15 March 2013

Motte and bailey

Sometimes the week goes so slowly you feel as if you've barely moved, and sometimes it flies by so fast you can hardly catch your breath. This week has been one of the latter: I don't think I've ever felt such relief and jubilation of it being a Friday than I did when I woke up this morning.

Like most weeks, I've had dozens of internal meetings, catch-ups on projects, catch-ups with friends, client calls, proposals to write, presentations to develop, amends to feedback, visuals to work on, copy to write... Unlike most weeks, I've had my 'work birthday', started the 30 Day Shred, had a 5am start and caught (what felt like) millions of trains. 

Being an Account Manager, I (obviously) spend time away from the office with clients. Meetings seem to come in bizarre patterns and sometimes there'll be weeks where the only time I leave the office is to grab a sandwich. Other weeks I'll almost forget what my desk even looks like; the variety of my job is great. This week, I've visited clients in Bristol, in a building teetering right near the Severn Bridge...and clients in Yorkshire, in a semi-castle. (They were yesterday.)

I was up at 5am, having not slept, with aching muscles from a combination of the icy cold and actual exercise (thanks, Jillian Michaels), for a 6.30am train to Leeds. The sunrise was beautiful and as we whizzed through (surprisingly flat) landscapes, the mist rose from the fields and everything looked really crisp. Three hours, another train, and another half an hour later, we were standing in a brilliantly sunny Yorkshire village, surrounded by the dales. That cliched 'countryside air' was incredible even if it was tinged with cow manure. We were up North for an all-day client workshop where we gather requirements to help us work our magic. It went well, requirements were gathered, magic shall be worked - and we managed to get an earlier (less pleasant) journey home.

Whilst I was standing in this tiny little village, sun blazing, birds singing (and all those other great cliches that you forget once you're in London but are instantly reminded of as soon as you go home - in my case to Sussex) I had an almost uncontrollable urge to 'do a Maria'. I wanted to fling myself onto the hills and spin around, arms outstretched, and just breathe. I didn't. Because that would have been embarrassing. But there was something about being in Yorkshire that was so nostalgic. I was born and raised (for a while) outside of Manchester, high high up in the Peak District (incidentally in the house where George Osborne currently lives), and something just felt...so familiar. It was nice.

As much as I love London, I think I've been taking home home for granted. I'm really looking forward to next weekend and being able to sit back and take stock of everything around me. In London, I'm always on-the-go, throwing frustrated looks at people who stop in appropriate places (read: everywhere), and rushing from place to place. Home (now Sussex) never changes. Although, I won't be able to redeem the 'complimentary massage' from Jo Malone in a sleepy little village - London, after all, does have its advantages...
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