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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Carbon Criminal

Thursday was not a good carbon day.

I had to fly to Rochester to visit a client. It started at 7am with a car service to the airport (I should probably have looked into public transport but it would have involved going into Manhattan and back out, and as it was I had literally five minutes with Dot before I left, and as always she won - sorry earth). Then breakfast in a plastic carton at the airport. Followed, of course, by the flight. Because of that torrential rain (and yes UK readers, I am aware you're basking in glorious sunshine at the moment) the plane sat on the runway with engine running for two hours (at least it was JetBlue, not one of those awful prop planes we used to take before JetBlue existed, but not good for mr. earth) before take off. Then it was a cab to the offices, followed by lunch in a client cafeteria that plays host to more styrofoam than I have ever seen in one place at a time, and that includes McDonalds circa 1981 (this made me feel sick, but what do you do when it's the most senior client and there's nowhere else to eat for miles around? At least I'd brought my refillable bottle with me. "Is that organic water in there?" quipped my colleague).

The meeting was what it was, and then we set off to repeat the whole thing in reverse, only this time we had a four hour delay at Rochester airport (fun!), so I got home at 10 instead of 6, obviously completely missing bedtime and making me so tired and grumpy that before I knew what I was doing I'd accepted a 30ml bottle of water on the plane - surely the least environmentally sound way to quench your thirst there is. (By the way, this isn't eco-unfriendly, but just to give you the complete picture I should add that there isn't much that is dignified about pumping your boobs with a hand pump in a miniscule aeroplane toilet during severe turbulence; nor doing the same in the scary 1970's-esque cubicle of a client toilet (loyal readers will remember my irrational fear of institutional loos), nor indeed the toilet stall at Rochester airport. Ah, the glitz and glamour of advertising.)

Anyway, I finally got home around 10 bedraggled, knackered, with sore boobs and many more pounds of carbon dioxide in debt to the planet. I'm hoping to convince work to pay to offset my flight, let me take a hybrid car service next time or better yet, not make me go at all. I hope it works because from an ideological standpoint this day was, except for the holiday, the worst offense since I started the blog.

But the worst bit of all was that Dot wouldn't speak to me on Friday morning. I mean she literally wouldn't look me in the eye. The harder I tried to ingratiate myself with my best raspberry-on-the-tummy, hair-flicking, disco-dancing, finger-waving, neck-nuzzling, peekaboo dog and pony show, the more studiedly she refused to meet my gaze (even my friend Sally noticed. "Don't be mean to mummy, Dot," she said. But Dot is a determined young lady). I think I was being sent to Coventry because of my unexplained absence rather than the carbon criminality, but you never know.

Anyhow, by bedtime she was thawing and today I was back in the good books. But for several reasons I think it's best if I try to avoid business trips for a while. I'm so blue, my mummy is a carbon criminal. Oh, I suppose she's ok really.

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