Thursday 21 July 2011

Flying free or freefall?

It is almost a month since I separated from the "mother ship". I haven't really experienced what it is like not to work full time as I departed for a couple of glorious weeks in Los Angeles staying with my sister and family two days after leaving Breast Cancer Campaign. Los Angeles is quite a surreal environment coming from rainy London (the sun always shines in Southern California....) and the only hint that life had changed forever was that there were so few emails and I risked leaving my phone behind a couple of times.

Back home I am now coming to grips with life without IT support! Over the past two days I have managed to link my computer to my printer wirelessly and discover that my printer is the wrong sort to link wirelessly to the ipad. I have worked out how to synchronise my contacts and calendar to the ipad and iphone - losing the appointments for the rest of the month when I tried to dedupe things that were appearing twice before realising that all I had to do was hide one of the calendars. How stupid does one feel phoning people saying, I know I have an appointment for next week and was it Monday at 10?

The week started with lectures at the Mansion House exploring aspects of the modern City and focusing on how urban design and open spaces contribute to the effectiveness of the City as a modern workplace. Transport was not mentioned - London would be the most livable city if it were not for its inadequacy. Buses take too long and the underground is a nightmare - a blot on the landscape.

Tuesday was a very jolly day on the Thames following the "swan upping" with the Needlemakers. As we were in an antique barge words like "jolly" spring to mind. For the uninitiated - this is a tradition where the cygnets on the Thames are marked and claimed for the Queen and for the Worshipful Company of Dyers and the Vintners. There were about fifty of us and we had a lovely afternoon with lunch and wine starting off at Maidenhead. It is a long time since I have been on that part of the river and it is so beautiful. We were subject to a couple of showers but, hey, we're British, this doesn't phase us.

Next week I am attending a tasting of 200 of the top award-winning spirits and liqueurs courtesy of the Worshipful Company of Distillers - I can see this is going to be a tough year in the City!

PS If you want to know how long it takes to go from hero to zero - 24 hours! I emailed a couple of (former) colleagues the day after leaving Campaign to find that my emails went straight into the spam filter. That's putting me in my place!