In which there is a little trouble

This post comes to you from a hotel room in Brooklyn, where I’m quietly recovering from Rhinebeck and the travels so far- drinking coffee and getting ready for the reading and signing tonight in Park Slope. (Who’s coming?) I had, as always, a wonderful time at Rhinebeck, and signed lot of books and met tons of knitters, and saw old friends and made new ones.  The signing was as entertaining as it always is.  I know that you’d think that it would be a little monotonous, sitting for a couple of hours, writing your name in books, but I have the good fortune to be doing this with Knitters, which means something interesting always happens.  Meet Claudia – the first knitter in line.

Claudia had a real commitment to being first in line, and cracked me up with her enthusiasm for the process.  I think you can see from her lovely face that she’s as much fun as is possible – and she had everyone in her vicinity smiling- including me.  I’m smiling now thinking about her, she’s totally a gift that keeps on giving.
There were babies. (You know how I love the smallest of people.)

That’s Amanda and the charming Theo.  (Amanda was charming too.  She’s the tall one. Theo’s the one in the amazing monster pants.) 
Finally there was Bobbie from Maine – who brought her own paparazzi, and showed of her hand dyed, hand spun and hand knit socks.  She’s one of those overachievers.

I saw some wonderful things too.  The fleece sale,  a goat who wouldn’t go…

The new Rav babies (I love how baby Carson looks like he’s saying "For crying out loud, I’m not even a knitter. Why am I here? I’m so totally bored")

Mary-Heather’s breasts (she was actually showing the inside of her sweater, but it was a better moment my way)

Anne Hanson and Amy Herzog sharing a clear love of green,

Sheep, alpacas,  a lamb with the best spot…and so much more.

What then you ask, what was the trouble?  Glad you asked.
Shortly after Kellee picked me up at the airport and we went to WEBS (because we are not stupid.  Who goes within striking distance of WEBS and doesn’t go?)
And then in the parking lot we the bad luck of a dead car battery:

and the good luck of a rescue from Debbi and Marcy, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

I know.  They both look unbelievably happy about a dead car battery in the rain. What can I say. We were at WEBS.  It’s the happiest place on earth.
Right after that we went to a restaurant for lunch, and over lunch I was showing her and Amy my sweater (parts) and saying how I just had to sew it up now, so everything was going to be fine,  right after that…I was spreading the sweater out on the table when I noticed something funny about the cast-on edge of the right front.  It was a little dark, and slightly frayed.   Perplexed, I flipped it over to look, because it looked absolutely fine from the front, and immediately the world went a little dark around the edges.  The night before, when the sweater parts had been in the oven drying, I had smelled burning hair for a minute.  I ran to the oven, saw nothing wrong except for a tail of the yarn that was touching the bottom of the stove… assumed that was it, and carried on.  I suppose I should have taken a better look, because somehow, though the rest of the parts are perfect,  there is one small area of scorch on the sweater front.  

I took several deep breaths, hoping it was cosmetic, but as I handled the sweater, that portion essentially disintegrated into a little pile of Shelter ash.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve dried  A MILLION things in the oven, and never has this happened and clearly this time something went horribly wrong and I’ll (probably) never do it again… but all of that was irrelevant in that moment.  I took a deep swig of my beer, tried not to cry in front of Amy and Kellee, and formulated a plan.  I would do what I could to stabilize that part – essentially with a patch and some duplicate stitch, and when Rhinebeck was over, I would cut off the ribbing of the sweater on the front – pick up the stitches, and knit down.  This idea got me through until that evening, when having made the repairs as best I could, and hanging out with my buddies, 

(It’s not pretty, but it would keep it from unravelling more…)  I sewed in the first very pretty sleeve,

and then started to match up the front and back along the side seam.  They wouldn’t match.  I started easing it along, wondering if my blocking was imperfect, and tried again… this time being more careful about pinning them together.  Still not right.  It just wouldn’t go together.  Now, I’d had a glass of wine and a long day, and if you get up at 5am and travel and then discover you’ve immolated a sweater front, you’re bound to be off your game, so I tried again… then again, then in frustration, lay the pieces down to try AGAIN.  That’s when I saw it.

Both fronts (because I measured them off of each other) are 10 centimeters (that’s four inches) shorter than the back. 

