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One Year On

A year ago I was wondering what D and I would do in a new city, only two weeks in, without any friends and FOUR DAYS OFF.

Over here, you get a long Easter break. There is no school 'March' or 'Spring' break. There is 'Easter Break'. This perhaps comes from the religious influence however, not going down that road so I will digress.

I remember feeling happy last year. We both had jobs. Had a lovely, new, centrally located flat that we could relax in for FOUR DAYS.

But I have to admit, I was also feeling a bit cheated. Or perhaps I felt more like I WAS CHEATING.

People wait for the Easter long weekend all year. (That and the 12th of July holiday as it is also two days off but again, not getting into it. DIGRESSING MORE!)

But here I was, two weeks into a new adventure of work and adjustment and I was getting an ill-deserved break.

I have so many friends back home who I knew deserved a four day weekend off more than I did. I had just spent four months, mooching off D's parents and catching up with friends and relatives. Oh and why was I catching up? Because I had to endure a YEAR OF FLITTING FROM EUROPEAN COUNTRY TO EUROPEAN COUNTRY. Tough life. Tell me about it.

Which is what made the guilt of having this four day holiday in my perfect little flat with the balcony in the perfect little bohemian city with actually, and I can't admit this often, the perfect sunny bright weather.

What did I do to deserve this? Nothing really. Except perhaps risk some stuff. But once you risk, every subsequent risk seems less daunting.

This year, I feel a bit more deserving. I don't feel guilty telling people that I have four days off.

Over the past six months, I have been on trains, taxis, planes, buses - getting me all over Ireland and the UK, from conference to launch event. I have loved MANY MINUTES of it. But it is work travel. And since I have travelled as a backpacker, I feel I do have the expertise to say, between the choice of doing it cheap and free to choose my own timeline and doing it hotel style, by myself, WORKING, I'd take the backpack with the red & white flag any day.

I have talked with spectacular authors with high expectations, journalists with chips on their shoulders, desperate artists with too much time on their hands and dedicated yet overworked booksellers who are lucky to remember their staff members names let alone the title of a publishers latest book.

I have had quite a ride. A wonderfully surreal and deserving journey.

And finally, I smile to think, that this year, I deserve my four days off.

I really do.

And I know by the time Tuesday afternoon hits, I'll already be thinking about the review copy list for our April title and the venue dates and locations for our May title and what is happening with those fiction titles we released in March because both had different audiences and I'm curious to find out how successful we've been in our approach and....

Who am I kidding? It's Friday. And I'm still thinking about it.


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