6. Visit fifty new places.
- Selfridges, Oxford Street
After my first week (ever!) as a Monday to Friday, 9-to-5er in a new city, I found myself feeling that I could have been in any city in the world. Living outside central London and getting the train in for work experience, then walking about two minutes to the office, didn’t exactly offer much opportunity to see the city. Apart from an occasional stop at the supermarket on the way home, I was more often than not straight back to the CVs and covering letters.
So yesterday afternoon, my friend and I decided to brave Oxford Street for some shopping. I have been to London a few times before, but mostly to see shows rather than to shop. Although this is one of London’s most famous streets, I just figured that all shops are pretty much the same as at home.
Except they’re not. Because there were thousands of people squashed into these shops, jostling about, causing queues for the fitting rooms and tills. It was like when I used to work at Next and it was sale day, only this is every day. I have a lot of respect (and sympathy) for people who manage to work in (either) Primark and not lose their mind or their manners!
My main purpose for the trip was to support this year’s Books Are My Bag launch, although I didn’t actually pick up one of the new bags – I prefer the old one! So I decided to support bookshops in the old-fashioned way and picked up a couple of books. I treated myself to another Jojo Moyes, because I know she’s brilliant, and a book I’d had my eye on: The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81. (You know I love an elderly protagonist.)
We started at the Tottenham Court Road side, so we basically walked the length of the street, and it is long. In fact, the second half is almost like a mirror image of the first, with the same shops appearing again.
One shop that was the only one of its kind, however, and one I wouldn’t find at home, was Selfridges. We went in so that my friend could buy some unusual beers for a present, but I was just a bit of a tourist. We had a false start by looking in the food hall, but this just meant I got to gawp at gourmet doughnuts and their collection of gingerbread houses. It was all decked out for Christmas:
Then I got distracted by the wonderfully named Chocolate Library:
And there was an entire wall of tea before we found some bizarrely named beers:
After a pretty hectic shopping experience, we treated ourselves to dinner and cocktails. Drinking a Bellini surrounded by shopping bags, I felt like I was playing at being in Sex and the City.
And it reminded me that I am unemployed, and better not do that again before getting a full-time, permanent publishing job! Back to reality tomorrow. Nevertheless, it was nice to live outside my means for a day, and see another part of London.
I cannot believe it is now mid-October, and I still have so many goals to complete. I will hopefully get a chance to write more for the blog this coming week, rather than getting something posted at half ten next Sunday night! And thank you for the views, likes and comments in the meantime – I will have more of a chance to get back to you this week.