Friday, 24 September 2010

so long, and thanks for all the fish

wow. It's been an eye-opening few weeks.

I handed in my resignation notice at my current agency two months ago. Yes, that's 2 whole months, 8 flipping weeks, 60 odd days...ridiculous but it was in my contract. I had accepted an offer from a digital PR agency located outside of London. It had a good reputation and a great client list - best of all they were willing to wait two months for me to start.

The first 6 weeks were a waiting game. Continuing on with client work, starting projects that I knew I wouldn't be there to see to the end and going about work as normal.

Then the bomb dropped one Friday afternoon, two weeks before my final day at my current company. My recruiter called to inform me that the digital agency had encountered some 'financial difficulties' and would no longer be able to employ me.

My mind was a bit blank, but there was one realisation that slowly came forward - I was going to be umemployed in two weeks.

Long story short, I hauled ass and reached out to practically every PR contact I had in London. I also badgered my recruiter, who pulled through and got me an interview at a property PR firm.

I now work there.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Weekend planning

I love my weekends in London.

Anyone who's spent a little time with me, also knows how much I love my Moleskine agenda. Whenever I feel like taking a break from work, I flip through my agenda and look at upcoming events/trips, old trips I had taken, old shopping lists, recipes scrawled down on side pages, packing lists for trips taken...

This will be one of my first weekends not hosting a guest. While I'm sad that my wonderful friends (Laura & Ash) aren't here, I'm excited to spend a weekend in London not battling the hordes of tourists at Buckingham Palace.

Tonight will be rocking out at Wembly Stadium to the sounds of Muse with Tracy.

Saturday afternoon I'm meeting one of my favourite couples, Jen & Ollie to check out the Mayor's Thames Festival. Saturday night will be spent testing out my new Le Creuset dutch oven and having something simmering on the stove while I curl up to watch a horrible chick flick. (ahem) letters to juliet (cough)

and sunday will be brunch with my favourite Viking, followed by some quality time with the New Guy.

And then it's monday... but I'm not thinking about that. I'm just sitting here counting down the minutes until my weekend starts. And working of course. Because I am the queen of the multi-task.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Making my West End London debut

During my mother's visit a few weeks ago, we were joined not only by one of my closest friends, Ash, but also one of my mother's close friends (and distantly related cousin) - my Auntie Belinda.

This meant that us four gals could partake in all that London had to offer, be it dinner at the OXO towers, afternoon tea at The Ritz and of course shopping. I also booked tickets for us to see Andrew Lloyd Weber's 'Love Never Dies' - the sequel to his masterpiece, the Phantom of the Opera.

After watching the musical, I received an email from Auntie Belinda asking if I would be interested in seeing another show with her and my mother the following Saturday. Sadly, Ash would be on a plane back to Toronto, but I'm always up for watching people burst into song.

As it was rather last minute, the concierge at her hotel managed to get three tickets to see Hair.

I had never seen Hair, nor was I particularly familiar with the music, but it looked interesting enough and hey, it's people randomly bursting into song and dance, which is always entertaining.

Wikipedia says that Hair "tells the story of the tribe, a group of politically active long-haired hippies of the 'Age of Aquarius' living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War".

What it doesn't tell you is this:

1. There is a song entitled 'Sodomy' where the actors on stage engage in what can only be described as dry humping - tres awkward when you're wedged between your aunt and mother

2. At the end of the first act, while the main actor belts out 'I got life', the rest of the cast members strip into total full frontal nudity and face the audience. While I have no issues with nudity, somehow having my mother sitting beside me was enough to transform me into a giggling teenager.

3. The musical consistently tries to break down the invisible barrier between the actors and the audience. In English class, we learned this as 'breaking the fourth wall'. What I never expected though was when one actor would sit down beside my mother and ask to hold her hand during a seance.

And finally

4. The end of the play - I'm not entirely sure what's happened as most of the songs were portraying LSD-induced hallucinations, but I'm getting pulled onto stage and i'm dancing alongside the actors and other members of the audience to the sounds of 'Let the Sunshine In".

Don't believe me? Check out the photographic evidence below courtesy of Mommy Poon's camera.

Monday, 6 September 2010

How (not) to pack a suitcase

Like many of my female counterparts, I like having a good selection of clothing/shoes/accessories.

This always poses a problem whenever I travel. Coupled with the fact that I like to shop*, I find myself hauling a large bag around for short weekend trips away and multiple bags for longer trips.

* By "like" I obviously mean "love to the point of total obsession"

I've gotten very good at packing over the last few trips, bringing only the bare necessities, along with the bare minimum in "just in case" outfits. For those longer trips where I know there'll be an opportunity or two, or three (or five) to shop, I bring along my trusty vacuum bags.

Having Ashley over a few weeks ago, however, really was a total awakening in just how much one person can cram into a suitcase and STILL accumulate more items of clothing.

I can still distinctly remember picking up Ash from Paddington Station the first time she came to London. She had been in Italy for a week before and rocked up with a carry-on suitcase in each hand and a ridiculously large leather tote bag slung rather haphazardly over one shoulder.

When she arrived at my office a few weeks ago, I shouldn't have been shocked to open the black cab door and find myself facing a massive suitcase instead of Ashley. She appeared from behind it with another ridiculously large tote (this time a Lululemon gym bag) and a carry-on sized suitcase.

Although we managed to play tourist over the course of Ash's visit, a good portion of our time was spent, well.. spending money to help the British economy. Despite the many shoe and clothing stores that needed to be visited, Ash still found time to catch a musical with me, eat a few good meals around the city AND meet the new boy to give her seal of approval. (Incidentally, it IS possible to bond over a mutual dislike for people who make too much noise when they chew...)

However, the real highlight of Ash's visit was the hilarity which ensued from her attempt to pack everything into her two suitcases, lululemon gym bag and newly purchased Longchamp expandable tote bag. I, of course, had to bring out the SLR to capture the sheer mountain of stuff that was alarmingly piled onto my bed.

Below are just some of the shots I managed to take in between falling down with hysterical laughter everytime Ash found and cursed another pair of shoes she had bought and forgotten about.

Oh, Ash - please come visit soon. Myself and the high streets of London can't wait to see you again!

Ash - If I can fit in here, surely all of my stuff can!

Trying to figure out where to start

"If I can't see it - it'll all disappear and pack itself"

Believe it or not - this was near the end of the packing (see the dwindling mess on my bed)