Waiting in airport lounges is a lot like that week between Christmas Day and New Years. You’re not quite sure about what day of the week it is, what time of day it is, how many meals you’ve had that day or why you smell funky. You’re surrounded by the elderly and little children and none of life’s normal rules seem to apply. You can’t remember when you were last outside and everyone is day-drinking. I arrived at Manchester Airport with four hours to spare, so I guess I have to time to blog about the last two days.
I woke yesterday morning having slept very poorly. The interview was weighing heavily on me. I spent an hour fighting with myself. I could easily stay in Longford and just pretend to go to the interview. No one would ever need to know.


But I got up and dressed and packed and forced myself into my car.

On the way, I tried to listen to the radio, but the struggle continued. Maybe if I slowed down, I could miss the flight. Could I feasibly run out of petrol? I’m heavier than I was the last time I flew. Maybe I’m now too big for airline rules and would be made to stay in Dublin. Could I stage a mugging? How much a bruise/cut would I have to give myself on the face to convince people that I couldn’t do the interview? I got more and more negative all the way here.

But I got on the plane and got to Manchester. As we were taking off, at the end of the safety announcements, the flight attendant said “May the odds be ever in your favour”. From the Hunger Games. That’s not something you say to people about to fly to an interview they don’t want to do! That’s something you say to children about to be killed on a post-apocalyptic reality TV show!

The thrill of being in England did lift my mood. English people always seem so much happier than the Irish and they have excellent taste in fonts. And I just love the feeling of landing in a new country and anything being possible.

I found my budget hotel. It was very cheap and very central. I wasn’t expecting much. And I didn’t get much. The room was up three flights of creaky stairs. The little single bed blocked the door from opening fully. The room had a shower and a sink, but no toilet. There was a shared toilet down the corridor. The shower was full of slivers of soap left by previous occupants of the room and the walls looked too dirty to touch. I had to request a towel from reception for a fee. Of course there was no wifi and I spent a fortune in international roaming googling things for my demo lecture the next morning.

I didn’t sleep well. At one stage, as I was turning over, I put all of my weight on one elbow and felt that familiar sensation of the bed buckling under me. Another bed broken. I think that’s seven beds I’ve broken now. I have expensive habits.
I got to the interview unbreakfasted but punctual. And it was fine. I didn’t feel like I was really there. I felt like I was floating somewhere in mid-air watching myself. The demo lesson was good, though the “students” could have been more responsive.

I had to hang around for 4 hours while I waited for the interview. The interview was a little weird. The panellists all seemed to have different ideas of what the job entailed. I can’t say I felt a warm fuzzy feeling from them as I have after other interviewers in the past, but it was grand. My official line is: I didn’t say anything wrong.

I’m exhausted. It’ll be a long drive back to Longford tonight. But it’s done.

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