The last couple of months have been… crap.
Work has been so stressful and busy, and I was on call for 4 out of 8 consecutive weeks, and hadn’t been sleeping well as a result of that.
Otter (aka, Angry Cat) is now 15 years old, and having a few health issues. He has a bad tooth that’s been bothering him (and needs removing), and a bit of a digestive tract issue (that I’m not sure has righted itself yet).
The last two weeks of May was meant to be relaxing and stress free. The reality? Far from it.
My flight from Vancouver to London was one of the worst that I’ve had, as there were two screaming kids behind me that didn’t really shut up the whole flight. Add to that that people who passed by in the aisle were so klutzy that they kept bumping into me, I could barely get any sleep. That pretty much set me up for catching a cold, which bothered me for about 3/4 of the time I was in the UK.
Next, I had organized to courier a bag up from my parents’ place (near Epsom in Surrey – no, not the Surrey in British Columbia) to the Confuzzled hotel in Birmingham. The idea was that last year I had carried two big hockey bags and a roll-aboard with me on the train, and darn near put my back out. I didn’t want to do that this time, and specifically wanted to bring Tseatah (mk.II) and Cisco (my realistic grey fox made by Alopex) to the con, as well as Kootenay. After looking around, I chose Virgin’s “Bag Magic” service. They contract that out to P4D – a package management company – who sub-contract that to various couriers; in this case, TNT. A TNT courier picked up my bag on Wednesday (May 20th), gave me a signed copy of the delivery note as confirmation, and I expected it to be at the con by Friday, at the latest, when I got there. I get to the hotel, and no bag. I try to contact P4D, go into a phone hold queue for ages, and in the end don’t get an answer because they head off at 4:30pm Fridays. The customer service was meant to be monitoring their email over the weekend, but I didn’t get any response to my questions. I did find a tracking number for TNT that I could use on their website, and found the tracking page said ‘please call the Birmingham depot’; I did, and was informed that was there because the Birmingham depot knew (from the shipping order) that they should be getting a package, but hadn’t received it. I only got through to P4D on Tuesday morning, because Monday was a Bank Holiday in the UK.
Even now, the bag has still not been located and is presumed lost, but still believed to be within TNT’s system ‘somewhere’. Tseatah mk.II & Cisco were in that bag, and the most insurance I could get on the bag was just £1,000 which covers just a fraction of how much both of those costumes cost.
Yes, that’s right: A courier company in the UK LOST two of my fursuits. I’ve been told that packages will often show up weeks or months after they’ve been lost, but being the pessemist I am, I’m not hopeful.
As for Confuzzled itself, I’m really not sure what I made of it this year, other than I don’t think it was as good as last year when I went for the first time.
To summarize why:
- I was stressed/angry/upset about my bag not having arrived, which grew over the weekend to fears of it being lost, which also meant that I missed certain costuming opportunities that I’d really been hoping for
- I was under the weather, thanks to my screaming-kids-from-the-flight cold
- There were a few people that I thought that would be back at the con this year (that I’d hoped to see) that weren’t
- The socialization at the con seemed lacking from last year – particularly, last year people pretty much hung out in the lounge bar. This year, while the bar was used, more of the people that I knew/wanted to hang with seemed to head off to room parties elsewhere. By 11pm-midnight, I could count the number of people in the bar that I knew on one hand.
Once the con was over, I went back to my parents’ place. My plan originally was to find some other folks I know and meet up one night. I ended up not because I’d become quite depressed about the bag situation, which wasn’t improving, and really felt like doing nothing at all.
My flight back to Vancouver was no better than it was the way out; if anything, it was worse. Instead of screaming kids behind me, there was a bawling baby behind me, and then screaming kids in the next three rows in front of me. Seriously, I just could not win at all. Normally I try and get about 4 hours of sleep in the ~9 hour flight back to get me back near the time zone I usually operate in (which, despite my living in Pacific US time, seems to be Eastern US time), but didn’t manage more than maybe 90 minutes of actual sleep. So today, I’m struggling to stay awake at work (despite going to sleep last night at 8:45pm, waking up briefly at 11pm, and then waking up again at 4:15am) – and I normally do so well with avoiding jet-lag. 😛
Oh, and I’m still worried about Otter; he seems a thinner than before I left. Perhaps it might be down to my being away, or his tooth bothering him more (which bothers him more when he drinks water than eats, really). I’m going to keep monitoring him closely.
So, that was April and May – with May being the worst month I’ve had in a long time.
Here’s hoping June is better. First big notable event for the month is today – when I get my new car (blue 2015 Prius V with tech package).