I lost it.  I disguised the heartbroken sobs as laughter (which came out as very, very crazy laughter – I could tell by the looks on my friends faces) they tried to come up with solutions, probably so that I would stop laughing like that.  There was "That sh*t will block right out" (which ALWAYS means that sh*t will NEVER block out) there was the option of shortening the back (which sadly would have left me with a Rhinebeck belly sweater) the idea of somehow pulling out the ribbing and knitting down four inches on both pieces, which was attractive because I already had to sort of do that to deal with the part I’d tried to light fire too… but that would mean that the cables on the front and ba
ck weren’t the same anymore…. and the suggestion that perhaps I could "ease that right in" while seaming.  (We all knew that wouldn’t work the second we heard it, but you have to at least consider it for a moment.)

After a sad 10 minutes exploring options, I realized two things.  I’m an idiot- and that I was going to have to pull back and re-knit half of one front, adding the extra four inches before the armhole, and reknit the entire other front, because once a piece is four inches too short AND has a disintegrating portion of the ribbing because you accidentally burned it in the oven because you can’t plan ahead properly… it probably deserves a second chance at life entirely, and so that’s what I’m doing.   I’ve already re-knit the front that wasn’t burned and it’s drying (on the air-conditioner here in the hotel.  I’m not taking any chances) and I’ll tackle the other front this evening.  I could still have a sweater in a few days, assuming I don’t run out of yarn.  

So that, my friends, is the answer to the question that a hundred knitters asked me on Saturday when I wasn’t wearing a Rhinebeck sweater. 
I had a little trouble.  

On my way

It is first thing in the morning, and this blog comes to you from me as I sit in YYZ at my gate, waiting to leave. I’m just taking a minute before I get on the plane to tell you a few things.

1. I forgot a lot of stuff.  I was agonizing over the decision for days, and then  what I should take with me was perfectly clear as soon as I got here to the airport.

2. I didn’t finish the sweater front yesterday.  It’s here with me in the airport.

3. I still think I can do it, because I’ll just dry it in some other oven somewhere. I’m actually so sure that I’ll finish, that I didn’t bring any other sweater. 

4. Yes.  That does feel a little crazy.

5. Tomorrow I’m signing books at Rhinebeck at the Author tent from 10-12.  See you there – if you’re coming.  If you’re not, I hope you have a great weekend.  I’ll take pictures for you.

6. Dammit.  I forgot the buttons for the sweater.

Preparedness and Not

My Rhinebeck Gwendolyn has fallen behind schedule.  Two sleeves, a back and one front are upstairs in the bathtub, having a swish round before I block them, but the left front is still on needles – which means that it won’t be blocking for at least an hour or three, which means it can’t possibly be dry by morning.  That would worry me more, except for that the other parts won’t be dry either, so the whole thing is a little silly. I’m carrying on because I believe three things.

1. If the parts are "mostly" dry – I can dry them the rest of the way in the oven. I have a whole system for this. I preheat the oven, then turn the heat off, pop the woollies in, and close the door.  Low heat is essential – as is remembering that you have sweater parts in the oven hours later when you heat the oven to 450 for a pizza.  I recommend a post it note on the door.  They’ve got to be mostly dry though, because I’ll have to fold them to get them in, and so they need to be blocked before.

2. If I get all those parts dry, I can sew up the whole thing tonight (now I’m really dreaming) then take a circular needle and a ball of yarn on the plane in the morning, and do the collar and button bands while I travel, which only leaves the question of buttons, which seems like a manageable problem to fix by Saturday morning when I head to the fairgrounds. 

3. If I don’t finish, do you know what will happen? 

I’m behind because last night I went to dinner and Knit Night and I cuddled a baby instead of knitting, and I’m not sorry either. 

I can always knit, but the chance to snuggle a wee one, wrapped up in so much yarn there’s no mistaking that knitters love her?  That doesn’t go by often. 

Besides finishing the sweater, packing the rest of my things in a suitcase and bracing myself for the 2 weeks ahead of me – I get a fun job.  The only thing not arranged – is my knitting. 

