It has been a while, but I've done it again. Up to the day before yesterday I was secretly hoping that something would happen and I wouldn't have to do it. Tough luck!
So this morning I got up at five-thirty, Staffan took me to the railway station at six-thirty for the 7.15 London train (I always want to have a margin), 50 min to King's Cross, an hour to Heathrow, a cappucchino and a muffin, just over an hour flight to Hannover, waiting for the airport train - actually I thought I would miss it, but it was late. But I was so stressed by the queue behind me for the ticket machine that I bought a completely wrong ticket. After a long wait, twelve minutes, as promised, to the central station in Hannover, found the travel centre, bought a supplementary train ticket, had a sandwich and another capucchino, found the platform, another hour on the train, taxi to the hotel, at the hotel at 5, which is all in all almost eleven hours of travel. I had looked at options, including a flight to Amsterdam from Stansted as well as driving all the way. All options added up to about twelve hours, but of course driving twelve hours isn't too clever if you have to give a paper in the morning.
Why am I doing it again? Shouldn't I be beyond all ambitions, shouldn't I be wiser than be flattered by an invitation? It'd better be a very rewarding conference! If it's half as good as the dinner tonight I'll be satisfied.