Being stopped in the street and asked directions to a street you don’t actually know the location of is a quick fire way to lose all the London points you’ve accumulated over the years.
Today marked the end of my 94 day trail of unemployment. During that time, I spent most of my days hanging out in our local Starbucks. The reason this was the location of choice wasn’t down to it being a five minute walk from where I’m currently living, or that it’s where everyone else chooses to hang out, or because I once saw a pretty girl sitting in there and go back each time longing to see her again, but simply down to the staff behind the counter lighting up when they see you walk in. It’s not that generic, friendly, robotic smile you’d expect from someone who’s commanded to offer a good service, but the smile of a person who’s actually happy to see you. We joke, we laugh, we chat, we move on with our days. It’s these simple interactions that can really improve one’s day, but it was the only place in my hometown one could go to revel in this short ecstasy. So today I returned to work in heart of London. This alone would make anyone giddy with excitement, but it was a bombardment of similar smiles that greeted me on my five minute walk from station to office that all but affirmed my decision to come back. From Big Issue seller, to sandwich shop owner, to pub landland, to girl in shop opposite office, to man on office reception. Each one smiled that smile that reminds you that you do in fact make a difference in this world. I’ll miss going to Starbucks for my smiles, but I’m now in a position where I know they don’t have to end once my tea has all gone.
I remember once reading a quote that went something along the lines of:
“Those who dance are considered insane by those who can not hear the music.”
I didn’t quite understand it at first. Then I went to a silent disco and all became clear. These places will mess with your mind.
The two days previous to today were welcome reminders that spring isn’t too far away. Mild, with clear blue skies that allowed you to leave the house in a top layer that wasn’t featured in the latest North Face catalogue. So when I woke up this morning, I typically thought the same would apply to today. I dressed accordingly and headed to London. It wasn’t too long until it was made clear to me that I’ve had what we in industry like to call, a nightmare. It was baltic. Now one of the best things about London is that it’s always a few degrees warmer than anywhere else in the country. So with that in mind, and looking at what I’m wearing, I’m now en-route to a night out down on the coast. I often say I’m too logical for certain things. Life obviously isn’t one of them.