The Birthday Weekend

Arriving back into Nice on Saturdaymorning, I was tired from a 5am start. I’d been out the previous evening and, of course, slept badly in anticipation of sleeping badly!
The season has started to change in France and on Saturdayafternoon, the first heavy rain arrived. It was our first taste of Autumn and it was nice.
The rain fell relentlessly for a few hours. Watching rain fall into a swimming pool is so much nicer. We sat inside watching it until eventually we ventured out in search of food. 

Hump day

Wednesday and it’s hump day. The middle of the week. Two days in and two days until the weekend.

Since my return from New York and the sad demise of my laptop, I’ve been trying to lay low. I’m missing my lappy laptop but I’m not in a position to plunk down £1500 on a new one at the moment so the laptop must wait.

And so here I am, perched on a kitchen chair in front of my iMac. The cable isn’t long enough to reach the table (I’ve ordered a new one) and the keyboard is balanced precariously on my lap. It’s not exactly ideal and despite having the keyboard on my lap, it’s certainly not a laptop.

Anyway, I spent Saturday celebrating an auspicious birthday with a family member and enjoyed a long, leisurely and delicious lunch before an early night to catch up on sleep.

And Sunday… well on Sunday it was actually sunny and so after a trip to Whole Foods in Kensington on the bus, I repaired to the generously-named roof terrace, unwrapped one of my outdoor sofas from its winter jacket and spent a couple of hours attempting to relax in what was a very windy but reasonably warm afternoon.

Despite the wind, the warmth of the sun was lovely and while it wasn’t exactly tropical, I took the opportunity to take off my tights. Finally. I shielded my eyes from the glare of my white skin and recuperated from the week of extreme meetings which had been New York.

By Monday I was feeling normal and so off I went on my new commute to the new office. I’m still getting used to the new space, new desk and glaring new lights. I think I may start wearing hats to work to shield my sensitive eyes from the overhead strip lights. Fond memories of Aggie B come to mind as I sent Letad many photos of “The Hat of the Day” last summer when I was working there. I do like a hat so find this idea strangely appealing and quite entertaining.

And so it’s Wednesday. I’m ready for the weekend but first two more days and an appointment with a dress designer as I’ve decided to start again. 

Yes, it’s true. The sequined, lace, sparkly wedding dress I’d so rashly decided on in February has been worrying me and keeping me awake at night until it became apparent that there was no way I was going to wear it.

The dress dilemma continues so fingers crossed for Friday morning and hopefully, this time, the right dress for me! 

Getting over the hump!

Designing Designer

Back in the saddle.

A lot of my time is spent art directing and recently I haven’t been doing what I’m actually quite good at, designing. Today however I walked in to work, picked up my trusty drawing tablet and sat down at my desk.

Pushing my sleeves up, it was time to get back in the saddle and start designing again. Hello Photoshop, I’ve missed you!

By 6pm I was feeling pleased with where I’d ended up. A new direction done. Products, patterns, logos, the lot. I can work extremely fast and so with a conference call with the US scheduled for 7:30pm, I headed back to the little flat so I could do the call from home.

By 7:45pm the call was finished. Everyone loved the new direction and now I have a week to finish it before the office shuts down literally as we’re moving to Camden and I’m off to France for Easter.

Cracking the whip!

Change is good

Last Thursday and after what had seemed like a fairly manic week, but what now appears to be normal, I went out for farewell drinks. A couple of people were leaving and while I was happy for them, it meant that my workload increased, hard to believe but actually it’s true.

I’m starting to get a slightly manic look in my eye. My eyes are red, bloodshot and I keep forgetting to blink. Most days I seem to forget to go to the loo (too busy) and keep sitting in meeting after meeting thinking “really must remember to go…” Time to practice deep breathing.

Another trip to New York is on the horizon and deadlines are coming and going, projects are being started and finished. I currently have projects for the next few months starting up and am busy setting schedules, doing budgets and have become quite good at Excel spreadsheets. Lucky me!

Despite all that, I’m coping and even feel that after three months, I’m doing well.

In a few weeks the office is moving to Camden. My daily commute will be a ten minute walk and while that sounds nice, I’m actually sorry to be leaving the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. 

