Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Week so far

Once again, all the interesting bloggy things I wanted to tell you about have left my mind. So I will just catch you up on my week so far.

On Monday I went to work. Here in London it was partly cloudy and got to 30C (about 88F), and it was so lovely when I left the office that I decided to see if I could walk part of the way home, from St Paul's in the east to Bond Street in the west.

I went in a couple of circles trying to get my bearings in the City, which I am somewhat familiar with but don't visit enough, so I bumped into St Paul's Cathedral twice, after going the wrong way to the Barbican and Museum of London. I was looking for Fleet Street and think I glimpsed it from Holborn Viaduct. Eventually, I cut through Shoe Lane to Fleet Street, and rather than staying on Holborn to Oxford Street, I went down to Aldwych. I wanted to go through Covent Garden to Leicester Square, but ended up skirting past it - I could see it up the streets I passed. After a while I left deep Theatre Land and once I got to Trafalgar Square, I knew I had made it, to my old stomping grounds. I went up Haymarket to Piccadilly to Regent Street and from there up Oxford Street to Bond Street Station, where I took the Tube and went home after dark.

It took an hour and a half and was well worth it. Why is it that my American and Italian shoes are more suited to walking than my English ones??? (They give me blisters!)

Anyway, you would love the quaint architecture and the narrow, crooked little pubs along Fleet Street. Not to mention the Gothic arches of the Royal Courts of Justice and the Georgian facade of temple Bar.

I should do that walk again before the evenings draw in sooner.

I took pics to share, but it would take too long to post them.


Monday, the firm had engaged a second temp for the week to ease off some of the pressure of the current project. She was called Olivia too, 32 from South Africa, married with a 10 year old daughter. From a distance she looked 10 years younger because of her freckles and snub nose. We talked about age and being only children (her daughter is), and she said I looked fantastic for my age.

Unfortunately she didn't get the hang of it and they sent her home at 4.30.


Tuesday, I went to work again. Captivating, eh?
Usually I don't get a place in a crowded carriage at rush hour, but that morning I got shoved in and wedged by an old man's giant stomach. It was a proper protuberance, and boy was he grumpy. As I oozed into the carriage I knew I would get stuck. I didn't have to hold on to anything or even stand, really, because I was in that tight.

At Baker Street, people inside the carriage wanted to get out. It is common courtesy for the people on the platform to let someone back first on if they get off to make way, but that was not an issue for him. He was staying put. As people surged towards the exit and others jostled to make space and I fought to keep my footing, I looked backwards at him beseechingly but he gave me a look of defiance. At first I got a lot of dark looks until they realised it was him blocking the door.


Today I went to work again (I know!), and was relieved to see the second temp had made it to her second day.

This week all the financial and economic terms are not as unfamiliar, I have more confidence to anticipate and edit what the interviewees are saying, and the annual reports are not a load of mumbo jumbo (OK, hehe, maybe they are, but I can refer to them with confidence now). I am also not as physically exhausted as I was in the first two or three weeks, although spelling can be a challenge for me at this time of night.

Oddly enough, it is not my fingers that get tired, rather it is the signal from the brain that doesn't reach my fingers properly. Brain talks and fingers go haywire, hitting keys almost at random. Good thing we have backspace and this is not on paper.

On the Tube this morning, I finally hit on the solution for being too big for my size 6 trousers (US 2) and still too small to upgrade to a size 8 (US 4 - it would be silly if I did, I shuffle around in eights like a vagrant). Anyway, the solution is to wear more skirts and dresses! It's not as if I am short of them, but I don't usually favour them for the office. However, they are more comfy to sit in. Monday I wore a skirt, and today I wore a dress.

I have thrown away two pairs of tights this week owing to my stupid toes popping out: a pair of natural sheers that I worked through on my long walk on Monday, and a pair of black holdups that I wore today, and half my feet were protruding by the time I reached the office! So on the way home I went to John Lewis for some reinforced toe tights. I keep my toenails as short as possible and smoothly filed, so it's not that. How can they sell so many non-reinforced toe tights?

Then it was on to M&S at Marble Arch for a couple of days' worth of dinner elements, and I thnk the staff recognise me now. I have been there innumerable times, but once you go to a shop regularly after work you become recognisable, even if it is only once a week. I had a great chat with the girl on checkout who asked how my day went, and wanted to know what figs taste like. By the time I left, it was raining with vigour and the bagpiper was still going strong outside Selfridges.