Two weeks away from home, with only my wool for company on planes, trains and automobiles is a lot of knitting time.  A ton, really, and I intend to be prepared.  I’m going to choose a few sensible things.  Chunky, fast knits are a fools game on a book tour, because they take up too much space and get used up too fast- so what I need is small, fine gauge things.  Something tiny I can tuck in my carry-on for whenever I’m on the move. (I think that will be fancy socks)  Then something super plain and small that I can do without looking or thinking when I’m tired and it’s dark. (I think that will be socks too.) Then the big banana. Something that I can work on in the hotel room, when I’m all by my lonesome. Something that’s interesting enough to keep me company, but small enough that it won’t take up much room in the suitcase, and will only take one ball of yarn but will still use up two weeks.  Lace maybe?  I have to decide- and I’m overwhelmed with the choices.  I’m thinking about a few, but I know you guys will have good ideas. If you were looking for a lace thing to fit the bill… what would you take?


This afternoon I start the real work of packing for two weeks away from home.  This is usually something that I don’t find that hard – but it’s complicated on a book tour, because you have to get seen by people every day- and lots of them take your picture, and at some point I can just tell that there will be a Ravelry thread called "One shirt wonder?" In which knitters who have been at events post pictures of me wearing the same thing over and over and have lengthy discussions about why I thought nobody would notice.   (This makes me think that book tours were probably a lot easier before camera phones, but I digress.)

I’ve come up with a couple of strategies (beyond the obvious, like clothes that match and stuff) that I will be happy to share with you now, in case you ever take a two week trip where people will be looking at you a lot and you have to take a plane every day.

1. Always pack one brown shirt and one brown pair of pants/skirt. Wear this outfit for travel and on the planes.  If you only have two pairs of pants for a whole trip, you can’t risk staining anything, and that means you can’t drink coffee on planes (planes have coffee spilling turbulence) and you’re going to need to be able to do that. The coffee coloured outfit is your insurance and your permission to drink coffee with impunity.  (Pro-tip. Beer/red wine don’t really show up on brown pants either.)   NEVER wear a white shirt on a plane if it is central to your two week wardrobe plan, unless you are making a commitment to drink only clear, colourless fluids for the duration of the journey.  The stress and risk aren’t worth it.

2. Pack two or three large zip-lock bags.  That way, you can wash out underpants/socks/shirts-you-wore-on-planes-that-weren’t-brown in the hotel room, even though the next morning you’re taking another flight and you totally thought that they would have time to dry before morning, but they didn’t. Never put damp stuff in your suitcase without the zip-lock. It makes everything in the suitcase into a damp wrinkled mess, which would be fine, except for I promise there will not be an iron in your next hotel room.   If stuff is still damp in the morning, toss them in the zip-locks, then in the suitcase, then resume drying hours later when you reach your next hotel.  Pro-tip: Never forget you have a pair of damp underpants in a zip-lock for a week.

3. The best thing to do about underpants is to abandon them and buy more as you go.  Pro-tip: Tell this plan to your publicist, so that if it’s crazy to think you’ll have three minutes to buy underpants because she’s booked you on a ridiculously tight schedule, she can giggle nervously and tip you off – like mine did this morning. 

4. Shawls.  Bring one.  Shawls can be used for:
– a Pillow on a flight
– to cover the stain on your shirt because you forgot rule #1
– a blanket in the hotel because you can’t figure out how to turn off the arctic blast of the air-conditioner
– something to cover your face with so you can try and block out the sun and sleep in a car.
– something to carry things in if your bag rips and your stuff is falling out
– an actual accessory to change how an outfit looks (That one is untested)
– something to hold in front of you if you discover that your pants zipper is broken while you’re at a book signing in Seattle.

5. Consider designating one top as an "eating shirt" so that all stains and spills are consolidated and your critical wardrobe stays pristine.  Dark colours work best for this, as long as you’re spiritually ready to forgo most cream based sauces.   Practice explaining the principal of the eating shirt  so that it comes out right,  as in "I’d love to go to dinner, just let me change" VS "I cain’t have spaghetti, I ain’t wearin’ my eatin’ shirt."  I’m sure you see the difference.

That’s all I’ve got, though if I figure out more I’ll tell you.  If you’ve got tips, fire them at me in the comments.  I’m packing.

PS: I now have both sleeves, the back, one front and 8cm of the second front done on Gwendolyn.  If I can get the other front done today, and the whole thing blocking by bedtime… I might make it.

Really Real

I’ve been slogging away on the Gwendolyn sweater, having just the loveliest time, while dwelling full-time and whole-heartedly in the lap of denial.

