Whew! End of my first full week of work. It’s a good thing I love this company. My day looks something like this:
7:00am – Get out of bed, get dressed, check email, make/eat breakfast, get everything ready for work
7:45am – Leave the flat to head for a train station (the one around the corner where the trains only come every 20-30 min if I’m feeling really lazy or, more often, the one 10 min walk away where trains come every 2-3 minutes)
8:40am – Get off the train and walk a few blocks through the absolutely gorgeous bank district to catch the bus
9:00am – Hit the office, usually just in time for someone to offer me a cuppa tea – and I’m usually already ready for one!
10:00am – Someone else makes tea for everyone
11:00am – Someone else makes tea for everyone
12:00pm – Someone else makes tea for everyone (we make and drink a LOT of tea in this office)
1:00pm – Lunch time! Walk along the little canal outside to the grocery store for lunch. They have premade sandwiches and pasta salads (although no premade regular salads sadly), but I’ve been alternating those options with a French roll, goats cheese and an apple (both the tastier and generally less expensive of the two options but decidedly less healthy).
1:45pm – Back to work and… could it be time for more tea?
3:00pm – More tea and the editorial staff starts playing music on random. And when I say random, I mean random. Because we list every single event in London, we have CDs and music from every kind of band in London. I’ve heard the range: ‘C is for Cookie’ the disco version; some epic Hungarian power rock, Finnish ballads, popular hits and classic oldies.
4:30pm – Sure… just one more cup (also about this time the headphones go on. As much as I love Hungarian rock…)
6:00pm – End of the day for editorial staff. Aww, no more tea.
6:00-7:00pm – End of day for me, depending on meetings/work/site issues
7:00-8:30pm – Get home/get groceries/make and eat dinner
10:00pm – Shower and get ready for bed
10:30pm – Flatmate comes home. Hi Ann! (If I’m not already in bed!)
11:00pm – Sleep
So… as you can see, I keep busy. The killer part is the commute. I guess it’s pretty standard that it takes this long to get around. Next week I’m going to experiment with another station that might be a lot quicker. It’s a bit more of a walk, but it should cut my tube time in half at least so it might be worth it. We have a station really nearby that’s under construction and will be open again in October. Once that one’s open, I’m pretty sure I can get the commute to 40min max instead of the current 75min (the different tube lines are very different in their reliability and speed!).
This weekend I’m going to spend Saturday in London, doing more of the touristy stuff (Tate Modern, Harrods and Camden Market is the plan) and Sunday I’m going to try to get to Cambridge or Canterbury. Should be a great weekend!
Whew… so I’ve dropped the journal ball, haven’t I? Let’s see if I can get a bit caught up.
This last weekend was fantastic. I was thinking about going out to Bath but I decided that after such a crazy three weeks, it would probably be a good idea to relax at home, get familiar with the neighborhood and do some things around London. In the end it was a great choice because the plan to go to Bath and the nearby Stonehenge would have been instantly scrapped once I realized that it was Summer Solstace weekend and about ten million hippies and wiccans were going to be doing scary pagan things at Stonehenge.
Instead, on Saturday, I went to the National Portrait Gallery and saw Phantom of the Opera. Oh wow. Alright, so first off, the National Portrait Gallery was stunning in itself. It’s a fabulous building and has, as one might expect, absurd numbers of portraits from every historic style and era all the way up through modern day (there were paintings of Middle Age saints and the pop celebrity who was in yesterday’s gossip rag). But by far the most impressive to me was the only surviving portrait of the Brontes. I’m a bit of a Bronte fanatic (Charlotte Bronte write Jane Eyre, among other novels; Emily wrote Wuthering Heights and Anne wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey) and it was so overwhelming to see this portrait. Their brother, Branwell, painted it and it’s very basic but it was found, years after they all had died, in the closet of the second wife of Charlotte’s husband. It’s still got the creases from where it was folded up for all that time.
Then I went to the theater where I had gotten last minute tickets for Phantom, which I hadn’t seen since I was 7. I got the cheapest tickets, and I was seriously in the nosebleed section – I mean, I was a football field’s length away from the stage at least and about 30 metres above it. I was a little nervous about how it would be but as soon as the play started I forgot how far away I was… that is one of the most stunning musicals of all time in my opinion. It’s sexy and gorgeous and funny and sad and I absolutely loved it. Because I hadn’t seen it since I was young, I had forgotten, or never properly understood, a lot of it and I really enjoyed seeing it again.
On Sunday, I took a very slow day to relax and enjoy being in my flat. My flatmate Ann and I spent a lot of time together just chatting and then she had to go babysit for some family friends and I took a long walk around the neighborhood and good some household supplies I needed. Unfortunately, the day was a bit of a disaster overall. I managed to have my debit card frozen (you know… they were fine when I was withdrawing money from an ATM, or shopping at convenience stores but when I bought a bedspread and a mirror, that’s when they decided something was fishy. I did tell them I was *moving* to England!); destroy 1/3 of my clothing by changing it’s color in the laundry; lose our curtain by leaving the window open during a really high wind; and was forced to throw out a bunch of food that had gone bad. Oh well, it’s a learning experience and I can’t say I was that upset about it because… well, it’s hard to be upset about anything really since I’m enjoying myself so much.
This is my first full week of work. Things have been a bit slow the last few days as I have to wait until the new version of the site is live sometime this week before I can start properly promoting it, but I really like the people and it’s been fun getting to know all of the London events scene. My commute into work is a bit of a trip – I walk about 10 min to the underground station, I take the underground for about half an hour to 40 min, I come out in the downtown financial district of the city where I catch a bus which takes about 15-20 min to get me right to my office. The bit on the bus is gorgeous and at some point I’ll need to take pictures of the route. That reminds me that I still need to put pictures from the last few weeks… eek!
Alright, well, I think I’ve been at least partially redeemed for my lack of updates and hopefully I’ll have a chance to post again before this weekend!
I’m alive! I’m doing well! I’m super super busy with work and getting settled! At some point I’ll post an update that is coherent and informative and doesn’t use so many exclaimation points!
I’ve been bad about updating lately – incredibly busy getting settled in the new flat. I had Monday and Tuesday off from work (I started today) so I did the incredibly touristy bits of London including Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, The Museum of London, The National Gallery and I stood under the London Eye but decided I didn’t want to pay 40 quid to be stuck in a tram with a screaming baby for an hour. I’ll go back later for that one :).
Today was my first day of work. It was actually a half day as things have been so busy with a site relaunch, everyone slept in this morning.
Really, I don’t have too much to say in terms of an update, I’ll have to do a full proper update at the end of the week. To tide you over, I promised a friend that I would do a glossary of some of the better British slang. Here are some of my favorites, or the ones I use quite a bit.
A bit of a lie-in = sleeping in
Absolute pants = complete trash
Fit = hot/sexy
Loo = bathroom
Tube = the subway
Ace = brilliant/fantastic
Naff = uncool
Football = soccer
Rounders = baseball (or something vaguely like, but really only played by females)
Pitch = field
Queue = line (as in, “stand in the queue or your won’t get your ticket!)
Smart = well dressed, put together, looking sharp
Taking the piss = making fun of someone or something (as in “she was taking the piss out of me for being an American but I knew it was all in good fun because that’s how British humor works”)
Spanner = monkey wrench
Uni = college/university
School = elementary school or middle school
Zed = zee (the last letter of the alphabet)
Also, for your further edification, these things have fairly negative connotations in Britain:
community service (implied you’ve been in prison!)
I hope you are all now prepared to come visit me here!
Just a quick update until I have time to write more (and add more pictures!) later.