I’m off to a conference tomorrow for a day or two tomorrow. It’s possibly the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had to better myself in my career and in a community I respect, and a great responsibility for me to help my employer and co-workers through presentation of a good corporate face to others and intensive research of the subjects involved that might be of interest; also, coincidentally, it’s in Paris. What? What are you looking at me like that for?
I’m now performing my usual brick-shitting panicky house runaround in anticipation of the event. I’ve spent much of my bank holiday weekend working out what to pack, what to buy, what to research, what to see on the schedule when I’m there and what will happen in my absence. This is no fault of either the conference or my employer: I recognize it as a deep-seated character flaw in me. I’m unable to relax and smell the roses unless I know in advance, if not exactly what breeds of rose are likely to present themselves and when, then at least an approximate window of time in which a number of unspecified roses are most likely to present themselves.
I also like to read up on the provenance of any given roses in advance of smelling them. So I’m currently moving back and forth between the conference schedule and a Rough Guide to Paris, the one we borrowed from the library three years ago and dropped in a sports bag onto a marble floor along with a couple of bottles of Rioja. The pages stick together but I think I’ve more or less got the history of Montparnasse and the 14e arrondissement down pat. Deep down I must be expecting the conference to open with a quiz about the Paris catacombs.
Still, I’ll try to enjoy this in the same slightly strained, wild-eyed way in which I enjoy most opportunities that life throws at me. Although you probably won’t notice the gap, given how rarely I post these days, à bientôt!