Continuum 13: Thursday (Day 0)

My Continuum 13 started earlier than some people’s (although, to be fair, for committee the next year’s Continuum starts sometime during the previous Continuum, if not earlier) as I got a message from Tole on Thursday morning.

‘DAYNA’S CAR HAS BROKEN DOWN.’

Dayna was supposed to be picking up our international Guest of Honour, Seanan McGuire, from the airport; she was flying back into Melbourne after attending LexiCon in New Zealand. So the car being broken down was less than ideal.

There were a number of ways we could have gotten Seanan from the airport to the hotel, many of which involved combinations of the Skybus and taxis and generally spending more money up front than I really had. In the end I asked Danny (my husband) very nicely if he would mind taking me to the airport to pick up Seanan and then get us both to the hotel. The advantage to this was that I didn’t have to take my ridiculously huge suitcase on public transport, because it would fit in the car boot. The disadvantage was that there was some confusion over the flight number. Then when I found the right one the plane was due in half an hour earlier than originally stated. I did a lot of screeching on Slack. Slack is a great way to communicate among a team unless one of the team members is on the verge of a panic attack worrying that they won’t get where they’re going on time. This was me, more than once.

We went to the airport, had chicken parmas at the Air Bar & Lounge, my attention flipping between the episode of The Chase Australia on the bar TV, and the Melbourne Airport app in my phone telling me where Seanan’s flight was. I assume I ate my food because it wasn’t there any more and while Danny loves his parmas I don’t think he would’ve eaten two.

Sitting outside the international arrivals bit at the airport is interesting. The last time I’d done it was when Darren was coming back from New Zealand. I get that moment of being genuinely excited when the flight status flips over to LANDED. And then I get many, many moments. Minutes, actually. Like at least half an hour. Maybe more. I wasn’t looking at my watch or my phone: I was looking at the exit gates from the arrivals area, waiting for Seanan to come out.

It’s hard to miss a person with sunset hair.

We crept our way along the road from the airport into town, got to the hotel, I managed to break a chunk of plastic off my suitcase getting it out of the boot, got checked in, and discovered Seanan and I were just down the hall from each other, which was great because the reason I had such a huge suitcase was because a third of it contained the Diet Dr Pepper that I’d bought for her.

The rest of my evening was finding the right channel on the hotel Foxtel (MAX, for the 1000 Greatest 80s Songs countdown), hanging my t-shirts up in the cupboard in order of what day they were to be worn (Lynelle said this makes me anal; she’s not wrong), and reacquainting myself with the really lovely skincare and shower products that the hotel provides from Appelles Apothecary.

Then there was sleep. For a given value of sleep.

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