While there are far too many people and pedestrian rage takes over while I’m trying to fight my way to the tube in the evening, I enjoy my walk through Regent’s Park every morning (the company shuttle bus having been discontinued), there are excellent lunch options and a place where I go every morning to buy a green juice and where I can now say “the usual.”

And so after Easter I’ll be coming back from France to a new work space, a new commute and new lunch options.

Change is good.

Back on the hamster wheel

How lucky that I scheduled my mini breakdown for the weekend as it was back to business as usual on Monday.

I was tired but otherwise ok as I walked across the park to work and then, having arrived, had no recollection of how I’d got there. A true commuter.

And so now it’s game on. Having talked the talk, I now have to deliver the goods.

I spent the day working on schedules and designing spreadsheets in Excel. 

Looking forward to Friday!


It’s now 3pm Friday afternoon. After a week of conference, meetings all day, dinners every night, it’s finished!

Hooray for Friday!

Everyone agreed it was the best conference ever. I feel a little bit proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past two months. It’s been quite stressful, I’ll be honest and now I’m seriously ready for a restful weekend because, of course… the work starts on Monday!

Convention in town

It’s day two of the very important conference I’ve been working towards for the past two months. So far it’s been endless meetings followed by dinners and sleep. Get up and repeat.

My big day is Thursday. That’s the day I’ll be presenting the creative concepts for the next six months to a large contingent of senior vice presidents. So, no pressure there then.

Despite being quite tired and trying to keep things in perspective and possibly not succeeding (why can’t I get the heated towel rail repaired as it’s been broken for a year and is driving me insane?) I’m feeling as though everything’s ticking along nicely. I’m very pleased with how the work looks and feel that by constantly saying “global business strategy” things should go brilliantly.

Still, there’s only so much one can do. I’m looking forward to the weekend!


I’m working very hard now and the hours are long. I’m first in and last out and it’s starting to take its toll. In order to maintain optimal health while exposed to germs on the tube, I’ve recently started taking fresh royal jelly. 

Royal jelly is the substance fed to bee larvae to create the super bee, the queen. 

I’m definitely a fan of royal jelly although it tastes a bit odd, has a strange mucous-like consistency and I keep thinking of it as bee snot. It’s astronomically expensive but is taken in small amounts so hopefully the tiny 20 gram jar will last me about a month.

Combined with a large green juice every morning, I’m hoping to become bionic, or as I now call it, beeonic. 

There’s a Roald Dahl short story called Royal Jelly… if I start getting yellow and fuzzy, I’ll definitely have to stop.

Driving Miss Daisy

After hoofing it back and forth on the tube for the past two weeks, catching germs, the extreme cold of death and feeling like a drone, I have discovered a miracle… the free company shuttle bus!

It turns out there is a company shuttle bus which runs between the two buildings of the company I now work for. And as luck would have it, it’s quite near the little flat in Chalk Farm. 

It’s a ten minute walk so shoes have to be taken into consideration but it’s free, it’s comfortable, I can get a seat and it doesn’t involve shoving anyone. It runs every half an hour from 9am to 7pm. How perfect is that?

And so last night I sat back in comfort and was chauffeur-driven almost home. Bliss.

If I plan my days right I can be driven to and from work. It’s almost like having a personal driver and could save me almost £30 a week in tube fare. 

The most exciting part? No germs!

The London Commuter

After spending months skipping through Regent’s Park in a bubble of happiness, or even better, living in the south of France in the smug bubble, reality has hit and I’m now a London commuter.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a shock. Hundreds of people crowd on to the tube, pushing and shoving in order to get to and from work. Forget personal space and crowd issues, this is cattle class at its worst as we’re shoved in nose to tail trying desperately to avoid eye contact.

It’s now winter in London and it’s suddenly very cold. The long bright days of summer are over and the days are short. Everyone seems to have a cold and being packed into a tiny sardine can, the germs spread like wildfire and so inevitably I have a nasty London cold.

As I battled down Oxford Street in the cold and dark, sneezing my way on to the tube, I thought of my days in California where I still have a lovely car, where the weather is warm and the sun shines every day (according to Neil Diamond). And listening to “California Dreamin'” a little nostalgia sets in as I’m suddenly driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, golden sun, palm trees and wind in my hair. 

But then, it’s been the best year of my life and leaving LA was the right decision so I’m elbowing my way on to the tube for the time being, it’s a means to an end and the plans are progressing well.