Monthly Archives: November 2013

that friday feeling

Tonight I went out to celebrate making it through my first week at work.

Lizzie and I planned this ages ago, along with our other friend, Annabel. The three of us have been best friends since uni and they are one of the main reasons I am so happy to be working in London now. It’s the first time we’ve all lived in the same city for over five years.

Lizzie works quite close to me and we have similar working hours, but Annabel works on the other side of the city and works really long hours. She’s been in the office until gone midnight every night this week, so I really didn’t think she’d make it out, but she did, as did her boyfriend, Giorgio. (Yes, my best friends both have Italian boyfriends. It’s like, as soon as one of us got a continental boyfriend, we all had to have one.)

It was so nice to see them… kind of like old times, except we’re more tired and less in debt than we used to be. Much of the evening was spent reminiscing about our uni days, and entertaining Giorgio with tales about how naughty Annabel used to be. She’s pretty well-behaved now, but when we were at uni she had a reputation for stealing things.

In our third year I had our group of friends round to my flat just before Christmas. Annabel turned up wearing a summer dress and flip flops. When questioned about her odd choice of attire, she said “I’m in denial about winter.” Ten minutes later she left the room where we were all sitting, and returned wearing half my clothes. “I was cold,” she said.

Later on in the conversation, I said, “I like that bag, Annie. Is it yours?”

“What do you mean, is it mine?” she said, outraged. “Of course it’s mine!”

“Where did you get it from?” I asked.

She looked shifty.

“Lizzie’s sister…” she said.

“So… when you said, of course it’s mine, you meant…”

“Possession is nine tenths of the law!” she said, defensively.

Another time her housemate got fed up with her stealing his food, so he went into the kitchen, and said to their other housemate, who happened to be standing there, “Right, which one is Annabel’s cupboard? I’m going to eat some of her food!” The other housemate just shrugged and said, “Annabel doesn’t have a cupboard, she just has a bag of rice and a lemon.”

We also still laugh about the time Annabel walked into a tutorial ten minutes late, and Lizzie said, “Oh my god, Annie!”

“What’s the matter?” asked our tutor.

“She’s wearing an outfit made up entirely of my clothes,” explained Lizzie.

“Oh, do you two live together then?” asked the tutor.

“No!” said Lizzie. “She just comes round to my house and puts my clothes on and goes home still wearing them!”

She doesn’t do it anymore, but we still love to tease her about it, and could fill hours with anecdotes about things she said and did. These days she’s much better behaved.

I shouldn’t make fun of her. She made a super-human effort to get out of work on time and come for a drink with us, AND she bought me a Disney princess advent calendar.

I have really missed being in the same city as these two. Very excited to be beginning the London chapter of my life.

light on her feet

Tonight my grandma had a confession to make. I thought I’d share it with you.

“Do you know, the other day, I was listening to the radio, and that song “Sweet Caroline” came on, and I LOVE that song. I was standing there and my foot started tapping away, and I thought to myself, “Well, Bruce Forsyth always does a little dance when he presents Strictly Come Dancing, and he’s nearly as old as me. I think I’ll have a go!” So I started dancing, and I twirled around and danced all round the living room and spun around twice! Do you know, I think I’m better than Bruce Forsyth! But then I felt quite faint and I had to sit down.”

I now can’t stop thinking about my grandma, all alone in her flat, dancing away to a song on the radio.

I hope I’m still as young at heart when I’m her age.

working girl

Monday morning was a shock to the system. I’d forgotten what 6:30 in the morning looks like.

But now it’s Wednesday and I feel like I’m getting into a routine. I get to the station just before 8:00 and hover on the platform, coffee in hand, as I try to predict where the train doors will stop. You need to get onto the train quickly to get a seat. I’ve managed it every morning so far, and since the crowd on the 8:00 train are commuters rather than pensioners or mums with kids, I don’t feel too bad about fighting for a seat. As soon as I’ve bagged one I sink into my book for just under an hour, until the train pulls into London. Then it’s a brisk 20 minute walk to the office. As long as my train isn’t delayed I can make it just in time.

My walk to the office is exceptionally beautiful. I’ve never been a huge fan of London, but walking past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey every day is quite something. I’m starting to see what everyone is on about.

Nevertheless, it baffles me that there are tourists taking selfies on Westminster Bridge at 9:00. In winter. I mean… come on guys, it’s early! It’s cold. It’s a long time until lunch. Whatever. If I were on a city holiday I would stay in bed until at least 9:30!

I think I’m going to enjoy my job, but there is a lot to learn. I’m the new girl, I don’t know anyone, I don’t know my way around the building yet, and the whole way of working is completely different to what I’m used to. But the people are nice, the work is interesting, and my best friend Lizzie works nearby, so we can meet up for lunch. Yesterday I went exploring in my lunch break and discovered a little road full of street stalls, selling food from all over the world. I think it will become my go-to place to grab something to eat.

I may be the new girl, but I’m a grown up girl. I’ve got my favourite mug with me and I’ve figured out my lunch options and the shortest route between the station and the office. Priorities, right?

I think I’ll survive!