Friday, 27 April 2012

This layout is confusing! But nevertheless...

I'm back after a week or two of complete conference-madness.
I spent the last week catatonic on my couch, unable to work, unable to rest, unable to do much except glide through the onslaught and then the rapid disappearance of caffeine, adrenaline, sugar, endorphins and the thousands of other chemically things which I was super-saturated with.
It sounds intense.
It knocked me sideways.
I'm still recovering.

The upside, though, was that the conference appears to have been a success!
I kept thinking: I'm seeing things with a golden glow around them because that's what I do. Or because I feel like this is 'my' conference, and so it's like when my Mum cries and says I look beautiful when I sit with her wearing track pants, acne-medicine and oiled hair. (Ghastly).
But no.
Apparently, it was golden-glowy.
And not that I NEED you to believe that, but quite literally, the evening of the conference dinner, the sun came through the clouds (this is England we're talking about), and the rain stopped, and a *double rainbow* arced across the sky RIGHT OUTSIDE the conference centre, for five minutes. Just as the delegates were stepping out of the last talk and towards dinner.
I redefine magical event management, yes?

We ate a dinner prepared with locally available wild foods, washed down with wine and local beers. We drank *hundreds* of cups of coffee (the delegates drank around 70. I drank 30 over about four days.) I found and wore the perfect black heels which KILLED my feet on the first day. I gave my first conference paper from the PhD (WHOOOOO!) I made a new friend. I found someone absolutely beautiful, with pale golden skin and black hair that fell gently against the back of his neck (God) who I stayed 10 feet away from at all times for health (mine) and safety (his) reasons. Except when he *held* me before leaving on the evening of the last day. Thud, thud, thud.

I stood by the door and listened to the delegates speaking about sustainability and resilience and global environmental change. Two delegates were community leaders from tribal / indigenous communities and when they spoke, the room fell silent and there was electricity in the air. A completely different world, somewhere in between what we know is possible and what we hope is possible. They talked it into our imaginations. I tiptoed outside the rooms during the talks, checking that the catering trolley had arrived and that the AV was working and that the delegate-packs were all neatly stacked on the registration table and that everyone was generally happy and productive and caffeinated and inspired.
I 'recovered' by going drinking with friends and people from the conference and then crashing, quite literally, into bed, with a blank mind and a happy heart. 

1 comment:

A.S. said...

I feel like saying "well done" - but isn't that an all too familiar empty signifier after our PhDs?... Hope you're sleeping the whole week-end through.