I’ve got both sleeves, the back and half a front done now, and that should mean that it was all going rather well, were this Monday instead of Tuesday, but Tuesday it is, and I’m not sure what that means to my fantasy of taking a finished sweater with me on Friday. Probably that I’m deeply delusional, but the thing is that I’m not failing epically – and that’s misleading, it makes me think it’s all possible.

Sunday night after Thanksgiving dinner, Ken and I teamed up against Samantha and my Aunt Yvonne, and we played Euchre.  Other than one glorious hand (in which I ordered my partner up and went alone for a spectacular four points) Ken and I lost.  We did not, however, get trounced.  We managed to keep one trick from every hand, meaning our opponents got one point, rather than two – the whole way through.  We’d get our arses handed to us for the first chunk, losing trick after trick, then miraculously, one of us would find ourselves holding just the right card to steal the last round, and there we’d have it.  Me being me, I declared us "The Stoppers" because we were "stopping" them from getting two points in each hand.  I may have even been a tad smug about it, before Ken pointed out that as fun as it was to deprive them of their full points, we actually weren’t "stopping" them from doing anything.  We weren’t winning squat – we were just losing really, really slowly.  (Ken, heaven love him, can be a bit of a kill-joy.  Accurate, but a kill-joy.)

That’s a little bit like what this sweater feels like.  I’m getting all smug because it’s all going so well, and I’m finishing great swathes of knitting, but really, all  I’m doing is losing really slowly.  If I only had one sleeve or something, if the sweater was getting full points, I’d have given up by now, but because I’m managing a win here and there, it makes me all smug and hopeful. 

I have a front and a half to go, and the button bands, and to block it and sew it up and come up with buttons, and it is Tuesday afternoon.  Thursday night is when it needs doing by – if it’s going with me on the Book Tour – and then I sort of wonder if maybe I’m really just trying to distract myself from the book tour itself.  If I just keep talking about the Rhinebeck sweater and going to Rhinebeck and don’t really discuss the fact that Rhinebeck marks the beginning of two really thrilling, exciting, lucky and incredibly difficult weeks, then maybe I can just keep sitting here, knitting away madly, losing really slowly, when I should really be thinking about what the hell you take to wear on a two week book tour when you’re not really the sort of woman who owns that many pairs of underpants.  Or tops.  Or pants.  I don’t have to worry about how anxious that much travel makes me, how I’m perpetually in a state of cramps because I worry about delayed/missing planes,  how I worry nobody will like the book, how the reviews will start coming at the same time as I put my bum on a plane, allegedly in that sweater, all while worrying about whether or not there will be media, and knowing that the publisher hopes there will be, and I do too-because I do like doing this for a living, but at the same time, I wonder what on earth I’ll say to the media if any of them did show up. I could be worrying about leaving my family, about the exhaustion that travelling every day breeds, how by the end of the first week I’m almost always a wild animal that would fight to the death for a cup of coffee in some random airport, and how not sleeping in the same bed for even two nights in a row makes it really, really hard to remember where you are and where the bathroom is when you wake up in the middle of the night.  I could be worrying about how I hope none of that shows at the events, because I really do like that part, and especially love meeting all of you and finding out who’s out there, and seeing people who’re coming back for the another visit, and seeing all the stuff everyone has knit and really, really hoping that the fact that I will be really stupidly tired at some point will somehow translate into some sort of gratitude and grace, because that’s what I really want to show all of you, despite having airport pretzels on my pants.

I could worry about all of that.  Or I could knit, because I really do want to have a Rhinebeck sweater, and after all – it might be possible yet.


I only have a moment my dear ones, since this:

is not yet a pie, and this:

is not yet a sweater. 

Rest assured all is well here, if a little harried, as I gather all my girls under one roof for the holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends (whether you’re Canadian or not, how can a little extra Thanksgiving hurt you?) and know that if there was just one thing I would ask for, it would be that somehow this weekend translates into a lot more knitting time than it likely will.  The Rhinebeck sweater is, after all – still only sleeves. 

Cottage Craft

Shortly after arriving in St. Andrews,  Cat Bordhi, Veronik Avery and I (having failed to find both a cheese sandwich and Lucy Neatby – though over the next three days, finding Lucy proved to be far easier than the elusive cheese sandwich) went for a walk by the sea. 

