Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gijon needless to say

So I turned up at the airport yesterday having carefully taken all the stuff I normally keep in my carry-on out of my carry-on; and I checked my roll-aboard, because I would be changing from a big plane to a smaller one; and I made encouraging noises while the lady at the airport, who admitted she was a bit green at this, punched things into the computer to try and make it check my bag all the way to Asturias. Then I got on the plane.

Panic number one was when I got to Amsterdam, to be told they didn´t have me getting from Barcelona to Asturias, which meant I had to phone people in the US in the middle of the night, to be told there was no problem ("...but," said the travel agent, "I don´t see how your bag is going to get to Asturias."

"Well," I said, "It´s checked all the way through.")

Everything seemed to go smoothly in the end, as I ran across Barcelona airport, got my boarding pass and made the plane by the skin of my teeth, but I found myself less surprised than perhaps I could have been otherwise to get to Asturias Airport and find that my luggage, containing suit, clothes, wedding presents and all, was Somewhere Else.

Spanair would know where that Somewhere Else is but their computer is down. It may be up again tomorrow, they tell me.

Mark Buckingham and his lovely fiancee Irma met me at the airport, reassured me that it was me they wanted at the wedding not the missing presents, and then took me out to buy essentials (socks, tee-shirts, underwear, black jeans, toothpaste, razor etc) and we´re holding off on buying a whole new suit and trimmings (and a bag to put it all in) until we know whether or not the missing luggage is likely to arrive before the wedding. (Bet it doesn´t.)

(Incidentally, Spanish clothes are just like clothes everywhere else in the world, only with more labels than need to be cut out. Lots more labels.)

In other news, I bought a new cell-phone which is, on evidence, rather smarter than I am, and has already astonished me with its scary abilities, which seem to include mugging my other phone and taking all its information, making crystal-clear calls to the US from Spanish airports and probably making lasagna.

Hello Neil.

Maybe I just missed it,( I seem to miss a lot of things lately, at 48
yrs of age) but I could not find if you had listed signings for the Bay
Area/East Bay. I know it won't be Cody's as that incredible bookstore
has gone bye-bye (sniff.)

Any idea where you will be appearing in our neck of the woods, for
Fragile Things?

Yes,of course we will bring you some wine from Sonoma county as always.

Best,Jon Athens

Worry not. I´ll be out in the Bay Area on the 2nd and the third of October, doing a REALLY cool event with Cody´s (that should be as much fun as the CORALINE reading I did in 2002, although it´ll be in a more intimate venue) and, because it got cancelled last time due to Keppler´s being closed, one at Keppler´s. I will trumpet all details here the moment I am told I can by the Powers That Be at Morrow, and I´m sure it will be soon.

From Boston Globe:

Residents wonder if dead animal is legendary mystery beast

And who can blame them?