…and home again

Back to London where I was greeted by Autumn. Or rather, rain. Somehow in the ten days I’d been gone, the seasons had changed, the road had been dug up and the little flat in Chalk Farm felt cold.

After an afternoon spent relaxing (but not sleeping) I went to bed at 9pm, woke up at 7:30am, bounced out of bed (in my mind) and staggered off down the hill to catch up on 50,000 emails.

It didn’t take long to get back up to speed and by 6:15pm I called it a day.

What jet lag?

Minneapolis Relaxing

At the airport and I confess, slightly squiffy as I’m on my second glass of wine. It’s gone straight to my head but after a ten day business trip, it’s seriously well-deserved especially as today went really well.

I may regret this in a few hours but right now I’m feeling happy, relaxed and really looking forward to getting home tomorrow.

Minneapolis: The End of the Tunnel

After a delayed departure from New York due to crazy traffic, street closures and a Mexican street fair, we made it to La Guardia airport.

I wasn’t feeling on top form, slightly shivery but hoped it was just a state of mind as I still needed to get through a team dinner and a three hour meeting before getting a night flight back to London on Monday.

Positive thinking!

New York Day Seven: Heading to Minneapolis

Sunday morning and after a quick trip to the pharmacy for essentials, I packed up my stuff and waited for my car to arrive.

It had taken me a while to check in as my date of birth had been input as September 12th 2013, making me three days old and therefore unable to travel as an unaccompanied minor. Thanks a lot for your help American Airlines… not.

I’m feeling quite tired after a manic week and have a slight tickle in my throat. I just need to get though the next forty eight hours and have pencilled in “collapsing” on Tuesday afternoon when I arrive back in London.

Looking forward to going home.

New York Day Six: A Welcome Day Off

Having been to New York many times and having done the major tourist attractions, I decided to go further afield on my day off.

I started the day by walking to the 34th street ferry terminal to get the ferry to Brooklyn. The weather had cooled considerably and while it was sunny, it was chilly.

From the water, the view of Manhattan rose majestically or perhaps that should be congestedly from the river and I wondered about the madness of the architects who built the first skyscrapers.


The ferry took an hour and I finally made it to Brooklyn Park. I jumped in a cab and went to Fort Greene where the flea market was.

I spent a few hours poking through other people’s crap. I found a nice Brooklyn tea towel and some vintage New York cards but otherwise couldn’t look for furniture or glass, my usual brocanting in France.

After the flea market I wandered through Brooklyn, discovering Dekalb Avenue with local eateries and Graham’s Home for Old Ladies.

Graham’s Home for Old Ladies

I have to confess, I don’t quite understand Brownstones. All the buildings are painted brown (hence the name) but with tree lined streets shading the buildings and black painted window frames, Brooklyn felt dark to me.

Another brown Brownstone

By mid afternoon I was starting to fade and decided to head back to Manhattan, this time by subway.

I find the New York subway extremely confusing. I got on a G train which terminated two stops later, crossed the platform as instructed and got on a C train except I was going the wrong way. I got off two stops later but ended up at a station where I could only go in the same wrong direction.

Under the bridge

I set off walking and eventually stumbled across another station. Hurray, this time the C train was heading to Manhattan. I was definitely missing the Northern line at this point, even with engineering works every weekend.

Back in Manhattan I did a little retail research. It’s actually an important part of my job to go shopping so that I’m up to date on what’s trending. It’s quite ironic as I don’t follow fashion personally and am definitely not the target market for the products we design.

And after all that, it was time to relax.

Only two more days to go!

Strategy dinner

First to arrive at the strategy dinner, I strategically sat with my back to the wall. That way no one could sneak up and stab me in the back. Good thinking!

My other strategy. No alcohol. I didn’t want to commit career suicide so it was a fun-filled night on the water for me.

So far the week has gone well. I’m pleased with the presentations. Those who count have seen the best of the presentations and I’ve even got over my public speaking nerves.

Only another six to go…

New York Day Four: A very surreal birthday

After a birthday phone call from Letad, I set off to the first presentation of the day. With three back-to-back presentations, it promised to be a busy day.

Meeting after meeting ensued and at each one, my colleague announced to the room that it was my birthday. At the second meeting, a birthday cake was presented (they must have had an emergency cake on hand as they didn’t know) and by the last meeting, my colleague, who I like very much, was introducing herself as my birthday planner! So it turned out quite well in the end.

The last meeting of the day was at our NY headquarters. When I walked into the conference room, I saw a familiar face. A girl I knew from years ago in LA. She’s one of my best friends best friends (if that makes sense) and I haven’t seen her for years. A small world indeed!

Finishing up work for the day, I staggered back to my hotel where I managed to track down a parcel which had been following me around Manhattan for days.

Letad, despite me postponing my birthday, had sent my present to the hotel in hell only to discover that I had moved. Several phone calls later (and several phone calls prior to my colleagues in London to find out my shoe size and where I was staying) the parcel was delivered and I found it in the shipping office of my hotel.

An insanely stylish pair of Hermes iconic H flat sandals were revealed. Very Riviera, very lovely and very generous. I couldn’t wear them though as suddenly an enormous thunderstorm hit Manhattan and as I ran from my hotel to pick up my birthday sushi, I was drenched. The lovely sandals would have been ruined so they sit, nestled in their shoe bags and distinctive orange box, for their first outing.

So another birthday passes. Reflection on the year passed and goals for the coming year. It’s been a great year since I returned from LA on my birthday last year as I started a new job and got married. Two major life events.

I wonder what the next year will bring…

New York Day Three: Birthday Eve

After three presentations which started at 8:30am this morning, I’m now waiting to go to a business strategy dinner this evening. Of course, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing on my birthday eve!

I had officially postponed my birthday until my return to London but as I just had a phone call from the hotel I was staying at to say they had a package for me, it would appear my wily husband has other plans!

Tonight is my fourth night. I can’t believe I’m only half way!