So, I’m back home from England. I didn’t blog at all during the final segment of my trip, mostly because I was not consistently at my computer and I was using any and all down time that I had to obtain cuddles, which is a life choice that I’m entirely okay with. The situation that leaves me in, though, is being an entire month behind in terms of what part of my narrative has been shared and where I am in my daily life. It’s my goal to get thru this entire section before I leave for BBW, so I need to really get to work on this stuff. YS has been very flexible and forgiving about my lack of updating, but I’m getting a bit cross with myself. Unfortunately, when I have so much material to cover, it gets hard for to plow thru it. It’s just daunting. I know I only make it harder for myself when I DON’T post, though, so I’m going to get into high gear and start telling stories. Onward to the story of the rough start that I had, which, fortunately, lead to great things. 🙂
When I last wrote (not counting my video blog, of course) I had just finished recounting the story of my epic scene with Richard Windsor. Following that scene, I basically had to start packing right away in order to get to my flight. I was kind in a sad emotional place at the time. Leaving people is always hard, and I had to leave before the party was really finished, which was even worse. Additionally, I was very nervous about going to England by myself. SF, with whom I was intending to stay for the majority of my visit, had contacted me early that morning to let me know that he was dealing with a pretty awful personal emergency and that he wasn’t sure what his availability would be, which had made me feel extremely unsettled. Additionally, I’m kind of horrified of being deported. Things like immigration and customs always really scare me. What if I say something wrong and they send me away and never let me back into England ever again?! I know it’s a kind of irrational worry, but it has always been a worry, none the less.
Once my packing was finished, I exchanged some tearful hugs with my loved ones, particularly ellee, YS and PTL. Lily Starr and Robert Wolf had agreed to take me to the airport again, which was wonderful. When we were packing up the car, Robert asked me what time my flight left and I explained that it was in about three hours or so. He praised me for planning in advance, which made me feel good, especially because the last time that I had been responsible for logistics with something involving him I had kind of let things get messed up, so I felt like I had redeemed myself a little bit.
I arrived at the airport, got my bags checked and went to the gate. I was flying on Condor, which was really, really cheap, but is not something that I would recommend. There were no entertainment options, the space was smaller and more cramped than the usual airplane and there wasn’t even an overhead light. The flight was long and tedious, and my mind went back and forth between reliving the awesome scenes I had experienced in Vegas and basking in the comfort and warmth I’d felt when surrounded by people I was close to and worrying about what would happen once I got to England. My stomach was tied up in knots a lot of the way there because I genuinely didn’t know what was waiting for me when I landed. I knew that I had SF there, who would hopefully be able to let me stay at his place like we’d originally planned, and who I really wanted to see. I also knew that I’d be spending a week with Pandora Blake, who I had met at TASSP the year before and developed a very close internet friendship with over time, and I really looked forward to that. The rest of it was a big question mark, though. I had lots of shoots booked, but I didn’t actually know any of the people that I’d be working with, really. I had met a number of people I’d be working with for Northern Spanking briefly at Shadowlane last year when I did my first shoot for the site, but I certainly couldn’t say that I actually knew any of them. Basically, there was nothing about the trip that made me feel entirely secure, but I kept telling myself that it would be alright. I do know how to take care of myself, even in a far away place.
I transfered planes in Frankfurt, Germany, where I got horribly lost in the airport and just made my connecting flight at the last possible minute. That flight was quite short and straightforward, and before I knew it, I had landed in England. This is when my trip became less exciting and more stressful.
I walked up to Immigration officer, who I was unhappy to see was pretty cranky looking. She asked how long I intended on staying in England, and I tried to explain to her that I was only there for one night before I went to Holland (where I was shooting with Spanked In Uniform and Real Life Spankings, but I obviously didn’t tell her that!), but that I’d be returning after two more nights and staying in the country for the rest of the month “visiting friends”. There were various complications and a lot of questioning relating to this plan and the documents I had about the rest of my travel, and it didn’t exactly end well for me, although it could have been worse, of course. In the end, I was given a 24 hour visa and told that my passport was being flagged for when I attempt to re-enter the country. She refused to explain what, exactly, that meant. I was shaken and scared by this whole exchange. It took all my energy not to break out into tears in the middle of the airport.