The town of St. Andrews By-the-Sea sits right where the name promises – on the edge of the sea on Passamaquoddy Bay, which is an inlet of the intriguing Bay of Fundy.  (If you don’t know about it, you should read about it. It’s a crazy place. The highest tides in the world, reversing falls, tidal bores, whirlpools… The ocean really shows off its best tricks in the Bay of Fundy.) It’s an old town, founded in 1783, and it has all the charm that implies.  We wandered along, looking and investigating, until we happened upon Charlotte County Cottage Craft Woollens.

This little building, sitting right by the sea, is the home of Canada’s oldest cottage industry, and was founded by Grace Helen Mowat in 1915, when she realized that the skills of the women around town were a "cash crop".  She created unique colours of yarn that reflected the countryside that surrounded her – which was a brilliant idea really – because it made the yarn tourist yarn.  You know how when you travel to a place you look for the perfect souvenir yarn? Yarn made in the place you’re at – something to remember it by?  Miss Mowat had your number in 1915, and not only did she provide this yarn, in her own signature colours, she had them woven up into unique tweedy yard goods. 

Fast forward a little bit, and what this lady has is a thriving business making all kinds of woolly stuff.  Cool bags, each one a piece of art –

Intriguing little dolls…

Any manner of wonderful stuff, but her best idea ever, was this:

Enough of the handwoven yarn goods (in a multitude of possible tweeds) to make a skirt, paired with heathered solid colour yarn to make a sweater that matched perfectly. With a pattern tucked in,  it was the New Brunswick answer to the twin set, and they were hugely popular.

Things have changed since Grace’s day,  but you can still make your own set – they still sell the beautiful handwoven yard goods, still in the original colours, and they still sell the yarn that matches.  A thinking person could put together their own co-ordinating set – but it wouldn’t have the charm of that boxed set.  (Cat, Veronik and I tried to convince the owners, Michelle and Evan, that such a set was still a good idea. Especially if they could re-create the original packaging – and include the vintage pattern.)

The shop also sells a ton of pre-knit stuff… sweaters, hats, mittens… little jackets and bags, and a ton of fashion forward capes and jackets made from the handwoven fabric.  

The whole time we were there some sort of party, complete with fiddle music and wine – raged in the backroom, with laughter and dancing, and the waves of the ocean out the window…

It was wonderful.  Michelle showed us the old swatch books – originally put together by Miss Mowat when she was deciding what fabrics and yarns to make- and we got to dig around in her old trunk, full of clippings and swatches and little wee things of interest – things that really belong in a museum rather than a shop by the sea – but really.. don’t they seem more at home there?

There was a lot that was great about Knit East, enough that if I’m asked back, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but I have to say that the little history lesson I got by the sea was something I truly loved.

The only down side is that I might have convinced myself that I need a whole bunch of souvenir yarn, which I don’t feel bad about, not really.  After all Miss Mowat has been rigging the set-up since 1915.  I was doomed.


This post should be about all the fun I had in New Brunswick at Knit East (which was fabulous) and about a really cool shop in Saint Andrews By-the-Sea (pro tip from Deb Barnhill – the "by-the-sea" part is silent) but sadly, I’ve misplaced my camera cable (again) so all you get today is words.  It’s a quick story about nice people.

On Friday morning, I gathered myself and went to the airport, met up with Cat Bordhi, and got on a plane. We arrived, unpacked – and I set about teaching and working for the weekend.  Monday morning, back I went to the airport in Saint John, where I knit until it was time for my flight.  I went through security, and then plunked myself down to wait.  While I was sitting, I rummaged through my purse for my passport.  I couldn’t find it. I panicked. Totally panicked.  Sure, I was flying within Canada, so I could get by with my drivers license for that flight, but in about 10 days I get on a plane to the US, and 10 days isn’t really enough time to replace a passport.  Renew – sure, replace? Not so much.

I dug around in my bag with increasing nausea, and then decided to empty it out entirely- in case I just couldn’t see the passport.  I took everything out, checked everything that could possibly have my passport tucked inside it – then checked the stuff that was really too small to have my passport tucked inside it – like my wallet.   (Why I did that, I can’t explain.  I guess I was hoping that my passport had shrunk or something. That it wasn’t gone… just suddenly… tiny.)  It wasn’t there.  It truly wasn’t there, and with my heart sinking, they called my flight. 

