The last word

That sounds rather melodramatic (and perhaps very me), but what I mean is the last word on the cruise.

Now that I'm back on the lovely firm land, the wonderful stuff that doesn't bob up and down all the time, I've been doing a little reflecting (yes, ok, that's also very me.)

It's been interesting how many people have referred to my "jolly" and "holiday", since I've been back, when I have to say the cruise was neither of the above.

I know it was a trip overseas, and to some fine places, and I'm grateful for that.  But it was working.  Honestly, it was!

And yes, I have often said it's a lucky person who can call it work - firing up their imagination, writing down the results and then talking about it all - but work it definitely was.

I had a fascinating time, which was often fun, but I did spend long periods thinking about what to say in the next lecture; how to structure it for a mix of fun, poignancy and insights into the writing process. 

(When you've got several hundred people staring at you, all waiting to see what you're going to talk about next, it does tend to concentrate the mind.)

Thinking back now, it was only on the Sunday night, the last one of the cruise, day 16 of 17, when I'd delivered my final lecture that I actually relaxed. 

I sat in my cabin and concluded I'd done a decent professional job - even if feeling very seasick on a couple of occasions - and found a sense of satisfaction at a new adventure successfully negotiated.

Which, being me, necessitated a treat.  So, from the ship's duty free shop came a bottle of champagne cognac, which was duly opened and well sampled a few minutes later. 

It was deserved!

As I've said before, I've always believed life is about testing yourself, never stopping, stretching your abilities, trying something new. 

I certainly did that with the cruise.  And looking back, I'm contented, and perhaps even proud, of what I managed to achieve.

On then to the next adventure, whatever it may be.