Signs and Seatbelts

Good afternoon, Stockholm! ….although it’s more like goodnight, given it’s only gone 3.30pm and it’s dark outside.

11 Dec 2014 pic

I forget how early it gets dark in December, but I do like it – it’s kind of cosy. I’m holed up in our top floor room at the happiest hotel in Stockholm, Clarion Hotel Sign. It’s probably the happiest hotel in the world, so fucking cheerful the reserved Swede in me feels a little queasy every time we come here. Signs all over the place about how Clarion loves this, that, the other: at reception Clarion likes order and asks us to form an orderly queue (I do agree here though, as Swedes are useless at the seemingly simple concept of waiting in line), by the lifts we’re told Clarion loves music (and indeed each lift has its own genre – so far today we’ve been in the pop and rock ones), and…. ..well, it’s EVERYWHERE you look.

B’s gone to the office to get a couple of hours of work in, and I think we’re trying the hotel restaurant out later, it’s a celebrity chef one and meant to be good. Having said that, I quite feel like a walk after spending the day travelling. Oh, I survived the flight (posting on my blog may have made this obvious, but still), even though it was a little bumpy. I suppose when I say ‘a little bumpy’ it actually means it was almost perfectly smooth. I kept calm and I don’t think B realised that the girl who used to be so frightened of flying was very much still there, until my clammy palms gave the game away. I even managed to use the toilet, which was a bit of an achievement – normally I won’t undo my seatbelt unless the possibility I might wet myself is Very Real Indeed. So on balance, we’re good.

B is at work all day tomorrow, so for me it’ll be a writing marathon – my own little writer’s retreat. It does work, I’ve found – inspiration tends to flow with a change of scenery. At home, I always sit in the same spot by the dining table (OK, very occasionally I sit in bed and write) and I discovered early on that whenever I got a bit stuck, the ideas and motivation would come back to me if I went up to the high road and sat in a cafe for a while. I’ve also had a bit of a “thinking break” since I got the feedback from the editor. I have done a bit of writing since then, but way less than I’d usually get done, and have instead spent a lot of time thinking through the things I need to change, remove, add, enhance and tone down. I did the same in the summer, spent a good two or three weeks just thinking about it a lot and rather than writing just jotted down notes and ideas. By the time – like now – it had all crystalised in my head, I couldn’t make my hands move over the keyboard fast enough, so intense was my inspiration and urge to write.

I’d also like to go out for a walk, with the excuse that I want to go and get some nail polish. I may also take a sneaky peek in some shoe shops to see if those sensible Swedes have come up with comfortable killer heels – the ones I have are comfortable for what they are, but there does come a time in the evening any time I wear them, when my feet are killing me. Ah, we’ll see.

Now toying with the idea of taking a shower. We showered this morning of course, but I want to get the air travel washed off, I always feel drab after a flight. Also, my skin feels dry after just a couple of hours in that horrible cabin air, so perhaps a nice shower is the way to go. B won’t be back for another hour, so maybe he should get back to a fresh faced and bushy tailed girlfriend.

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