I had a most enjoyable flight, that ideal combination of reading, thinking and sleeping. I sketched out the plan for my next book and had that great (if unrealistic) feeling of, "Well, that's half the work done". I feel a little bad about flying now that the Bishop of London has declared it a sin. But I couldn't face driving 300 miles alone, especially since it's a big battle to stay awake, and I'm not sure that it's so much better for global warming to have a single person in a car driving 600 miles. You can't get the train or the bus between cities here in the US, at least not where I live. While waiting at Charlotte airport, I decided that since I was sinning by flying, I may as well compound the sin by having one of those delicious brownies they do at Starbucks, and the pint of coffee washed it down splendidly.
I arrived at the hotel after midnight and after a particularly enjoyable thirty minute chat with my cab driver who, it turned out, was an immigrant from Eritrea. He'd come here twenty-six years ago, after eighteen months in Rome, and now one of his kids is a doctor and another is a successful businessman.
This is my first regional SBL meeting and it is interesting that these too, like the enormous Annual Meeting, seem to take place in hotels and conference centres. It will be interesting to see how it differs from the big meeting.