...and if I tell myself I Am Not Cold, then I won't be. Repeat: cold is a concept.
Here's a nice toasty picture of that wool I dyed using the magic of the crock pot and the food colouring many aeons ago, in a country currently suffering from 30 degree summer heat. Much of it has now become nice toasty slippers, unfelted as yet as I am too scared about buggering up our rented washing machine with fluff. We really can't afford a buggered up washer on top of everything else right now.
Anyway there has been no need lately of toasty slippers, nice or otherwise (the motley pair is definitely on the "otherwise" side of the equation, though they are totally free because they come from the ends left over from other projects), because we just had a weekend in the seething metropolis of Auckland, where it is several degrees warmer. It also helped to be staying in a rather nice hotel, with duvet, bath, thermostat, and tea-making facilities. This all came courtesy of Random House publishers, who were kind enough to sponsor me to attend the national Booksellers' Conference. They provide a sponsorship each year for someone who's never attended this esteemed event before, and as I've only been in the country a month, that definitely meant me.
Not only did I get to go to the Conference, meet everyone who's anyone including a whole lot of Awesome Folks Who Do Stuff With Books, AND stay in a rather nice hotel with the above warmth-related facilities, but I also got to go to TWO posh dinners. The first was the industry awards night; the second, the Montana Book Awards, a super-glittering event involving bigwigs and prizes and gourmet food and the Prime Minister. I felt quite whelmed over, though it was mostly by the niceness of all those aforementioned Folks (and also by starting the days at eight a.m and keeping going till after midnight). Lordy. What an introduction after only four weeks in the country.
Oh, and when I got home, the local freebie paper had a little bit about our Harry Potter event and there was a picture of me on the front page.
However, today we came back to earth with a bump - the gas company had come to cut us off. We didn't even know we had a gas water heater, hence not paying the gas company any money. We're all right now, but it's another hundred bucks "set-up charge" to add to the bills...what is that for? Typing your name and address into the system? What a bargain. But since the gas, electric, phone, internet and rental companies (both house and appliances) all demand it, it'll be a hell of a month. Better turn off the heater. It's a good thing cold is just a concept.