps. This was all happening outdoors and while searching I encountered a goat who followed me from the other side of a fence; the animal knew one word of English.
As I showered I wished I’d gone to bed earlier the night previous. The last night at home is usually a busy one and a few wee drinkies usually happen.
At 6.40am I kissed everyone goodbye, got into a taxi and saw that the countryside was only just being born from darkness while lights were switched on in the widely-spaced houses; domestic beacons of purpose scattered like gems on a hillside.
First, a trip to London from George Best Belfast City Airport. It’s a one-hour flight and the 8.40am departure was delayed by about 20 minutes, but with a 3pm flight to LA from Heathrow, I wasn’t worried a stitch. When the plane reached Heathrow Terminal 1 we were essentially trapped for five minutes or so while the ground staff sorted out an alarm. Perfect time for a wee tweet:
“Can’t ‘deplane’ because of an alarm in the jetty. No one aboard seems bothered. I’m naked.”
Once transferred to terminal 5 I had some lunch and wandered around the place. I fingered a few cameras in a high street retailer’s shop and decided a new camera is one of the last things I need. When I waited around long enough, a departure gate was announced for the flight to LA and I made my way there using an automatic train thingy in which a woman with a hot Cornish pasty1 in her hand kept shouting at it: ‘cool down you dirty birdie cool down, ow!’
When I found my seat on the plane I was joined shortly afterwards by three compadres, Renée, Tash, and Nicky. We flew for a billion hours or so and during this time I mostly edited the No Ideas book. I guess it’s in its 4th run-through now: from blog, to laptop draft, to paperback, to kindle. (Using the kindle to proofread is very handy.) Soon… Soon it will be available.
Loads of hours later, we found ourselves landing at LAX where the dusky sky was tinged with a peachy orange. Unlike the last time I landed in the US, today’s immigration queues were tiny. The Man let us all in and we punched the air suspiciously. After we found our bags, we were met by Dave with a van and off we went. We arrived at the hotel at 8pm, precisely when I thought we would. And so 22 hours after leaving a dark Larne, I find myself in the cool air of a dark LA. I am happy to have a full day off tomorrow to recover.
1 Pronounced ‘pa-stee’, it’s a baked pastry filled with various things like animal parts or cheese.