May 17th, 2008

world within

Still ouch

Too much walking and standing and working has kept my back sore, but I didn't want to miss the conference. Ice is good, also ibuprofen gel with menthol. We finished up with afternoon of rest, writing and pool time tomorrow, to make up for three days of walking miles round the conference.

Non-work highlights; huge dragonflies, easily the size of a London mouse. The excellent lunch on Tuesday: Marriot World Resort does the best conference food bar none. John Mayer playing 'free falling' and 'message in a battle' (the accent!), which I parsed as 'I'll send an SMS to the world' and saying he prefers BlackBerry to Pampers...
cloud wisp

God Bless America Southbound

As it says on the Anna Maria trolleybus...

Once we got our iced coffee and fruit cones and our compact car turned into a mini-van and we worked out how to take off the parking brake, we set off across Florida towards Tampa and Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico, mocking the Mickey Mouse power plant with mouse-ear pylons. Swimming - well floating and swimming with my arms and soaking in the hot tub and use the massage pads with ibuprofen gel overnight - loosened my back up enough that I could start to feel human again. I cracked my first joke in days, we stopped at Anna Maria beach for fish lunch and paddling, we drove up and down Anna Maria island looking for somewhere to stay with a pool with shallow steps so I could walk into the pool rather than climb in, we paddled on the beach opposite (waist deep, so the water takes some of the weight off my hips which lets me move them more), then I floated and swam in the pool at the motel. With all that, I was actually able to walk a little without the stick on the beach and sit up from my nap almost normally... improvement at last.

Dinner at the Sun House, which calls itself Floribbean. I think the connection is that the cruise ships go back and forth... Different and very nice; straws of beef, crab cakes with pineapple in the mashed potatoes, blackberry piglet shanks for Simon, a mango ice eclair...

The sea is blue turning green at each wave. The beach is fine white sand, like salt or flour...