Now, despite the fact that I spent a few weeks in England back in 2010, I had forgotten a lot of the ways in which the country was different than the US, especially from South Dakota. I found these differences a little overwhelming when I first arrived. I was feeling very lost and alone when I finally had obtained my luggage and dragged it all out of the secure area of the airport. There, I did not find SF waiting for me (although I wasn’t sure if I would or not, as I mentioned before). I paid for internet, then messaged back and forth with Malignus a little bit about my visa situation. I ended up booking myself a hotel room, and getting a bus to the hotel for the night. When I arrived, I was informed that the room was on the first floor, so I wandered around the lowest floor of the hotel dragging all my luggage for approximately 20 minutes before I remembered that in England, that means one flight of stairs up. I managed to find an elevator (lift) and get myself to my room. When I entered the room, though, it was dark, none of the light switches worked and the heat was off. After having been in Los Angeles and then Vegas, I found England to be cold. I was alone in a foreign country which didn’t want me to be there, uncertain of where I’d be going for the rest of my time, exhausted from not having slept on the flight, suffering from party drop after my spank-fest in Vegas and in a cold, dark room. I didn’t even bother to try not to cry.
I tried a variety of things in an attempt to get the lights to turn on, but eventually gave up on them and found an outlet on the other side of the room which had it’s own on/off switch attached, and which worked. I plugged my computer into my power converter, paid 12 pounds to use the internet for the night and then got online. Malignus and some of my other friends helped me figure out what my options were regarding my visa situation. I ended up getting on the phone with the US Embassy and getting things straightened out. I got a list of documents that I needed to print out, and after a lot of running around the hotel I managed to figure out where they printed to and collect them. Malignus was loving and supportive and this made me feel somewhat better. As soon as things were taken care of and I felt confident that once I left the country they would let me back in, I figured out what I had to do to get to my flight in the morning. It was out of Standstet Airport on the other side of the city, so I quite a journey ahead of me. Once I had my directions all straightened out, I realized how tired I felt. I told Malignus that I needed to get some sleep and he supported me in this idea and I signed off for the night. I wanted to take a shower, though, and was scared to do this in the dark. I went back to trying to figure out the lighting and heating situation, since it was so cold that I was wearing my coat and knit hat indoors. I eventually discovered a weird looking device on the door in front of the bathroom. After trying to turn it on in various ways, I realized that I needed to insert my room key into it. Once I did that, the lights came on and the thermostat started to work. I turned the heat all the way up, turned on all the lights in the place and then got into the shower. After showering, the room was still chilly so I attempted to dry my hair, but as soon as I plugged my hairdryer into my only power converter, it made a horrible noise and then stopped working. I tried to plug my computer into the converter again to discover that this had broken it. I towel dried my hair, said a bunch of angry things about the situation under my breath and then put every blanket I could find in the room in a giant pile on the bed and made myself a little nest. As soon as I put my head on the giant pile of pillows that I had collected for myself (since I was also using the spares from the closet) I passed the fuck out.
The next morning, I woke up feeling rested but still pretty filled with anxiety. I tried to focus on the fact that I had gotten everything taken care of, but I couldn’t ever feel entirely confident. I knew that there was some point at which I was going to feel alright and let myself relax, but I didn’t know what that would be yet. I had a lot to do that morning. Even though I hadn’t eaten anything the night before, I skipped breakfast to focus getting myself to my next airport. This process was difficult and expensive. I took the bus back to Heathrow, and then the Heathrow Express to Central London, then two different trains on the Underground, then the Standset Express. I did all this while carrying my backpack, satchel and two very full suitcases by myself. I was kind of impressed with myself when I got to the airport. Upon arrival, I went to check in, only to discover that my bags were dramatically overweight for what was accepted in Europe. This idea hadn’t actually occurred to me: despite carrying a bunch of crap across the country with me basically all the time, I’ve never had an overweight bag before. I ended up dumping whatever stuff I had no attachment to whatsoever that I was carrying (snack food, extra toiletries, intentionally ugly pajamas, et cetera) and still paying a pretty hefty fee. But once that was done and they had finally agreed to let me take my possessions with me, I had purchased a new power adapter and I had eaten a meal, I discovered the thing in the world that made everything okay for a little bit: a store which sold underwear. Purchasing my first international panties (with cats on, no less!) made me feel better. This may sound slightly ridiculous, but eh, this is me that we’re talking about.
Shortly after this transaction was completed, I was able to get on my flight and I took off for Holland, where my adventures continued.
So, I made you wait for two weeks for a post and then it included no spanking and no pictures and was mostly me talking about how hard traveling is. As my darling friend The Bad Alex would say: sorry I’m not sorry! (More upbeat, photo filled post coming tomorrow! Woot!)