Once on board, I searched again.  I am not the sort of person who loses important things.  I have had the same set of keys since I was 15 years old. I have never had to replace my ID.  I’ve lost ten thousand tape measures, and I apparently have an aura that repels darning needles in a way that means that one can’t be in my possession for more than sixteen seconds, and it’s fairly obvious that I have no regard for the location of a camera cable… but important things? Never. I sat there trying to figure out where it could be, what I had done and how I was going to tell my publisher that I wasn’t going to be going anywhere because I am an idiot.  Did I leave it in the hotel room? No, there was no way I’d done that.  I make a careful sweep of all hotel rooms as I leave them – and my passport is in a green leather folder that’s obvious.  I would have seen it. I checked under the bed – everywhere, and besides I wouldn’t ever have even taken it out of my bag.  Did I drop it somewhere? Did I leave it behind? In my mind I retraced every step I’d taken with the passport, and suddenly it hit me.

I’d left it on the plane on Friday. With certainty- and in that moment, I knew exactly how it had happened.  I got on the plane with Cat Bordhi and we sat down.  I put my passport in the seat pocket in front of me.  I always do this. I put the passport with my boarding pass and a pen in it right there, and then when the flight attendant hands out the customs cards, I have it all in one handy place.   When the card comes, I take out the passport, boarding pass and pen, fill out the card and tuck it all together into my bag, ready for when I land.
(This is not, as Debbi would say, my first rodeo.)

So what went wrong?  I was flying from one Canadian city to the next, so the  customs card that’s my passport cue never came, and at the moment when I usually check to see if I have all my stuff, I was chatting with Cat about how people like me and her screw up other peoples patterns all the time because we think we know what they mean and so we don’t really read them… and off I got, and there it stayed.

I must have looked visibly upset because the flight attendant asked me if I was okay. (I suppose the way I was ransacking my belongings over and over might have been a clue) I told her what I’d done, and she assured me not to worry. If Air Canada finds a passport on a plane, they turn it in to Passport Canada straightaway, and I could apply to get it back.  It wouldn’t take too long.  A few weeks, she thought.  You can imagine that this didn’t do a lot to make me feel better.  "I only have ten days." I told her.
"Oh. " She said, and offered me the drink cart. 

I spent the rest of the flight coming up with a plan.  I would call Passport Canada as soon as I landed.  I would get the papers together that afternoon and go down there, and I would make it happen. I would find a way to make the massive machine that is Passport Canada move at breakneck speed, and it would be okay.  I would convince them.
This didn’t do a lot to make me feel better either.

By the time I landed, I’d given up. It would be what it was, and I was the fool who’d screwed it up, and there was nobody to blame but myself.  (I briefly tried to blame Cat for being interesting, but that’s not her fault. She just is interesting.)
I gathered my stuff (really, really carefully) and got off the plane.  As my foot touched the ground, an incredibly beautiful woman wearing a yellow Air Canada raincoat asked me if I was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  I was.

She said "I have your passport" and handed it to me. 

Resisting the urge to kiss her on the mouth (with tongue) I asked what had happened. Apparently the plane hadn’t been checked in Saint John on Friday, and so my passport had been found when the plane returned to Toronto.  Right before they were going to turn it over to Passport Canada, one of them decided to run my name through the computer and see if there was any chance I was coming back soon.  They saw my flight for Monday morning, decided there wasn’t a lot of difference in handing it over Friday afternoon or Monday morning, and called me at home to leave a message saying they had it,  and I could pick it up at the desk in Toronto. (I didn’t check my messages.)

If that wasn’t nice enough, then they thought that there was a chance I wouldn’t check my messages over the weekend, and decided to keep track of me and the passport, watch my flight schedule, leave notes for each other over the weekend so that everyone knew what was going on with the passport and could keep it safe, then went out into the rain on a Monday morning so they could hand it right to me, so nothing could go wrong. 

I can’t tell you how impressed I am that a great big company like that went to so much trouble for me – all to make sure I didn’t go without my passport.  I can’t imagine how many people fly through YYZ on Air Canada over a weekend, or how many staff members had to co-operate to make sure it worked, but I’m really impressed – and going on a book tour – which is amazing.

Thanks Air Canada.  I’m sorry for what I said about the pretzels.  You’re nice.