Sights and Sports

I couldn’t have imagined it happening, but just over a week into my new job and I have another memory to throw into our red box. I’ve also seen a few sights I’ve not seen before, and overheard a conversation that enlightened me about the expressions of young love. As far as first weeks at work go, this one’s been pretty good, thank you.

A tiger in a tree in south east London

I can’t get enough of the fact that I work so close to the River Thames. Any opportunity I get, I take myself down to the water and walk and walk and watch and enthuse. Last Monday lunchtime we launched our walking club from the office: we walked down to the river, walked over the London Millennium Footbridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral, and then walked along the far side of the river as far as Blackfriars Bridge and back to our office.

Bright blue sky and weak sunshine provided a perfect backdrop for the walk. I couldn’t stop looking all around me, soaking in everything that makes London such an amazing place to be. City workers in dark suits sat dotted on benches all along the edge of the river; some eating sandwiches, some reading newspapers, some just sitting and thinking. Runners paced past us in both directions, and tourists were everywhere with cameras in hand capturing the London-ness of the day.

Seated on one of the benches was a musician playing a didgeridoo. I so wished I’d had my camera with me to document such a unique sight – I’ve seen a didgeridoo player in a tube station before, but never out in the waterside sunshine. I was riveted.

Another day I walked the other way along the river, and sat in front of The Globe (Shakespeare theatre) to eat my lunch. I was surrounded by tourists, office workers and schoolchildren all out to enjoy an outing in the chilly sunshine. I walked past a group of primary schoolchildren seated on the riverside wall, with pencils and sketch pads in hand, and they were all drawing pictures of the Globe Theatre. I then walked past a headless statue that was attracting much photographic attention, and many foreign students gathering together to visit the Tate Modern art gallery.

I wrote last week about the conversation I overheard on the bus, and I continue to hear funny things said on the buses almost every day. I enjoy the commute as I have not only a stunning walk to my bus stop, but the ride gives me an opportunity to read, although when I hear something that fascinates me I find it hard to concentrate on my literature. I have just finished Bridget Jones’ Diary, so my eavesdropping has occasionally taken a back seat!

On Thursday, I volunteered at a big fundraising event organised by the charity I work for. They run a calendar full of such fundraising events, and this was their inaugural Sports Quiz evening held at world-famous cricket ground, Lord’s. It was a black tie event, and the draw card for the evening was the presence of a number of British sports celebrities, including cricketers, rugby players, athletes, swimmers, a famous sports broadcaster and a certain Scottish manager of one of the most successful premier league football sides in Europe.

My colleagues were surprised that I had volunteered to help at an event in my first week! Perhaps they don’t know that I suffer from a hereditary condition known as FOMO (fear of missing out) and I am mad about sports. Put those two together, and you literally couldn’t keep me away from Thursday night’s event!

It was such fun and it so didn’t feel like work; the hardest part was running around in a little black dress and high heels. The former England rugby player who hosted the evening and ran the auction was brilliant – so funny and entertaining, it was like being at a comedy show; his banter with fellow sportsmen was fabulous and so well received.

I listened and laughed and watched and took in as much as I could as I ran in and out of the function room and did what I was told to do. I loved every minute of the evening, and was glad to share a cab ride home just after midnight. My aching feet were relieved of another walk to the tube station.

So, seeing a tiger in a tree on our walk to church this morning was nothing too out of the ordinary. We’ve come to expect the unexpected in London; it’s constantly filled with surprises and as for this week, it was good. Really good.

Sunshine signing off for today!

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42 thoughts on “Sights and Sports

  1. After such a long time of thankless job hunting, I’m really pleased to see that you’ve ended up in job and have had a good first week. The first of many I hope!
    P.S. Who was the funny ex-England rugby player? Brian Moore?

  2. What a lovely first week you’ve had! Walking around the city with your office mates, participating in that interesting fund-raising event, and finding that stuffed tiger in the tree — memories, Sunshine. Lots of fabulous memories you’re making!

    1. Glad to be of service, jennie! We haven’t been to the Globe yet, either – definitely on our list for this year! Hope you manage to get there when you visit.
      Thanks for coming by, and for the comment.

  3. Oh, Sunshine–
    I always love catching up on your adventures…even a stroll across The Millenium footbridge sounds like a trip in another galaxy to me…and I can’t even IMAGINE being so close to The Globe theatre…
    wowser.
    blessings and best–
    jane

  4. Life sounds really good, Sunshine! So glad you’re enjoying the job and lunchtimes. Clearly any other hitches along the way have been because this was the job meant for you. Love your tiger. And Bridget Jones is my role model.

  5. Your walk has me swooning with envy. And I might have volunteered, too; I always did like working conventions and events, getting to meet people. I am so glad you finally not just found something, but found something that seems so right for you. I don’t suppose your charity has a New York office with an opening … (only half kidding).

  6. I love the way you experience every minute and see the things that most of us are too busy to notice!!
    t reminds me of little children, they take the time to stop and notice and live in the present. It’s something I’m wanting to do more and more but find I have to consciously make myself do it.

    Keep enjoying everyday life in London!

    1. Thanks, Christina. I guess my approach comes from choosing to make this time an adventure, and not wanting to miss a thing. And FOMO plays a huge part too – I’m too nosy to let anything pass me by! 🙂

  7. Sounds a blessed location for work. The tiger must have really thrown you!
    I also suffer from FOMO, will go to the opening of an envelope, I will.

  8. I love walking around London with you, Sunshine. I’m glad you are able to have so many wonderful experiences. Love the tiger in the tree!

  9. Maura has her “Roadside Shoe” feature…maybe you should start a “Roadside Wild Animal” one, Sunshine!

    Glad your job is going well…the walking club sounds fun too!

    Hugs,
    Wendy

  10. Glad you had such a great time at the event, Sunshine! Fun stuff, hob-nobbing with the elite. Good practice for when you attend the Royal Wedding…

  11. Wonderful to hear that you are jumping right in at your new job and continuing to make and add memories to your Red Box. When I glanced at the picture of the tiger I thought to myself “Now, why is that tiger wearing socks?” Upon closer inspection I figured out why it appeared that way…LOL. Have a blessed week, Diane

  12. Love the tiger photo! I was reading this on my mobile phone the first time, and it looked real on such a small screen! LOL

    I have to say I’m now more than a little envious of life. You’re living your dream when before you were only on the outskirts looking in. A short while ago you were watching people on the red carpet, now you’re hobnobbing with celebrities! How exciting is that?!

    1. The tiger was a lovely surprise, I must say – we thought we were seeing things! I’m having lots of fun, Lisa – I wasn’t exactly hobnobbing, as I was just at the event as a worker, but it was fun and very exciting!

  13. Every visit to your blog is bittersweet for me, Sunshine! It’s such a lovely little snapshot of life in London … but then I really start to miss our friends and family there a LOT! As the year wears on and summer in Florida gets hotter and hotter, I’m going to check in with you even more often for a taste of those exquisite English summers 🙂

    Love the tiger in the tree!

    1. So lovely to see you here, Amanda – how are you doing? I’m glad you enjoy visiting London with me – maybe you’ll just have to come on over and visit your friends and family here. Isn’t that a good idea? You can send us some of your Florida warmth – it’s still pretty chilly in London.

  14. You live in an amazing place! I envy you!!!!!! London makes me feel amazing – I wish I could live there. I wish, I wish. I’m tapping my ruby-reds….. I think I have to wait a little longer.
    Love the way you talk about London.

    1. Thank you so much, jamie. It’s an amazing place to live and talk about – keep clicking your heels, it’ll happen! But you’re having your Holland adventure now, which sounds like so much fun!

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