Spring is on its way. I can see the signs – daffodil leaves starting to spear up out of the ground, the daylight is getting that much more perceptibly longer, the tulips I keep in pots str sticking tentative leaves up to feel the air. Spring is coming.
Spring means change. Many things are changing. Like my job. It’s about to be official so I can talk about it now. I’ve been offered a year long secondment to another team to cover a maternity leave. I’m excited but also terrified because although it will be the same processes but it will be different – different products, different people.
I’ve also been thinking about this week about the upcoming office move. For more than 20 years I’ve been taking the same train to the same station and working in the same office building. Sometimes in different places in that office but always the same building. But sometime in the summer my company is moving to a new building in a new area.
I’ve looked at the new area on google maps. And I have been out there a few times in the past. But not often, because it’s not interesting.
Well it is interesting as it’s different to where I am now but it’s not historical. It is modern and shiny and characterless. It is a modern corporate expanse of nothingness built to house the London headquarters of banks and other financial institutions.
Walking around, you think the place has not soul – where are all the people? They are either in their office worlds or underground. The retail spaces are all underground. The above ground is for offices.
This week I had a medical appointment in a medical centre I hadn’t been to before. I walked back to the office from there looking around at the history, and realising how much I am going to miss the old buildings. Because as much as The city, the square mile or the financial district, whatever you want to call it, is corporate, it is also historical.
Within a short walk from my workplace I can visit: the Monument to the Great,Fire of London, St. Paul’s cathedral, the Bank of England, the Guildhall with a Roman amphitheatre in its basement, Spitalfields market with the plague pit; the Museum of London, and (technically outside “the city” proper but only just, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
The new place has none of this. Admittedly we will be very close to the river, so I can take a lunchtime walk along beside the Thames, which I’m sure will be good to blow away the cobwebs. But that’s all I can find that’s appealing
What does self care look like? Well it could look like soaking in a bath, or it could look like making my own appointment for an eye test. My optometrist wrote to me last year, reminding me I was due for a check up. OK, I thought, I’ll wait for them to send me the second letter, or ring me, as they sometimes do. And indeed, this week they rang me, to remind me I was overdue for my appointment, and the very nice man on the phone booked me in for my appointment. I could have called up and made my own appointment. But I didn’t. Self care can mean taking some self responsibility for making your own appointments and not relying on other people to chase you up. The thing is, they have trained me now to expect them to call me, so I feel justified in ignoring the letter.
This week I had a final steering committee for one of my projects. No trip to Brussels this time, all entirely online, and for once I was not uptight or nervous because I knew we had a good story to tell in looking back over what we achieved. Now I just have to write the final report, sort out the final financial stuff and say goodbye. It is a fine coincidence that this project closes just as I am about to move to another team.
TV we have been watching: we finished watching Shadow and Bone recently, really enjoyed that; we finished watching season 2 of the Witcher, more fantasy monster slasher violence and witchcraft with Henry Cavill looking annoyed throughout; and we are plugging our way through Foundation, based on the series by Isaac Asimov. It is slow but not in a bad way way slow. I think some sci-fi benefits from a slower pace of narrative when converted to the screen. Especially on comparison to say, Lost In Space, which should really be called Peril, peril and more peril and come with a health warning. I think there is a third season coming. Not sure my heart is up to the stress of that.
Things I haven’t done this week: cleaned under the chair in my room. I do some yoga stretches in the morning and also of late have been doing my physiotherapy exercise for my stiff neck one or two times a day,, both of which have me spending some time on the floor. And when I’m on the floor I can see under the chair and it’s not pretty. Or maybe it is pretty if you like dust. Lots of dust. Every time I think, “Igh, I should clean that,” but I get up off the floor when I finish my exercises and it disappears from my mind until I’m down on the floor the next time. Housekeeping is not my forte. But maybe now today, now that I’ve mentioned it to the world, maybe today is the day I get down there and clean up that dust so I can do my yoga and stretches without being grossed out.
Wishing you all a week with nothing to gross you out.