Argh...and I thought I had cleverly missed all the mess...!
With my usual platforms now completely destroyed (as I mentioned previously) - the journey into London Bridge has been much the same as normal (just slightly narrower platforms to disembark - walking up the train instead of the platform skips the queue - so no big deal)...getting home again last night was another matter entirely though (I'm hoping this was just a blip, but last night no-one knew where to go - it was bedlam) -
I'm fairly sure I visited all the remaining platforms at least twice before I found a train heading in the direction I wanted...so things aren't quite sorted yet...see how we go tonight...welcome back to work, Fink! >:P
Soooo...back from happy holidays (and look - all the new platforms are finished and open at London Bridge! So glad I missed all that nonsense...), only one day of disaster to report (holiday was largely great weather and great fun) - the day we were supposed to pack up and move from Bude to Warminster (and do Wookey Hole) we had got up early, packed up the car, unpacked the car again to find the kids shoes, packed up the car again, handed our keys back to reception, strapped everyone in, waved to Nanjan and Pops (who were there to see us off and help out with baby-sitting during the packing process - thanks for that!) turned the key in the ignition - aaaand - NOTHING!
The guys from the caravan park were extremely helpful, tried (in vain) to jump start us with the puny battery from their little white van and so we called the AA...(trying to make it sound like we were in a more terrible position than we actually were) and then began a wait of almost two hours without a single update (which I am generously attributing to the 95% lack of mobile signal in the entire South West)...when the nice AA guy finally arrived (from just up the road), he ran a battery test and held up the machine to show me the "BATTERY FAIL - REPLACE" message but was happy to let us sail away into the (now afternoon) sun so long as we didn't turn the car off until we got to Warminster (where he would arrange a new battery to be waiting for us at around 5pm)...
Off we went and (of course) the M5 was a car park, so we swung off onto to the A303 tightly crossing our fingers (which turned out to also be a car park as a direct result of the M5 being a car park)...so we covered the kids ears, cursed, and drove, very slowly, towards our destination, past signs to Wookey Hole (having no time to visit it now - telling disappointed little ones that we would have another go in October half term), time now getting tight, we pulled off the A303 onto some tiny little roads following the Garmins instructions and hit the centre of a tiny town where there was a closed road which the Garmin was absolutely adamant we take (even when we were 3 miles past it, it was *insisting* we go back before it would issue any further directions - argh)...!
It was just about now, pretty much lost, with no mobile internet to get directions from Google maps, time running out to meet our battery man that Poppy was sick...*very* sick...all over the back of the car, including getting some onto Thomas, who was not amused, and Annabelle decided that it was dinner time and started screaming like we were trying to murder her...and it was in this exact fashion that we finally clawed our way into the car park at Warminster Travelodge (after five hours on the road instead of the predicted two)...head and hands up against the windows looking and feeling a little like an Edvard Munch composition...
The battery was finally replaced about an hour later (the AA guy got stuck in traffic too), and actually, even though it seemed like it might be the cherry on the top of the cake, our dinner at Little Chef that evening was a pleasant surprise...I recommend the "foot-long" (it isn't quite) Chilli Dog... ;)
...soon! Got three days left at work (well, two and a half now)...plans are for a nice comfortable static caravan on the cliffs overlooking Widemouth Bay in Cornwall (for 7 nights) and a couple of days in Somerset (to break up the journey) visiting Wookey Hole and Longleat neither of which Flyingpops or I have visited since we got married - 3 kids ago - (those links are to my pics from 2008)!
Really looking forward to it...just hope the weather holds up! ;)
So, two things must have happened (to add this to the usual clunky mix of boxes blocking the way to have a quick wee in the boys toilets) -
The rusty old condom vending machine *almost* works (nice try - as it's still in the way it's obviously making money) but didn't (in the end) - "bear fruit"
The breath-freshener/legal high/Horny Goat weed tablet vending machine works amazingly well (it's the same amount of pound coins as the condom one)...
However, from my point of view there is only one really important fact that is *certainly* true - and Babycare, this message is for you - £1.50 for two baby wipes doesn't really cut the mustard...are you trying to set Dads up? The very next conversation is going to be - "Urm, well done for taking her to get changed, but you haven't done it very well have you??", "Fink - SHE SMELLS - did you clean her bottom properly?", "Oh just give her here"...
...so sticky and it's only 18 degrees (so far), 32 degrees expected by lunchtime! It already feels like being in the hot domes at the Eden Project...
...and the storms last night were just astonishing, pretty sure they woke baby Annabelle up when they started (at about 2am), I did a zombie-like walk around the house closing all the wide-open windows and sealing all the blackout blinds as best I could to shut out the thunderous noise, gale-force winds and pretty much continuous flashes of light...
Thomas managed to sleep through the whole thing, of course...!
...wow a little bit of excitement for a Wednesday morning! Just sat down enjoying a nice cup of tea and suddenly we are in an alarm condition, so it's pack up the laptop, grab the soft-phone, run down twenty-six flights of stairs (obviously manage to take a bit of a wrong turn somewhere as I end up surrounded by builders at some iron gates that won't open with my door card, talk them into buzzing me through)...
...next thing to do is to find WiFi - any WiFi - and try to resume business as normal (and await more news via Text message)...so here I am in a handy McDonalds! ;)
Mmmm...what an interesting smell this morning along Asylum Road! Luckily Southern Water were already on site to investigate as I walked by, pretty much the entire road was covered in murky, stinking puddles though (which I carefully worked my way around - while holding my nose)...yuk! ;p
...the very posh terrace, at the end of our floor in the News Building -
- are just absolutely staggering...
- looks like it's going to be a (pretty much) private space for the Execs once it is finished (still a bit of work going on), so it was a treat to be able to take a cheeky look around...the main terrace, one floor higher up(!) is still a work in progress too, but I'll post some pics when we are allowed up there... ;)
The view out of my window (towards the South and St Thomas' hospital) -
- and slightly to the right over towards the London Eye -
- down towards London Bridge Street (where I used to queue for the Number 17 bus) -
- and down towards London Bridge station...
Then river-side, the view this direction slightly marred by the number of vertical supports, not sure why we need them on that side of the building and not on the other, but there we go! Once the observation deck opens we'll see what the real view is like... ;)
...(or "Return to Southwark!")...tried to get my head around a better journey into town today (now having absolutely no onward journey to worry about from London Bridge), discovered that my later train is an express train (and thus was full and standing - *groan*)...so that is still a work in progress...anyway, had a nice cup of tea in St Thomas Street waiting for my free breakfast time to arrive - as I was quite early -
- when I got there we were already being asked to gather our things ready for our induction(!), so I grabbed a slightly warm (but very tasty) bacon sandwich (and a glug of water), and then we were on our way to reception...
- and up in the lifts after we had been pass upgraded (there are 6 lifts serving the core of the building, all with no buttons inside, so you choose your destination before you get in and the lifts tell you which letter you want to join - same as the last office, actually) -
- as you can see, there isn't a huge amount of choice at the moment, most of the office is still a building site, after all...
Anyway, up on the 13th floor (which is almost finished) - we have lots and lots of hot desks -
- collaborative spaces -
- (of all sorts of shapes and sizes) -
- and beautiful new kitchens (intermittently topped up with fresh fruit and pastries) -
- and a (somehow rather familiar) lighting decoration above one of the newspaper carousels (thank goodness it isn't right in front of any of the desks, or they might be a bit unpopular with migraine sufferers)...!
All in all - Amazing so far! Guess I'll post some of the views from the windows later on (when the sun comes out)...but the office itself is very swish and everything smells, well, new! ;)