I loved working in Central London.
Covent Garden was just such a mixing pot of nationalities, cultures, religions and generally interesting, funky, fascinating, strange characters.
Oh, and did I mention the fashion I just loved it. It was everywhere, I loved that people could be whacky and different and nobody batted an eyelid.
Everyone was far to self-absorbed, they all had somewhere to go or be, just way too busy to care enough to notice.
The new firm I worked for had a very young feel to it as the creative director was quite young, he was bursting with this boundless almost manic energy.
Looking back, I think it was blatantly obvious to everyone, except me, that he was out of his nut on cocaine but I was so young and green, I was just totally oblivious.
I was way to naive to pick up on all the underlying shenanigans going on right under my nose!
Thankfully (for me anyway) they had a retired old bloke Jimbo, he had an office under the stairs he would do all the deliveries and make the teas, I loved him and he looked out for me like a grandad.
Like a wise old monkey, he would hear all, see all and say nowt – except to for warn me to do the same!
He thankfully pointed out that the revolving dark room door was not broken it was jammed to allow the creative director to, ‘get creative’ with the receptionist and one of the other graphic designers!
“But he has a beautiful wife and a little baby!” I spluttered in disbelieve and total disgust, I had met her on nights out and they seemed blissfully happy.
“Im going to tell her!” I informed Jimbo
” Oh no your not Miss – not if you want to keep your job that is!”
I began to be wary of anyone that went into the dark room – well with any of the directors anyway lol!
Me and Jimbo would go to lunch together. He worked so hard, I think to make himself indispensable, sometimes he would fall asleep in the park and I would panic that he had actually died😲because flies would land right on his nose and he wouldn’t move!
I would yell,” JIMBO!” what with him being deaf and all the whole park would look at us lol
He showed me little back street cafes and he knew all the short cuts to avoid all the tourist.
I would drag him around Topshop in Oxford Circus the only problem was, he didn’t get fashion at all lol saying , ” What the hell do you want to buy them hobnail boots for?” he hated Shelly’s (my favourite shoe shop in the whole world at the time) He said my wife had a pair of shoes that were hand made in the wardrobe, real leather made by a craftsmen! We were different sizes thankfully as that would have been real awkward but he said he would bring them in to show me.
I would have to go all the way back on my own to buy my shoes with out him!
His wife had died and his sons had busy lives, he was painfully lonely and having a reason to get up and go to work obviously eased that loneliness.
The girls would ask me out to lunch and tell me off for inviting him along too lol
I hated the thought of him sitting under the stairs eating his little sandwiches on his own but the girls would say,” Stuff off we can’t talk about jack shit with your grandad sitting there!” Bless him
You can imagine what they all said when he brought his deceased wife’s shoes in they thought he had turned into Norman Bates out of Psycho hahaha
He was totally deaf in one ear and sometimes he would talk about other members of staff to me under the stairs and instead of whispering he was actually shouting lol all the staff would laugh about it.
My dad worked in the Civil Service for the Ministry of defence, at St Giles court, so we would travel in to work together on the Grey Green coaches.
My dad knew all the great places to be in London too so I was totally spoilt as to who to have my lunch with.
A girl I worked with, was going out with a very handy bloke to know because he was a ticket tout so he always, had last minute tickets for all the Westend shows, concerts even the ballet and opera!
If she couldn’t go with me, I used to beg my dad to miss the coach and watch them. I lost count of how many times I saw Les Miserables.
Matt would come up to London as there was always a reason to go out for drinks after work. It was an exciting time and full of happy memories.
I learnt so much about everything working there.
Work would come in with a real quick turn around, corrections for printing and deadlines had to be met.
Everyone understood the pressure and worked together as a team, ignoring artist melt downs and creative differences was just par for the course.
My real break came though when a newbie started straight out of Uni, we had landed a big job and he really didn’t appreciate the speed he was expected to turn the work out.
The client turned up expecting the presentation to be ready, everyone was out except for me and the newbie – who was having a major meltdown and stormed out!
So, I told the director to buy me some time as I felt confident I could finish it without him, which I did!
I didn’t think it was a biggie but they had worked so hard to get a foot in the door with this firm, loosing that job would of closed the door to any future work that they had hinted, could come their way, off the back of this first project.
At first, I was in awe of the ones that had been to uni but I quickly realised, if you couldn’t meet a deadline and work in a team, you were worthless to the ones that paid your wages, regardless of how qualified you were on paper.
Hard work, reliability, an eagerness to learn and a willingness to pester the life out of the ones that knew their stuff, along with the ability to stay calm in a crisis proved to be just as powerful as a degree 😜 but then again, without that degree you couldn’t expect to earn anywhere close to the same wage packet!!!!
If you were cocky, lazy and generally thought you didn’t need to muck in and pull your weight, you didn’t seem to last 5mins in this firm anyway.
Nice shoulder pads !
I was given my own easel and offered a job literally the same week Matt had been fired and decided to start his own business!
Do I stay or do I go?
TO BE CONTINUED ……………….
Rae and Harleys Adventure
So they only went and done it 3 of the UK’S biggest mountains in 24 hours!!!!!
Harley posted a really lovely post to Rae :
Firstly, Rae Connie Jane Hume it’s been absolute pleasure to do this by your side. Your courage and determination has just blown me away, the way you simply soldiered on with blisters and a twisted ankle is insane. You have inspired me up these mountains! And I’m so PROUD to be your friend. When we climbed Ben Nevis with Tracey (the mountain guide) she said we are the happiest people she’s ever done Ben Nevis with; she’s climbed it over 200 times. Our positivity bounced off one another, and kept others around us strong and motivated too: I can’t also thank you enough for helping back down each mountain, when you could see my knees and ankles were giving up. You have literally let me jump on you from massive rocks . You have smashed it, literally and this will stay with you forever, you proved people wrong and you have accomplished exactly what you KNEW you could. Ill never forget that proud feeling when you continued to get as high as you possibly could on scafell, testing and so much emotional energy was involved. I love you dearly! THANK YOU.
Thank you everyone again for your support my heart is so full!! As most of you know I suffer from hyper mobility meaning my joints are all too small and cause my joints to dislocate at random times, my knees are in bits but I honestly feel like I’ve gone past every possible pain barrier! And I just can’t feel a thing right now haha.
SO! 69,598 Steps, 13,187 calories burnt, we are on our way HOME!