December 11, 2018

Living and Working in London

I have been in London for almost a month, and will be here for another 10 days. I'm here for work and the hours have been long. There hasn’t been any opportunity to be a tourist, which makes it feel like I live here, which is a dream come true. London is where I'd choose to live if given the opportunity. This city is vibrant and exciting, packed like a can of sardines, and there are sights and sounds I am very unfamiliar with, which is what you want in a city right?

People here speak English, but trust me when I tell you the English here is a foreign language compared to the English I speak. The accents are nothing short of crazy and I don't understand half of what people say but I manage. I’m staying at the Beckham Inn and understand every 4th word these people say, so I’m practically fluent. Northern accents are particularly confusing. By confusing, of course I mean sexy as hell. I am a sucker for an English accent.

I've been staying with my friends Victoria and David. They live in the Bermuda Triangle of London, otherwise known as Chigwell. The subway system in London is remarkable, except in Chigwell. To get here there are 3 train options and it is annoying. Trains stop and start just before Chigwell, in both directions, and I've been in tears after a 14-hour day found me on the wrong train. Chigwell is fantastic, on the right train, otherwise a commuter nightmare.

My work is in Notting Hill and while I could transfer onto a different train line to get quite close to the office, I have been taking the train to Notting Hill Gate and walking the almost 2 miles each morning and evening. The weather has been glorious and the stroll through this part of town is divine. I pass Thomas Hardy's home each day and recite his poetry as I approach the house and am transported to a magical time. There is history all around, which is romantic.

On the train I’m surrounded by gorgeous men. Englishmen are fabulous, except when they're not, and I’ve come across several who inspire a fluttering of my heart. There is nothing better than a man offering a woman his seat on the train. When he calls her love the hour and 15-minute commute flies by with all the swooning. I love the men of London. A broad statement to be sure, but yes, I might actually love all Englishman in London, except of course when I don't.

The subway is a quiet and solitary place in that nobody even looks at one another, but l like to talk to people and hear their stories, so when I'm riding I start conversations and it has been wonderful. I have met lovely people from England and countless other places. London feels to me like what New York City must have been like a hundred years ago. A melting pot of culture, religion, color, smell, and taste. I have enjoyed being here and am certain I’ll actually live here one day.

I don't know that I'd be enjoying my time had I been here for so long without the invention of Facetime. I miss my son very much, but we talk everyday and I get to see his beautiful face. It has been good for him to be on his own and he is taking very good care of himself, the animals, and our home. He looks like a little kid when I see him on my computer, but he sounds like a man, which has been very interesting. He is literally growing up before my eyes.

I have also been housesitting this week, which has truly made it feel like I live here. I wake up at 5:30 every morning, walk the dog, feed the cat, and then go to work. I go home to little faces waiting for me and I walk the dog again. I might need to get a dog one of these days. She is a lovely companion and I love her. It is my pleasure to be here while Victoria and David are away, and I am honored that they entrusted me with their home, their animals, and the teenage son.

He has not been home much, having slept at his Grandmother’s house, friends, and cousins, but that made it like being with my own son, who is in and out with his own life too. I cannot imagine having been alone in a hotel in London, when I can be here with people I love. I feel blessed to be in this lovely home and tonight I am having dinner with the teenager and cannot wait. He makes me laugh and it will be like being with my son, which will do my soul good after such a long time.

I am tired, but happy. Relieved to have stepped away from reality television, but dying to get back and catch up on it all. A month is a longtime to be away from home, but I’m proud of the work I am doing and getting to know this wonderful city in the process. I am living out a dream by being here and as I come back and forth I will bring my son to spend time in a place we both love. I am going to head home now and hope for a Darcy encounter while keeping the faith.