Another major milestone today. My last as Newsletter Manager at Linex Systems, which ended with a lovely lunch in the restaurant at St Paul’s with my colleague Fiona, before home to a nap, a lesson in incense burning, and Evening Prayer (not at the same time).
I didn’t have a particularly long to-do list today, so I took the opportunity of a sunny morning to meander through the Barbican on my way to work. In a previous job I used to have time to loiter or sit and eat lunch by the lake (or lakes), but for the last year I’ve mainly speeded my way along the highwalks on the way into the office. Lovely to spend a moment on the bridge pondering and enjoying the sunshine.
I walked back to Liverpool Street Station from St Paul’s and it seemed that at every single turn there was a bit of the City that had a memory. Pubs where I’d met friends, celebrated new jobs or babies, or supported in their grief. Three churches where I’d either been to Parish Clerks’ Evensongs; a Lent course; lunchtime services or had just sat and prayed in. The Guildhall and the City Business Library. The Corney & Barrow we went to after the first Alpha course I helped lead. The hardest pub in the City to find – the Old Dr Butler’s Head… Interesting alleyways that weave the fabric of the City together, that were a delight to explore in the first months of commuting. Tower 42, where I had my first proper law firm contract in my MSc year and the Pret I waited in before my first morning there. London Wall – a dull road, to be honest – used to be a run route for me. Broadgate Tower, with the lovely nth floor library enquiry desk and amazing views of London. Then watching the City skyline recede from the train (in unromantic noise of a screaming baby and yelling toddler, it, after all, is still the school holidays) pointing at buildings I’ve worked in, those that I have seen built as the landscape has changed. Crikey.
It’s not like I’m never going back to London, but it will be with a different perspective on things. Recalibrating what constitutes an affordable drink, for a start! And I’ll be an amateur commuter soon, once the season ticket expires.