Thursday, 22 May 2008

Going up to London

Why do we go 'up' to London, even though it is down from my northern home?

My day-trip to London was, travel-wise, largely uneventful.  I shared a table on the way down with a couple of ladies who clearly examine students for PE.  (I recognise that I am an inveterate eavesdropper on conversations in this manner.)  The train was merely 10 minutes late, but that resulted in mad dashes for us all to get to our meetings.  The journey back was even less eventful.

In the middle I attended a conference for chartered accountants who have had a career break and are considering returning to work.  This was interesting for a number of reasons.  Primarily, it was the first time I had been to the HQ of the ICAEW.  Quite a building!  Clearly full of Victorian architecture and no doubt thousands of pounds of my annual subscription is spent just keeping the building looking like it does.  Probably worth it, although I do sometimes question how much we, the great British public, uphold our inherited buildings at the cost of modern functionality.

The meetings themselves were excellent: all the speakers spoke well.  No-one offered me a job on the spot (not probable, but always hopeful...) Rather disheartening to hear that the best way to get a part-time job is to go full time for 6 months and then request a reduction in hours.  I guess I could do to find a CA here that would also like to work a few hours and job-share.

I then spent a delightful afternoon in the library in the building.  The free wireless internet allowed me to update the cricket score frequently on my laptop!  I did pretend to do some work: the tales from Zambia are coming along slowly... very, very slowly.

My greatest surprise of the day was how pleasant the underground was at 5.30, going back to King's Cross.  Surely this is rush hour, a mad rush as everyone clamours to get on the train back to the 'burbs?  But no: I even got a seat!  Perhaps it wouldn't be so appalling to live in London again ...

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