Monday, 21 December 2015

The end of a chapter - the London edition

I am writing this sat in my very bare room, getting high on the smell of window cleaner. I didn't realise what squalor I have been living in until I cleaned my room properly....

With many bags taken to the charity shop, bits and bobs sold online, and lots of stuff in the bin, I have managed to whittle down my belongings to 6 boxes and a suitcase.  It's amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate!! 

Currently I am feeling OK. I've spent the last two weeks catching up with people and saying my goodbyes.  I thought I would feel sadder, but maybe it just hasn't hit me yet!

Last week I went climbing with my friend Iain from uni.  I've not seen him in AGES and it was so nice to catch up with him, made me wonder why we'd left it so long!! I was apprehensive about the activty choice but he was an excellent teacher and I had a really fun time and think I would go again. I forgot how much your hands hurt at the end though so we only did 30 mins or so before giving up and getting some great Vietnamese food in Kings Cross. 

Vauxhall climbing wall - really good for beginners!

Last Friday I had people round as a goodbye shindig.  I wasn't really in the mood and was feeling a bit emotional and weird, but I had a really nice time in the end.  It was nice of people to make the effort to come and hang out with me and we ate lots of food and played Masquerade which was very LOL, the image of Ben and Liz trying to impersonate eager beavers will last with me forever.

On Saturday we went to pick up Amy!!! She's home for two weeks so we picked her up from the airport and had a long overdue catch up back at Sepha's,  a nap and then food in Brixton.  It was so good to see her again!!! It's also given me reassurance about my impending trip, it's good to know I have a good friend there who'll look out for me.  AND the fact she slotted right back in after being away for nearly 2 years also made me less worried about what will happen when I come home. 

The past week has been a whirlwind of work socialising - we had our team Christmas dinner and had a hat theme, this was most amusing! As was the 'write something down that no one knows about you and we pick it out of a hat and have to guess who wrote it' game.  The things you learn about some people....turns out someone in my team has a tattoo of Elvis's face on his right buttock....

Wednesday was my final ever company Christmas do! I was dreading it (as I usually do) but I had a really nice time (as I usually do).  I didn't stay too late as the wine and dancing didn't agree with me and I started to feel sick, but I had a lot of fun at the dinner table with ex Critical crew. CEBANK4EVS.  I got a Uber Pool home back to my hotel (won a competition for a free night, get me!) which was weird but had a nice chat with the other passenger.

On Thursday my boss took me and Ellie (my predecessor) out for a good bye lunch at Searcys, which is at the top of the Gherkin.  Whilst the food wasn't amazing (everything was pureed! I felt like I was eating pretty baby food), and actually the service wasn't great either, the company was fabulous and the views and atmosphere are pretty sweet too.  I was a proper tourist and took photos of everything, even my food.....embarrassingly! 

We went for the £55 tasting menu.  For an additional £55 you could have paired wines with each course. 

This was the homemade ricotta, heritage beets, ruby chard, apple with hazelnut dressing.  Probably everyone's favourite course - it had the most textures!

The scallops and chorizo with squid ink.  I wasn't a fan - the scallops were very jelly like and the squid ink was odd - and I just had an image of someone milking a squid straight onto my plate.  I am guessing that isn't how they do it....

Foie Gras ballotine, poached quince, pain d'epices.  I would never order foie gras but as it was on the taster menu, I decided to try some.  NOT A FAN.  It was so slimy and the shape of it reminded me of the gooses neck. Poor goose.  Definitely everyone's least favourite course - just a bit meh really.  Too many smooth things on the plate.

Moving onto the main.  Venison, beetroot marmalade, sour cherries, pumpkin puree, chocolate sauce.  The venison was delicious.  It was an OK dish but I would have preferred meat and two veg.  Too much puree!!!!

Pudding was raspberry cheesecake but I swapped it out for Creme Brulee and blackcurrant sorbet. What an error!! This was most disappointing.  The best bit was the caramalised sugar - the but underneath was tasteless and more of the puree texture, and the sorbet was way too tart.  This is the third meal I have had recently where sorbet has been served instead of icecream - in my opinion sorbet just doesn't go with anything 'puddingy'.  Surely you want a nice creamy vanilla icecream with a creme brulee? 

The views are good though....

Me and Ellie

Me and my boss....I am making a weird face

We then headed to The Globe in Borough Market for my leaving drinks, which I highly recommend, it's recently re-opened after a refurb and it's beautiful.  Me and Gem headed upstairs to the dining room to check it out and were greeted by the rather attractive and rather lovely barman, who treated us to a taster of one of the starters on the menu.  If you're in the area you should check it out!

Friday was my last ever day after nearly 8 years with my company.  I cried 4 times!!!  I held it together until my boss walked out of his office with two cards in his hand and I turned round and noticed everyone had gathered around my desk....before he even started to say anything I burst into tears. Such a cry baby....such embarrassment!! I sniffled my thanks as he gave me my goodbye cards then I quickly got back to work out of sheer embarrassment. I nearly cried again when I said bye to David - he started just before me and we have worked together for 3 years through good and bad times so we have been through a lot together - having a boss who deserted us, having no boss, having a shit boss, having no boss again, arts and crafts Fridays, silly what's app chats, LinkedIn stalking, lobster shaking fun. 

An unexpected gift left on my desk this week

Saying a final goodbye to my boss was super emosh - I've had 5 years of seeing him every day!! We have had our good and bad times and he can drive me up the wall (as I am sure I do to him!) but we have an excellent relationship, one where I can disagree with him and not get shot down, he values my opinion, lets me do my own thing, we have a lot of trust in each other which is very important - but most important, we have a lot of fun and laughs!  He's given me some amazing opportunities too and I have developed and grown both in work and outside of it since I have been under his wing.  So I sobbed as he gave me a hug then I ran out the office to get some lunch and recover! He wasn't there on my return but had left me a note which I didn't read until I got the bus home, which made me cry again, hahahahahahaah. I may have left him a super soppy letter on his desk to read on Monday....

The day finished with dinner in Peckham with Amy at the new Flaming Mangal Turkish Restaurant - the waiter seemed to like us and gave us free turkish tea and baklava.  I had pide which was MASSIVE and such a bargain at £6.95, Amy's dish looked delicious too. And they give free bread and dips as a starter (bread isn't as nice as FM Mangal in Camberwell but I don't think anything will beat them, so it's decent nonetheless).  We then headed to The Hope and met Cesca and David where we did our best to convince them to move out to NZ, we decided we were all going to put our money together and build a pub and sell craft beers named after ourselves. One can dream!

This weekend has been packing and cleaning...On Saturday I returned the second pair of walking boots I got and have finally found some I also meant I got to see the fit shop guy again.  I may have accidentally spoken to him in a high pitched squeaky voice at my excitement of seeing him again.....cringe!!!  I wrote my number on a piece of paper but chickened out actually leaving it in the shop for him...I'll just have to hope that one day we'll reconnect!  I had tea with Jen, Bex and Samer in the super cheap cafe just behind Jubilee Market in Covent Garden - it's a really good place to chill and about a million times cheaper than any of the big coffee chains nearby.  I can't remember its name but it's green. 

Tomorrow I properly move out of my house that I have lived in for the last 6 years.  It's the longest I have spent anywhere apart from the house I grew up in, so I am feeling pretty sad about it - but I have fond memories and it was time to move on.

To the next chapter - down under!


  1. I like the way you didn't mention me trying to force you into anything - very subtle!

  2. Looking forward to your first post from the southern hemisphere.


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