The flights all worked well, and I arrived at Heathrow 30 minutes early, which resulted in me having to stand in line an extra 30 minutes awaiting passport control and immigration. The standing wasn't that bad, since I hadn't slept on the plane and was impervious to discomfort - except for the elderly Aussie man (or Brit pretending to be an Aussi man) who tried to push into the queue 50 people from the end.
I am not fond of queue jumpers so I politely told him where the end of the queue was. He thanked me politely and pushed in 45 places from the end of the queue. I was too tired to even mind.
I was so tired I made a cardinal mistake when the immigration officer asked me where I was going and what I was doing. "Bristol," I replied. "To a convention."
"So you are here on business?"
The penny dropped. A "yes" would be the wrong answer.
"No," I said. "I'm going to a crime convention."
Whoops. That also wasn't the right thing to say.
"I mean, I am going to a crime writers' meeting."
"A crime writers' meeting? What's that?"
Anyway a few minutes later I was allowed to pass into the hallowed lands of Great Britain, leaving the friendly Indian lady shaking her head.
Heathrow Express, extending of my senior railcard, and the train trip to Bristol all worked well. Amazing. I was in the hotel about 4 hours after landing at LHR.
I was energized when I met Michael, who had arrived yesterday, Yrsa and her husband Ole, Jeff and his partner Barbara, and Caro. Not to mention convention salwarts Bill and Toby Gottfried and Murder is Everywhere contributor Annamaria Alfieri.
|Stan, Annamaria, Jeff, Caro, Yrsa, and Michael|
It is people like this that really are the great attraction of Crimefest.
Now to sleep. More later.
Stan - Thursday