One of the tough days

I coined the phrase “career suicide” recently and today was a day when I felt I might commit it.

Day one of the annual creative conference where I stood up for five hours and presented the work for the next six months to thirty people. Too many cooks perhaps?

It’s tough. You can’t please all of the people and yet I started to wonder, can you even please some of the people?

For the first time in this job, I really questioned my role and wondered if it was possible to succeed or whether perhaps, I was being set up for failure.

I decided to drown my sorrows.
Career suicide will just have to wait for another day.

St Albans or not St Albans… that is the question

Saturday morning and with a blustering wind and rain showers, we set off on our bikes (after the obligatory and rather tedious six flights down) to view yet another flat.

We had made an offer on the place we’d seen in St Albans and had spent the week freaking out (Letad) about living in a commuter town or quietly excited (me) about the prospect of three bedrooms and a home for normal-sized humans. Despite that, it wasn’t meant to be as we were outbid yet again by another buyer who came in fifteen thousand pounds above us. Letad felt we’d dodged a bullet, I was less sure.

By a twist of fate, we were sent another flat to view, this time back in London but ironically on St Albans Road. Was this the one? It certainly seemed auspicious as it coincided with the birth of Letad and so we hoped it would be the ideal birthday present.

We stopped en route for a birthday breakfast at a place we hadn’t tried before. The Kentish Canteen in our now preferred area of London, Kentish Town (how things have changed) was not up to par compared with our beloved Chamomile cafe in Belsize Park, but we ate, sat through a rain squall and then continued to St Albans Road.

It was a case of location, location, location. Right next to Hampstead Heath, it was ideal but the flat itself. We were divided in our opinions. For me it was reminiscent of a bedsit (I don’t want to be able to see my bed from the sofa) and for Letad, there were high ceilings, period features and potential. What to do?

We left feeling discouraged. We’re both exceedingly bored with flat-hunting at this stage and are taking it in turns to lose hope.

Will we ever find a flat?

And off to St Albans

Saturday morning and the flat hunting continued.

We looked at two flats despite having just arrived back from New York. One in Kentish Town was interesting but we decided to take a train out to the commuter town of St Albans to see what lay outside the M25.

It only took twenty minutes and suddenly we were passing through fields. Green space, a novelty.
Arriving in St Albans it was chilly and with an hour to kill, we set off to the cathedral, a fascinating patchwork of architecture through the ages.

We had an express tour and discovered we were standing on the oldest spot in Britain where Christian worship had been taking place since 300 a.d. The cathedral combined Roman, Norman, Gothic and Victorian sections with little concern for sympathetic styles.

The sense of history was apparent with a Roman town nearby.

We set off to the viewing and discovered a lovely three bedroom flat which felt like a home. It had a garden, a separate kitchen, three human-sized bedrooms and was immaculate. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing one bedroom flats with kitchens in cupboards, bedrooms fit for midgets, half a bedroom (yes, really) and all for the bargain price of half a million pounds.

I have to confess, it’s tempting. Perhaps it’s time to move outside London and become a commuter. After all, it’s only twenty minutes to Kings Cross St Pancras.

St Albans. Hmm, food for thought.