Hello from London. I’m here for two weeks for work. Part of the purpose is to meet the London crew, and partly to help with a redesign.
The flight itself over here was pretty smooth. I flew overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, leaving Boston at 9:20 and arriving at Gatwick at 8:40 Monday morning. It wasn’t too bumpy, and I tried to sleep through it. I don’t think I actually did sleep much – maybe a couple of moments here and there, despite using a sleep mask.
Things went downhill once I arrived. I waited and waited for my suitcase to come down the carousel. It never did. Thank you, Norwegian Airlines. Finally, I walked over to the baggage desk and filed a claim; there was one other gentleman there missing luggage, and he remarked that things were a zoo at Logan and that he’d seen some baggage fall off the conveyor belt.
Once I filed a claim, I changed some money at a kiosk at the airport, bought a ticket for the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, and got a SIM card for my phone, which was important, because I needed to be able to contact baggage claims and use Maps to navigate London. I also picked up a prepaid Oyster Card for access to the Underground.
After getting something to eat, I went down to the station to get on the Gatwick Express. The train arrived, I got on, and settled in. What I didn’t realize was that there are different classes, I had a standard class ticket, and I’d settled into a First Class area. The conductor was very cheery as he collected the £9 extra.
We got to Victoria, and there I transferred over to the Underground, bound for Moorgate station. The trip was uneventful, and I filed away some of the information announced about the stops for future reference,
I got to Moorgate station, and managed to get minorly lost trying to find the office. Finally, with help from Maps, I found it. They weren’t expecting me until Tuesday, but with a 3 PM checkout time I didn’t feel like walking around London with everything that I’d carried onto the plane. So I got some minor work done, attended a grooming session, got an appScatter t-shirt, and then Matt escorted me over to Marks and Spencer to buy enough clothes to get me through the next day or so. I also bought a little food for breakfast for the apartment.
Work has gotten me an AirBnB apartment that’s about a 12 minute walk from work. Unfortunately, Siri was no help at all trying to get there. I ended up making loops around Liverpool Street and the surrounding quarter-mile, before I finally got onto the main street close to the apartment.
The apartment itself is nice; all white, one bedroom, TV, with a washer and dryer. Unfortunately the wi-fi worked, but was not connected to the internet. So I unpacked the stuff I’d been able to stuff into the computer bag, and had supper (a rather nice barbecue chicken), trying desperately not to nod off into my food. At this point, I’d been up for about 36 hours more or less straight. I fell into bed… and woke up about two and a half hours later. I’d slept just long enough to take the edge off my fatigue, and then my internal clock said “Hey! it’s not time to go to bed yet.” I finally nodded off early in the morning, when it was starting to get close to night back in Boston.
Tuesday, I started to turn things around. I was able to plot a more or less direct route to work from the apartment, and got to the office just in time to see Philip Marcella, the CEO, walk in.I said hi, and we went up to the office together. I haven’t seen Philip in about a year. We got building access squared away, we had a meeting about the redesign, met Ben and Mark, appScatter’s other two front end developers, and started to dig into the work at hand.
Around mid-afternoon, I got a text with delivery information about my bag. When I went online, it said ‘Delivery Process Initiated’, which I assumed meant the courier was on his way, but in hindsight, probably meant they’d found the bag in Boston and set it up to be shipped over. Ben and I went to lunch together, and ended up at a bunch of food stalls right down the street from the apartment, and I got a rather huge sandwich of what tasted like pot roast.
By the time I got out of work, I was still digesting the sandwich, and wasn’t in the mood to just sit around the apartment with no internet access and not much to do. So I traded the computer for the camera, got on the Underground, and took it to Westminster to see Big Ben and Parliament. It was a gorgeous night. The air was comfortable, there were people all out and about, and I found that I was also very close to the Embankment, the London Eye, and the Thames River. I wandered around for about an hour or so, just soaking it up and taking pictures.
This morning, Gabrielle got my internet situation sorted out (hence this post) and I got a call from the courier with my bag saying he was going to be dropping off around 4. I finally have my own clothes.
It’s been busy at work, with a very tight deadline to meet. I was there until around 7 tonight, then I dropped off the bag and went to supper, and now here I sit, blogging. I’ll be going to bed soon, after putting the clothes away. They’re planning on taking me out to dinner later this week, and I’m hoping to do some touristy things over the weekend.
I’m glad to hear that you’re getting settled in after a bit of a bumpy start. It sounds like you had a beautiful night just roaming around. I hope you have a nice weekend as well!