I had no umbrella, so my hair right now is all nice and curly-wavy in a very 1930s way, but unfortunately I have to wash it tonight.

And the thunder is most fun to listen to. Thunder in London! I looooove thunder. Mum used to say it was God moving the furniture around.
A few bursts of thunder, the clouds have opened, and now the thunder is veritably cracking across the sky!

And so I bid you goodnight.


MattJ said...

Thunder does rule, I used to love to watch it from the landing window back home, the front of our council house had a view of the Clwydian range of mountains, in a decent storm at dusk it was fantastic, especially when it struck just right and highlighted the ruined Jubilee tower.

As far as Blogworthy news, a nympho guinea pig was the best I could muster! Though I did find out ehre is a Hoff Autobiography so beware, I am thinking of buying a job lot and giving them to everyone I know as Christmas presents! hehe.

I was going to say I have never met an Olivia before so it is od that two should temp in the same office. Then I had a recollection of someone called Olivia, very calmly, kicking me somewhere incredibly uncomfortable soon after I started secondary school. As I recall it wasn't her given name, she had changed it. I can't rememebr the cause of the incident, I would normally guess at some insult or joke I made at ehr or one of her friends expense except my memory seems to be telling me I was completely innocent. Personally, I wouldn't trust my memory and we should probably go with prevailing wisdom.

MattJ said...

Hmm, that short response turned into a ramble. I need to put my energies into blogging instead of hijacking yours!

merserene said...

I've started wearing more skirts and dresses this summer, too. It's been so hot that they're great for air, as well as make me feel girly. Ok, maybe the images in that last sentence don't mix...

Since I'm still on my P&P/English kick, Olivia, I am going to repeat that I'm incredibly jealous you are living and working in London. *sigh*

Rebecca said...

Ok, where do you find ANY size 6 trousers? I have yet to find this haven in London. And what about intimates... where on earth do you find size 6 underwear in London?!

Jia Li said...

I like your style of writing liv, so discriptive

Katja said...

There's something about Italian shoes that makes them more comfortable - I'm not sure what it is. Maybe they're just better-made - or maybe we just have Italian-shaped feet...

Leilouta said...

“I had no umbrella, so my hair right now is all nice and curly-wavy in a very 1930s way, but unfortunately I have to wash it tonight”

Yea, What is it with the rain or seawater that makes hair so curly and pretty? I sometimes walk very slow in the rain to wet my hair. I get weird glances though. People must think I am crazy. Why do you have to wash your hair tonight? I only wash my hair once or twice a week. I have long hair though, so it is difficult.

Leilouta said...

oh and plz don't mind the morons :)

Olivia said...

Matt - LOL you rascal. And yea, shoo!


Mers - I read my comments by email today at work, and I must say I had a little giggle at the first paragraph :D


Rebecca - ah, I get them at petite sections at Next and M&S, but you've got long legs, and I have seen some nice size 6 trousers in Mexx, I think...?

The best thing is, although I am betweensy now, I can wear SOME size 8 skirts and dresses, depending on the cut and shape - so I have even more choice now! :)
I have the freedom to look at clothes I could never consider before!

Oh, and you can't find size 6 undies, you just have to make do with 8 (or go to the girls' section), although at this point I am moving up to 10. Makes no sense, eh?


JL - thanks :) I was surprised t have written so much and then I wondered if anyone would make it all the way through.


Katja - ooh, go on then, let's say we have Italian shaped feet :)


Leilouta - oh wow, when I had long hair I would wash it once or twice a week too! I mean, it would take nearly an hour to wash, took forever to get the shampoo and conditioner through with the shower brush, it was so curly. And after washing it I'd have to rest for a while and it would take over a day to dry naturally, and in the humidity of Houston it would spring right back up into loose rings

Now that it's short, I have to wash more often so it's alternate days, but at a stretch when and when I don't go to work, every two.


Rebecca said...

Seriously, I don't know why two size 6s are never the same. Yeah, the petite section doesn't work for me... I'm all a mess, it's the same with blouses, as in button down shirts: I have a normal bust but a teenager's hips and there is just no compromise.
I'll check Mexx though, thanks for the heads up.

panda_eyed said...

