We left off as I was headed out to Boots and Carphone Warehouse, both of which were very kind to me. I came back home, took a shower, packed a lunch and made my way to Hyde Park for an afternoon of relaxing, sunning, reading and people watching. There were a few different bands/concerts going on, and I found a nice spot under a tree to eat lunch and call the ‘rents. It was nice to hear their voices. After I spent the majority of my minutes talking to my parents, I moved to a sunny area and laid in the grass and soaked in the sun for a bit. It was a beautiful day so I decided to walk past the Hyde Park tube and just make my way through the city – ended up walking past Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Sq. on the way. No big deal. I got back home, had a little snack, and went with some fellow gmu’ers to the sports pub across the street (Offsides) to watch some of the Poland/Germany Eurocup game. Ellen, Traci and I left after Germany scored (YEAH) to go try and get on the London Eye…we didn’t get there in time, unfortunately. Instead, we walked across the Millennium foot bridge by St. Paul’s/Tate Modern, and had dinner at a pub along the Thames. I had dinner at a pub along the Thames. At sunset. It was so picturesque and perfect. We then walked along the river for a bit, considering walking to Parliament, but it was waaaay to much of a hike so we just picked up a different tube station home. Such a wonderfully Londonish day!
Today was great in a different way. I will address the only downside first: I was effing hot almost the entire day. I got on the tube just fine, ended up getting to work about 15 minutes early. I met Louise, the director of NCA, and Filiz and Neena, two of the interns. Neena is British and Filiz is Turkish. Both really nice, but I unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time with them. I went with Louise to a conference right away (or, straight away as my colleagues would say) in the Primrose Hill area. Very pretty! The conference was an initial consultation of a ton of different arts organizations around the country to discuss the creation of a national manifesto or agenda for arts/crafts participation. It was really interesting, and kind of funny in a way. The US is not so different from the UK in that when everyone gets together to discuss a particular item…that item is the last thing actually discussed, if at all. It was a typical conference; lots of preaching to the choir and passionately and intensely debating irrelevant issues which don’t directly contribute to actual progress.
For some ungodly reason, I decided to volunteer to be the person in our group to write our ideas on one of those giant notepad easel things – even though this country technically speaks English, I definitely worked on my listening skills. It was kind of a challenge but I’m glad I tried to help out. The conference ended at 4 and we went back to the office. I typed up my notes and started writing a narrative about the event to be put in the weekly Friday newsletter. Louise said it was excellent and right in line with what goes in the newsletter. Yay me! I think my biggest concern was (and still kind of is) that I have such a different background and perspective, that even if I work really hard and produce my best work, it just won’t have the right feel or the right tone - 'cause that can't be taught. But so far, so good! Also, at the conference, they were giving out those little flash drive things. SCORE! So to recap: it’s hot as hell but after my first day of work I already have a free flash drive and more to add to my body of arts administrative writing.
Good news bears.