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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

So then. That's yesterday over and done with. Surprisingly, it only occured to me as I sat strapped terrified to the seat on the plane back to Dublin, just before takeoff, that I had spent the day doing all the things that frightened me the most, apart from having needles put in me, or being covered in spiders. I really entered in to the Hallowe'en spirit, and I didn't realise I had done. Well done to me.

The day went on for at least three days in all. We got up at 4am having gone to bed at 1am. We got on a plane - I burst in to the tears in the boarding area, but managed to calm down until the plane started taxi-ing, then I started crying again. Mum was really great and quite patient, but didn't realise I had taken double the dose of valium I was supposed to. I was totally stoned by the time we landed, which didn't do much for my map reading skills as we tried to find the hospital.

When we got to the hospital, I started to sober up a bit with some coffee and then was dragged to the MRI machine. The CD I had chosen - Ben & Jason's Goodbye - wasn't the best of choices in the end, as you need some very loud rawk stylee music to be able to hear over the din of the MRI scanner. Which is terrifying. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. People, I had just been on a plane - my biggest actual fear of all time - and this scanner still scared the holy crap out of me less than an hour later. You're completely enclosed by the thing, your nose is virtually touching the top of the machine, and you can't move your arms or legs at all. Things vibrate and spin and shake and scream from all around you and you're supposed to control your breathing and constantly fight the instinct to get the hell out of there. For some reason, the only song I could think of to try to stay calm was 'The Wild Things' by Ben & Jason, and that didn't particularly help.

But then that was that. The rest of the time in Edinburgh was brilliant - we met Olivia in the hospital for coffee (she works in the HR department), we went to Matalan and bought stupidly cheap clothes - I got lots of cute pygamas, we had lunch in Ocean Terminal, which is covered in MTV promotion, we went back to my old flat to pick up post (all bills), we popped round to my friend at work so I could drop off her presents of Tayto crisps. Then we had to go back to the freakin' airport.

My mapreading skills were further proved to be rubbish when, although I accidentally found the right ringroad to the airport, I sent us in the wrong direction. We still got there on time. Second plane journey was slightly easier than the first, right up until the moment of take off. Then I had another hissy fit, much to the disturbance of the drunken man from Glasgow sitting beside me. Once I had counted the first five minutes in my head (it's a trick I learned off the net. If a flight is to crash, chances are it will do it in the first five or last three minutes of the flight, so once you're past the first five minutes of the flight, you're probably going to be okay until just before landing. Counting in your head helps because 1. People don't notice if you're crying, 2. It stops you screaming, 3. It calms your breathing) I took out the Angel recaps and only managed to read the first episode before we landed.

We landed up such a jolt that it felt like my spine had been fused together through force. But to be honest, I didn't give a shit, because we were back on ground and we were home. Although we were the last people to get off the plane due to me not being able to walk. I told Mum I'd probably need another MRI now. She didn't seem amused.

We stopped the car on the way home on the top of the Dublin mountains so we could look out across the city and watch all the (totally illegal) fireworks going off. It was brilliant to see everyone celebrating my safe return in such a way. We then went to bed at 9.30pm, having successfully dosed through an episode of John Edward. It's good to be home.

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