*Sigh* *wishes she was a size 6/8*
Regarding the rain/curls thing - I had straight sleek chinese hair until I was 7, and then the frizz kicked in. It has matured into curls now, but every time I step out into the rain, it becomes frizz again.
Question - do other curly haired people brush their hair? I don't - only when I wash it, otherwise FRIZZ! It is just me??

The Moody Minstrel said...

I always enjoyed watching nature's fireworks back home and would often go outside whenever one of those uncommon storms came.

Here in Japan I would never do that, partly because the storms are more frequent and more intense, partly because there aren't many things for the lightning to hit (i.e. making myself a target is a bad idea), and partly because everyone else here is scared to death of them.

Thunder in London? Now that I'd like to see!

MattJ said...

panda - The only time my hair gets brushed is when I go to the hair dressers :)

merserene said...

panda, I was quite the opposite. I had curly/wavy hair all my life and battled with frizz and unruliness...until I decided to get thermal reconditioning a month ago. Now I have the straight, sleek, and shiny Chinese hair I've always wanted. :D No frizz!

I used to brush my hair all the time, but that was because I desperately wanted straight hair. Occasionally I'd do the gel/mousse thing to tame the curls.

Olivia said...

Rebecca - you and I are too funny - I'm the opposite with no bust and pretty good hips, so blouses don't fit me either.


Panda - no, the best size to be is maybe an 8 but really a 10, as there is never any shortage of things to choose from.

When my hair was long I didn't - couldn't - brush it, I got combs stuck in it before. The only time I could get any sort of brush through it was when it was coated with conditioner.


Minstrel - we used to video some of the storms we had in H-town.
The lightning in London is just a flash - there isn't enough sky visible between the buildings to see the forks in the sky. Somehow, even in the countryside, the English sky is small.


Matt - hippie!
It seems my blog isn't lost anymore, but it was gone at lunchtime - I thought the company had suddenly started blocking blogs. Fortunately, neither is the case.


Mers - haha, oh yes, the with my short hair I use wax.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, I really did enjoy reading this relaxed me for some strange reason. I'm glad you're still on the job :). I like how your mum personified the rain/thunder...very cute :).

Stay sweet, beautiful, and young-looking...

Rebecca said...

He he, we should start a line of clothing for alternate body types.

tooners said...

i love the thunder and hope we get some this year and soon! :)

do you go often w/ wavy hair? you have thick hair don't you? i bet it looks really pretty like that.

what are holdups? like stockings instead of panty hose?

Prerona said...

its been blowing hot and cold here ever since i got here to edinburgh!

MattJ said...

Hmmm. Time for some role reversal....

OI! Blog already! You have any idea how far I have to travel to visit your blog?! Well, no distance at all but I am sure the additional click through rate is contributing to some deadly form of RSI.

I hope you can live with the guilt.

Olivia said...

Hey Memoria - well, you know I tend to give those I know and love a feeling of peace. :) I used to put my parents to sleep when I sat with them on the sofa.


Rebecca - YES, I have long wanted to do so.


Tooners - yes, when it's long, as in, not short but about 2-3 inches long, the curls and waves are wild. It's not so curly in London as it was in Houston, I used to have a nice row of curls along my forehead there, when it was short of course.

What's your hair like?

Is that what stockings are? Yes, except nowadays we don't need garters, they use those neat silicon bands inside the lace rim.


prerona - do you miss Kalkot or are you now officially as undecided as I am about where you belong?


Matt - I meant to blog this weekend, but you see as I am now no longer a lady of leisure, I have to do EVERYTHING on the weekends, and I cannot blog at work :(

tooners said...

aaahhh yes, i like hold ups. i've had several of those in my time of wearing hose. i have a funny story about it. one day i was wearing them and as i was walking thru one of the bldgs downtown, they started to slide down my legs. i was so embarrassed. finally, i had to stop and take them off right in the middle of the bldg. i couldn't hide and do it, there was no place to go and if i continued walking, they'd be down at my ankles! it was a long time after that when i finally decided to try them again.

my hair... well, it's wavy and fine. so w/ this humidity, i tend to get uncontrollable hair w/ a lot of frizz, which i hate! so, i tend to wear it up or work w/ it a lot. i used to have short hair like yours. i loved it. but my in-laws INSISTED that i grow it out. they hated the short hair, so i finally agreed... but.. i am thinking of cutting it off again. it is my hair afterall! and i'm not one for ppl telling me what to do!

Prerona said...

more undecided than u i think :D