Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bruised feet, bridal magazines and a girl crush

Today was the first day of full-time employment and it went quickly and, you know what, actually rather pleasantly. Last week was my final nannying hurrah with three small but charming Aussie kids - same nationality, same school, different family - and lovely though they are I will not miss ham sandwiches, swimming lessons, tennis lessons or spelling tests. I suspect I will miss starting work at 3pm but you can't have it all.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Tripping and skipping

While the world seems to be going to hell in a really ugly hand basket life in my little London bubble has been washed freshly clean with a healthy dose of gratitude.

It's been a satisfying kind of week. Work is going really well, though I'm still struggling to accept the reality of my new situation. A month ago and I was ready to admit defeat, suck up the next six months doing all kinds of retail hell and then head back to Sydney with the need for A New Plan. And now, well I'm going to meetings at the Royal Academy and, this week, to New Bond St for a meeting with the head of press and marketing for Louis Vuitton to talk about art and education and websites and creative opportunities. It is a total trip. Intellectually and, so it is too proving, practically. Peckham is not a fun place to get to from Hammersmith every day - in fact it sort of sucks, but this last week getting home each night at 7.30 has meant LB has had dinner ready and waiting on the table for me. A sure fire stem to my exhausted tears and a wealth of brownie points for him.

On Thursday I stayed late to finish up some work and to check out the event the SLG's young people's group had organised - a video exhibition and Q&A with the main gallery artists. It was so fabulous - the enthusiasm, the professionalism - they even ran a bar offering a bevy of non-alcoholic cocktails. It was pretty fucking cool. And then on my way home I decided to play bus lottery - ie. get on the first one that comes along going vaguely in the direction I need it to and see where I end up. On Thursday I found myself winding through some fairly unappetising parts of south London before crossing Westminster Bridge and travelling up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. I still get a kick out of the incidental history and architectural majesty that living and travelling through London offers. Which is lucky, as three hours of door to door travel every day is going to get dull very, very, soon. Or, like, yesterday.

This weekend has been lovely - in large part because yesterday was gloriously sunny. Spring is set to do just that at any moment now. The blossoms are getting their pink on and the magnolia trees, my favourite, are a whisper from exploding. I cannot wait. Yesterday I went to Notting Hill to meet my dear friend Nina, a fellow bride-to-be, and we enjoyed an extensive word vomit over flowers and table settings and dresses and ceremony plans while sitting in the sun eating cheese and drinking carrot and ginger juice at Daylesford Organic on Westbourne Grove. So civilised. I've already earmarked it as a place to take Mum next time she's in London. She might have to BYO sun though if Spring doesn't hurry up and get here.

And then last night I took LB out for dinner to celebrate my first pay cheque at our favourite Spanish restaurant, El Pirata in Mayfair. This was the same place where LB cupcake bombed me for my birthday.

Oh my GOD it feels good to be employed and to be able to do things like pay for dinner! The world suddenly feels full of possibility and conquerable even and my gratitude for the support of Lovely Boy, the Best Parentals and all my friends while despondency and quiet pessimism have been my accessories du jour over the last few months, god, let's call it a year, well it's bursting like the blossoms.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Exhaustion thy name is Full Time Work

I am zonked. I should be in bed right now and know I will regret it in the morning but I've just finished up the last of my NPG work and LB is cooking us a late light dinner while I fight the urge to rest my head on the keyboard.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new pair of shoes

I think today has been what people refer to as A Very Good Day. My first day of work at South London Gallery began with some auspicious advice courtesy of Oval tube station:

It was a fairly apt piece of advice given the day I was set to have which was one part fabulous, one part hugely enjoyable, one part enormously promising and five parts overwhelming. They weren't joking when they said I would be leaping in from day one but apart from a small moment of panic threatening to manifest itself as quiet tears I was so into the day and may have resisted the urge to skip with excitement when I left this afternoon. I love the people I'm going to be working with, I'm excited about the challenges to come (which will probably be tomorrow...) and I feel I acquitted myself reasonably well in the face of what was a massive information dump and an expectation of immediate competency.

Things seem to be coming together and I'm not even going to be snotty about it and say "at last".

Last week was a lot of fun, after the interviews and tests and offer of The Job. There was champagne with girlfriend Jen on Tuesday and a charcuterie board to drool over at Fernandez and Wells in Soho with Tors on Thursday. This was before we took in a so-bad-it-was-excellent movie and consequently made the Ashton Kutcher-inspired decision to host a Razziefest, as well as an Oscarfest, next year. And then on Friday, LB and I had a date with some posh bar food at St John's in Smithfield and some joyous Australian theatre at the Barbican courtesy of the Belvoir's touring production of The Sapphires. Seriously, nothing says happy like Motown.

Before my rendezvous with the Lovely Boy I had a rendezvous with the Lovely Selfridges where I may have done some pre-job purchasing of new shoes and trousers. So Good. Oh I've missed shopping. sigh... Seriously, nothing says happy like a bright yellow shopping bag.

This afternoon I went to the NPG for a meeting and farewell afternoon tea for my lovely editor - a chance, I figured, to have a relaxed conversation with the Managing Editor and the Head of Publications and impress upon them my commitment, my enthusiasm and my so burning it almost needs an ointment desire to see this bloody book published. Boy am I glad I went. Just before leaving my lovely editor gave me something of a parting gift - namely a contract guaranteeing my name in print with all due credit and details of PAYMENT to be made to me in thanks.

It turns out 50,000 words is not an insignificant contribution.

It's not a huge sum of money in the grand scheme of things, but I am beyond happy about it and feel not so much flattered or grateful as honoured really, as strange as that sounds, that the value of my work and efforts have been recognised. I mean, I'm not an idiot, I know the no doubt impending sticky issue of copyright probably had something to do with it but I am so happy and shocked that I don't even care. I'm even happy to wrangle my way through the self-employed tax return nightmare that being paid will no doubt involve.

It has been A Very Good Day. Surprising, satisfying, inspiring, promising. And it's only Monday. God only knows what Tuesday will bring.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A little thing called a job

I don't really think anything less than an excess of exclamation marks can come remotely close to conveying the dizzying enormity that is the offer of full-time employment in a role that comes VERY close to ticking all the boxes of My Dream Job. We're talking contemporary art, museum education, writing, fuck off massive brilliant challenges, five of the best art institutions in London-nay-the-World and PAID. Yes, paid.

flowers of congratulations from the ever lovely LBB