Thursday, Jan 26.: Blocking
I had a plan. A great plan. I would finish Trish the Shawl (only the finishing touches left), block it, then pack. Knowing I had to get up approximately at 3am Saturday meant I wanted to have almost nothing left to do Friday, being able to just go to bed and try to get some sleep after work.
So far so good. Finishing it took a few minutes, and I had some vague idea pinning it out would take me 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, when I finally was done pinning it out and looked at the time, I had spent three hours fighting with the pins, on my knees on the floor. Another work day ahead, time to get some sleep. Packing progress: 0%.
Friday, Jan 27.: Last Minute Trouble
"Packing, pfuh. Just throw a few things into a bag and you're all set."
I frowned and shook my head at this statement at work, aware that I would have to plan carefully what to bring to avoid an excess of luggage. I still thought it couldn't take that much time, however, since I had it planned out in my head. Or so I thought.
Torn between the options of taking a bus from work between 16.00 and 17.00, or staying until 18.00 and getting a ride home AND a free dinner between 17.00 and 18.00, against my own wisdom of knowing better I opted for the late but comfortable option. After all, I'd only lose an hour.
That hour turned out to be crucial as I struggled to get everything packed and ready for departure, my hair washed, and to be in bed before 21.00 in an attempt to get at least 6h of sleep. After emptying my wardrobe onto my bed, sorting through it, and stacking exactly the amount of clothes needed for the amount of days in question (knowing I would have the possibility to do laundry after five days), I started fitting everything into my suitcase which suddenly looked tiny, after feeling gargantuan when I bought it and refused to get a "big" suitcase, opting instead for the middle size. As usual I put two changes of clothes into my carry-on backpack in case the checked suitcase would go AWOL.
Gathering the last bits and pieces I ran around the flat, and tugged out my mp3-player from the computer's USB-port where it was charging without doing the "remove safely" procedure. I hadn't gone more than three meters from the computer before I realised something was up: The player was giving strange messages on the screen, and finally told me it had failed loading the fonts, and shut itself down. Start of panic. Nothing I could come up with revived it. With the stress growing I turned unable to understand instructions unless spelled out in very simple steps. In the end it took a calm person with remote access to my laptop to fix it.
3,5 hours had passed, and it was now almost midnight. I was not done packing. In another 3 hours or so I would have to get up and get ready to head to the airport.
Finishing packing, I discovered that I had put my camera bag down on one of my heat-paks (you know, gel things where you flip a metal thingie and it goes hard and warm for about 30 minutes), which had burst and leaked gel on the bed. The gel had been triggered, and was hard. The sheets were crusted to the mattress. I had the stuff all over me. "Avoid exposure on skin in case product breaks". Lovely. Another thing I did not have time to deal with, and I decided to leave the mess for when I got home.
At 01.00 I decided to go against all advice and get a couple of hours sleep. I was running out of steam and sleep sounded better than staying up, even knowing I would be likely to hate waking up in so short a time. I set multiple alarms and went to sleep on the other side of the bed, where no scary chemicals were spreading their malicious powder over my sheets.
I fell asleep instantly.