And now we’re on to the final day of my work experience write up: Friday. And whereas all over London workers were embracing the “Fri-yay” feeling, I didn’t really want Saturday to come. This is the final day of my work experience and time in London, and it’s only a short one- but I wanted to round up the story completely…
Day 5- Friday 03/07/15
On my way into work today I make a stop at the tube station, and then three different shops: I need a ticket for this evening, when I meet a friend at Baker Street, and more immediately, I need a “thank you” card for the BBC Good Food team. For some reason these cards are very hard to find. Maybe in the north we spend too much time thanking people, but I eventually find one.
My jobs today include typing up notes on the press release day for Holly, seen as I have so many pictures to work from, and a good memory when it comes to food. I cut out articles from the newspapers, work on ordering “The Book”, and also write up a recipe for one of the sister publications.
All day I am so very aware that this is the last time I’ll be in these offices. I wont say “ever”, because I hope I’ll be allowed back at some point in the future, but it’ll probably be quite some time. In the same way I spend a lot of my lunch break sat in the park watching the pigeons, and basically drinking in all that London has to offer on my final full day here. It’s a great time to relax by the pigeon tree (people come in and just empty big bags of bread by this one tree, specifically for the pigeons), and reflect on my week. I came into this work placement thinking it might be nice to work at a magazine, just maybe. It would also be nice to work at a magazine where food was involved, or health. I am now pretty much convinced I want to work in a place where I can write. Each and every day. And where that writing can be about food. Something just clicked when I was at BBC Good Food, and that is invaluable for someone who has never really had a great idea of what she wants to do with her life. I’m still not 100% sure which publication I want to work at, maybe there will be a few I want to spend time at, or which position I would want (editor maybe?), but I have an idea.
I toddle back across the street to the Immediate Media Co. offices, and take the lift to the fifth floor, and when I arrive at my desk I see this:
Looks like the cooking team is returning the favour of the muffins I made. It’s not every day you get to try a cookie made by Good Food chefs.
People start to trickle out of the office, and then it’s time to say goodbye. I say goodbye to Gillian, Elaine, Keith, and Holly. I actually have to give Holly a hug when I say goodbye, because I’ve spent the most time with her this week due to the press releases, and she was my point of contact when I was given the work experience- and I’ll really, really miss her. At this point I need to say a huge thank you to the BBC Good Food team for making me feel so welcome, showing me the ins and outs of magazine work, and also risking food poisoning to try my Tiger Nut muffins. I couldn’t have asked for more.
And this is when I take my last walk out of the Immediate Media Co. building. Isn’t this all very sad? I am feeling so sorry for myself on the way out- but I have plans for my last night in London, and nothing is going to put a downer on them…
One of my favourite people from uni lives in London, and we’re going to the Regent’s Park open air theatre tonight to see The Seagull. If you haven’t read it, it is a supposed “comedy” with many tragic elements. About people who all feel they have somehow wasted their lives. I won’t spoil the ending, but go see it if you ever get a chance.
So, I am meeting Iona at 6:30pm by Madame Tussaud’s, home of creepy wax works. Beforehand I have to pick up my tea, as we are having a picnic. Iona buys something from Pret when we arrive at Baker Street, but tonight I am determined to have a feast….
I buy a salad bowl, prawns, wholemeal bread roll, ginger and soy salad dressing, melon, and Greek yoghurt from M&S for just over £10 (eat your heart out WholeFoods), and then practically run to the tube station in my excitement. I have grown to like the tube/ underground. I like people watching, and the feeling of moving pretty fast- and it reminds me of the metro in Newcastle.
I meet Iona and we toddle off to Regent’s Park, a place I have (again) never seen before. It is almost sundown, and we pick a spot on the grass to eat and chat and generally have a good old catch up. I can’t believe I became friends with Iona so late in the year, as she is one of the most awesome Londoners I know. Along with a couple of other people she has (nearly) wiped away my deep northern suspicion of anything that comes from Manchester and below. Southerners aren’t nearly as unfriendly as they sometimes pretend to be. At least, we sit and catch up until a water fowl decides to join in on our picnic. When I refuse to sacrifice my food it closes in, and we run. We see the same bird disrupting a couple’s cheese and wine time a few minutes later.
Regent’s Park may not be the biggest park in London, but it is stunning. We wander up a long road where people lie on the grass – some of them have even brought wine or champagne and glasses, just to lie in the open air and enjoy the summer. I had no idea London would be like this.
We locate the open air theatre and have a few minutes to take in the fact that some people are actually in suits and evening dresses, and have Fortnum and Mason’s picnic hampers. The bar has trailing plants growing from it, with fairy light intertwined throughout- it’s all very theatrical, and I can picture A Midsummer Night’s Dream
being performed here.
But right now it’s time for a play decidedly less cheery: for those of you who have read the play by Anton Chekov, this production was directed by Matthew Dunster. Somehow he brought out the comic elements, but still kept the sadness of the play going strong, in a way I didn’t think was possible.
It’s dark by the time we leave, and the fairy lights are glowing, and we make our way to the tube station/ bus stop. I have a feeling my summer could still have some interesting times up ahead: I’m determined to drag Iona up to Leeds at some point, and reunite our drama workshop crew. It’s about 12am by the time I get in, and within ten minutes of lying on my bed the weather breaks and lighting flashes across the skyline. If you’ve ever encountered the term “pathetic fallacy”, now would be the time to employ it.
Day 6- Saturday 04/07/15
(Goodbye London, Hello Yorkshire)
Saturday morning I throw all of my things into my case in preparation to leave, and then throw the curtains wide open. Right now I can watch Hammersmith some to life for the last time whilst I eat my porridge pot. We’re down to the final few blueberries and a single banana- which is at least one reason to go home.
Soon I’m on the motorway, making a stop for lunch and several coffee breaks for dad of course, and before I know it I’m back in Bradford.
Which brings me to the end of my London adventures. I have to say guys, it has been one hell of a week. I have fallen in love with a city I’d never been to before, and genuinely didn’t want to leave. I have cooked in Good Food’s test kitchen, visited a WholeFoods, made countless journeys on the underground. I have discovered an amazing Indian restaurant, embraced a love of iced coffee, been to five press events, and seen Christmas when it was 36*c outside. I have visited Soho, Bloomsbury, Baker Street, Somerset House, Regent’s Park, and Hammersmith, seen The Seagull performed in my first ever open air theatre. I have seen BBC Good Food’s top secret flat plan for August, read an unaltered interview and moved it from transcript to readable form, and cut up more newspapers than I care to remember. And I never in a million years thought my life could ever be this way, but I’m just so thankful that it is.
Now I am back home, with my fields, and moors, and beautiful sunsets. Oh, and home-cooked food. Which, lets face it, is the most important thing of all.