When the job hunting continues, pockets of time are seized to discover the excitements, simplicities and tastes of London.
As the weeks have rolled by, my initial speedy ticking off of list items and mandatory new start necessities, has come to a slow plod. With summer holidays finally ending and while the weather; with its beaming sunshine, still goes against my initial expectations of London cloud, the new school term has forced the decision makers back into their offices.
That being said, I’ve only managed to have one phone interview and one face to face interview. And yes; with the same employers! Although it looks promising, I was told to wait a couple weeks while other candidates were interviewed. Hmm… Not the first thing you want to hear. However, I learnt the lesson of not putting all my eggs in one basket and so a flood of emails to companies and recruiters ensued. With a few bites, I have done what I would advise new starters to do.. Set yourself up with interviews with the catering companies. Although I may no longer be a graduate and traveller, and despite my years of experience in management consulting; one needs to earn that pound. And so next week, off I will go to charm the events managers at Rocket food and hopefully land myself a few functions. Remember one never wants to feel old; and so my waitressing skills will bring me back to my former teenage years, while my wiser candor will hopefully use the opportunities to do some social networking.
With job hunting being the priority, I would never sacrifice my foodie inquisitiveness. More experiences and must do’s:
1) Be the tourist and see a show. Going to see Warhorse was an incredible experience. If the time allows you, take a bus to get to the new London theatre. However many times you have been to London, it will never take away that excitement of driving through the streets (on the top level of course) and feasting your eyes on the postcard perfection of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Covent Garden.
2) Do not stay in your bubble! Take the invitations that force you to go beyond the borough of Wandsworth and over to the east side. It seems this area always has something out of the ordinary. A random street feast created among open graffiti tattooed containers. Stalls ranged from Asian milk buns filled with coriander pulled pork, tequilla tasters, microbrewery specials, tacos, burgers, sweet stalls with red velvet cake and smokestack pork and beef ribs (always, without a doubt, order the flinstone special! It’s enough to feed an army or two people who thrive on juicy, succulent, fatty chargrilled ribs). Another perk of this venture was the single train ride home from Dalston Yard junction to Clapham Junction. What a pleasure – a full stomach with singing digestive workers and a forty minute ride back home!
The smokestack stand
The flinstone special – Meat for the man
3) Dinner in complete darkness. Venturing to Farringdon station was quickly followed with a glass of wine for courage at the local pub next door, the Crown Tavern. Smelling of beer battered fish, an English pub was what we needed before walking through the doors of Dans le Noir. A concept and franchise that has been around for only a little while, uses blind waiters to lead and serve you dinner in the pitch black restaurant. Emphasis is placed on the use of all senses despite sight, thus increasing those taste buds when you bite into something you have not seen. Although the food wasn’t exceptional, the excitement of figuring out what you are eating, along with the precision with which the waiters serve you, is phenomenal. My only word of advice is make sure you know where the wine bottle is and be careful on judging how full you are making your glass. Lastly, don’t ever worry that you inevitably eat with your fingers!
Luckily enough I have my sister living in Oxford. And so when a little trip away is needed, it’s an easy bus ride no longer than one hour forty minutes. Although I’m inevitably greeted by the tornado of my three nephews (all under the age of ten), the beauty of the parks, rivers and buildings in Oxford makes it worthwhile. When the weather allows it, it’s a prerequisite of Oxford living to go punting down the river. Feeling like lady muck, the sun was shining and the ease and grace (as long as you have an experienced punter or at least someone who googled how to punt correctly!) calms you to mindless relaxation.
With that being said, it’s back to the big city and back to my job of job hunting!