- 37 is an age of lesson learning. This week’s lesson was that I should not travel home in the evening after a day in the office. I have sort of known this for a while — I always arrive at Euston feeling queasy and achy and so over-tired and it’s a struggle to get home when the trains go well. Only this time the trains didn’t go so well and after spending well over an hour at Crewe station getting on and off trains that didn’t have any staff, I had to book into a hotel and try again the next day. The annoying thing is that Crewe isn’t that far — Luke or other family members could have picked me up, and a taxi probably would have been cheaper than a hotel room, but by the time we’d been dicked around thinking that trains were about to leave only to be told they’d been cancelled, and finally that buses were being ordered, there was a must lie down emergency and a hotel was the only thing for it. Shoutout to the lovely man on the phone at the Premier Inn who I think sensed my desperation and, being fully booked, found me a nearby Travelodge with a room.
- Besides that it was a mostly good trip to London. I had the joy of a spontaneous 30 minute meet up with a close friend and her kids (and her lovely school friend and her daughter) on the sunny Southbank. I saw my almost 2 year old nephew at his home for the first time since he was tiny and as a result he came out of his shell way more and we spent time colouring, playing the xylophone, reading Thomas, and giggling at the cat. I stayed with my other sister, where my 3 year old nephew had made me a gorgeous handmade Valentine’s card and dressed up as an astronaut, and I delighted my sister and her partner an embarrassing amount by letting them know that their favourite trainline for commuting had re-opened. In the office it was lovely to meet a couple of team mates for the first time. I had a really nice lunch with Gallal, and I got to meet Shogo, my Japanese mentor, for the first time in person. I also had my headshot taken for my ft.com page. I had loads of other meetings including a really exciting one with Sam who was over from the US about a new mind-bending project we’re going to be working on.
- I finally got home on Thursday 12 hours later than planned. I spent most of the day in bed, recovering. Then on Friday I got pinged by the NHS app saying that on Wednesday I had close contact with someone who’d tested positive for covid. Having avoided it this far, I’m really, really keen to try to keep it that way. I realised I had my Bluetooth off in the office so it must have been on a train. I took two trains that day, I was masked on both, the windows were open on the first and on the second the person next to me was also masked so I’m really hoping I manage to avoid it. Am avoiding spending time with family though, just in case. Which means that it’s just me and Peg for now, as Luke is down in London. See below for a photo from our walk this morning.
- I have forgotten how to read. With being away I fell behind on War and Peace for the first time, although I’m back up to date now. I listened to Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You on audiobook which I liked a lot more than I expected. Yesterday I finally picked up The Lonely Londoners which is our FT Embrace book club read for this month and about halfway through am enjoying, so hopefully that might get me back into reading. We watched Good Luck to you, Leo Grande which I liked and I finished Happy Valley, which IMO was good performances, mediocre plot.