Twelve meetings later and I’m homeward bound. Four days, three states, twelve meetings. Not a bad effort!
London feels balmy in comparison, a nice thick blanket of cosy fog covering the city and a practically tropical ten degrees forecast for Sunday.
Now for a weekend of flat hunting and then it’s one week until the annual creative conference where I’ll be presenting concepts for the next six months of work so no rest for the wicked.
But first, sleep.
I left the office and walked out in the bitter cold. I could either go back to my hotel and order room service or I could brace the cold and walk two blocks to a busy sushi restaurant.
I took my life in my hands and walked. It was possibly colder than anything I’d experienced. I walked with only my eyes exposed and even my eyeballs were cold.
Getting to the restaurant, it was New York busy but luckily I secured a seat at the sushi bar, sat down and ordered a hot saki.
Now that I’m mature (yikes middle aged?) I don’t care about eating alone. It used to be the thing I dreaded the most but thankfully with maturity and the invention of smart phones, it no longer matters.
Surrounded by New Yorkers, it’s fair to say the noise level was loud. Compared to sushi in London a couple of weeks ago, a very different experience but then again perhaps I was just extremely tired.
Full of sushi and fading rapidly I headed out to Rockefeller Plaza. I walked the eight blocks to go to Banana Republic to see if I could find something for Letad.
I was so tired the shopping was surreal and when I finally made it back to my hotel, I collapsed in a heap.
Only one more day to go.
Wednesday, four more grueling presentations scheduled and a couple of catch up meetings at the office.
I left the warmth of my hotel reluctantly and discovered it had snowed overnight. Despite that, it felt slightly warmer (I was deluding myself) and as there was a queue to get a taxi, I decided to walk the ten blocks or so to the first meeting.
Of course halfway there it seemed colder and I questioned my logic!
Many hours and lots of talking later and I was done. At least that part of the day. I set off back to the office to catch up with my New York counterparts and decide whether I could face going back out in the cold.
I haven’t been shopping and I haven’t had sushi. A New York catastrophe!!
What to do?
What a different experience. I actually made it to Bentonville this time and while my total time on the ground in Arkansas was 23 hours it was mission accomplished.
I stayed in a lovely hotel, the 21C Museum which was part hotel, part art gallery, the wallpaper printed with flies. Interesting and surprisingly effective.
I checked in and ordered dinner. Oh room service, the novelty!
I asked what the soup of the day was. Cole Fire soup was something I’d never heard of, a local delicacy perhaps? It was in fact a vegetable and upon closer questioning, it turned out to be cauliflower…
Cole Fire soup (think southern accent) was delicious and I was asleep by 9pm local time in a blissful king size bed as soft and delicate as a cloud.
Ten hours later, having slept to midday in London (unheard of for me) I was ready to roll. And with a successful meeting done (the first of about fifteen) I was back at the airport heading to New York.
It was very cold in Bentonville. 17 degrees Farenheit (minus too many degrees celcius to bear thinking about) and as flights were being delayed and cancelled, I was rushed to the gate. The flight (with all eight passengers) was ready to leave early. It was get out or get stuck.
We sat on the ground for a while as the plane de-iced and then we pushed back from the gate.
New York bound.
Towards the end of my ten hour flight to Dallas, light refreshments were served, American style.
Individual deep dish pizzas were plonked steaming in front of each passenger and like lemmings, they tucked right in.
I was quite hungry but I looked at the people and I looked at the pizza and I had a revelation. They looked the same!
That’s it. This year’s cleanse starts on February 15th.
The time has come.
And so it appears I am on my way back to Bentonville.
For those who recall the disastrous pre Christmas trip, I have to admit I’m not exactly looking forward to it. And the weather in New York (part two of the itinerary) is forecast to be minus eight degrees Celsius. Is that even possible?
Of course I have an ominous tickle in the back of my throat. Is it psychosomatic?
And my driver has a filthy cold and keeps sneezing so I’m getting paranoid about germs.
Back on Friday, weather permitting!
It seems like every time I fly, I end up in floods over a tear-jerker of a movie.
How can I forget watching Red Dog on a flight back from Australia. After Red Dog died (apologies if you haven’t seen it) I was a wreck for the remaining twelve hours of the flight. It was one of the most poignant films I’d ever seen.
This time it was a bloody Richard Curtis so-called feel good film called About Time. Bill Nighy (whom I do rather like but who always plays the same character) inevitably dies and that was it, cue tears. It was a fairly stupid time travelling plot but that didn’t seem to matter and I did love “A Time Traveller’s Wife” after all. Sucker!
I blame it on altitude. What else could it be?
And so now for a Woody Allen film to lighten the mood.
Only another seven hours to Dallas.