Showing blog posts tagged with: london

Whining

by Hilla Duka - View comments

London_bridge

tl:dr - I hurt myself again and it hurts like fuck. The rest of this post will consist of nothing but me blowing off some steam and complaining of how miserable I am right now. You have officially been warned. Pic's nice though?

I'll just complain for a bit, shall I? So last week I set off for London again, which fealt really good, since I haven't been there since November, and it feels really weird not to go as often as I used to. But still, my job responsibilities have changed, and I'm no longer in charge of finding the right product fit for UK, but for all our markets. Doesn't mean the UK doesn't lie close to my heart, but it does mean I don't get to go as often as before. 

 

Anyway, as I made my preparations for my trip, I really did think I was being responsible - I booked a really-rubbish-hotel very close to work, and as I set up my appointments I was very clear that I needed to meet close to work and hotel, as my knee was still acting up and I couldn't jet about as much as I normally do. Said and done, first day of getting up early, dealing with airports and flying and then work, I was done for the day and headed off to meet my friend at a bar nicely positioned some 500 meters from my hotel. Only problem, the loo was one floor up. And as I came down the stairs (very nice, pretty stairs they were too, you know those really broad, industrial looking ones?) when my knee decided it had had enough of getting around and standing and walking, and gave way. Me being as I am, I didn't think much of falling down at first, it happens, and I mainly thought it was rather embarrassing and undignified, but somewhere around the second bend, I lost consciousness for a bit, and came to with the staff standing around me looking quite worried. My only save at this point was that I wasn't drunk. And being as I am, I assured them I was fine, and it was only my bogy knee that was acting up, and got back to my table and my friend. 

 

I woke up the next day with an ankle that was larger than my thigh, a distinctly bad looking flesh injury and bruises down my back and in my head. Concussion, I hear you asking? Well, I thought it a possibility, and went to check my pupils in the mirror (told you, I'm no noob to falling over) and sure enough, my pupils were weirdly dilated. Only, I was in London, and have had my fare share of dealing with the NHS (let me tell you, not having a national insurance number doesn't help!) and I had a big ass meeting to go to (in Slough, of all places) so I decided I just needed to toughen up, and face the day. Off I went, at the amazing, and to passers-by's not very amusing pace of probably 1 km per hour (I'm not exaggerating, it took me 30 painstaking minutes to get to the tube 500 meters from my hotel) in rush hour. Thankfully, because of my knee injury (in case I didn't tell you about that, torn off ligament, disrupted kneecap, ugly story, still hurts like hell) I already had some codein pills, which I was taking like there was no tomorrow. They helped a bit, but not a great deal. Oh, and to make matters worse, I had - momentarily insanity and I blame it on the fact that it was spring in the uk at this point - only brought high heels with me. After over a month of living in wellies, I had had enough, and thought my knee could survive some heels. Only my knee didn't agree. Honestly, I have no idea how I got through the meeting, besides with pain, and no idea how I got back. I did somehow, but since then have been in constant pain. I can't really get through a full working day anymore, and yesterday, as I tried, I came home frozen to the bone, and spent the night shaking under the duvet. Actually duvets, as in plural, because I could not get warm for the life of me. Any time I walk about for a few minutes, my ankle swells up again, The scrape on my calf hurts all the fucking time, and as I can't support myself on the side where I tore a ligament, I have to support myself on the other side, where I've sprained my ankle and have the bloody scrape to the bone. I sometimes wonder what it was ever like to walk without pain, or indeed to be without pain 24/7, but the sad truth is that I can't remember. And even sadder, I don't wonder this all the time, which in my head would be a sign of normalcy, but only occasionally. I've become accustomed to being in pain all the time. I don't have more painkillers, and trying to get a new prescription feels too addicty a thing to do, so I just do without. On top of this, I'm working still. I don't have it in me to take sick leave, so I just keep working, from home and the sofa if I can't stay longer at work. 

 

There really isn't a happy end to this one, at least not yet. If anyone actually read my whole rant, I'm impressed and slightly worried about your mental health. I'm trying to take it easy, trying to listen to what my body's telling me and all the soft hearted bullshit I don't believe in. I think I'll get back, hopefully to normal, but at least to pretty good, in time. It just sucks ass right now.


Happy holidays

by Hilla Duka - View comments

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I haven't really been writing for a while, as usual things have been a bit mad... My last trip to the UK was disappointing in the way that I came down with tonsillitis. Spending any amount of time in a hotel room is boring, but spending it shivering under the duvet, hallucinating and with no strength even to get up and get a cup of tea really sucks. I was able to attend the two events I meant to, but not much more. This time I stayed at Premier Inn in Old Street. For being a three star hotel, I should be more kind to it, after all it was clean and big enough to open the door fully, but honestly it was a horrible stay. My room lay next to a construction site, and 5 am they started the noise. Also, no roomservice when confined to bed is really not ideal. It was close to the PR show, but next time I'll stay at my usual hotel and brave the morning traveling.

Since I've been back I've been pretty much occupied with trying to make Christmas at home. The kids have decided that we are to have a full blown Christmas at home, complete with a tree and all. As this is not really something I'm well acquainted with it's taking some efforts, to say the lease, but thankfully I've been getting helpful tips from people at work. So we've been making gingerbread cookies, decorated a tree and whatnot. Presents are under the tree, mincemeat cookies in the oven. The kids are sleeping peacefully in their beds, and for the fist time I'm starting to get a bit of a Christmas feeling. It's nice, sort of.


Just... no

by Hilla Duka - View comments

Panda

Well, it's not Monday, and I don't have a panda. That's because I made this little guy instead. I was wondering if they might be mates, but I can't seem to put them together... Could be that koalas and pandas just don't mix, or it could be that I'm feeling a bit out of sorts today. 

 

This morning it took me two hours to get to work, as compared to my normal twenty mins. When I was heading home the tram was not operating. And probably wont be for another week. I'll be so late for work... And while I'm complaining, it's completely dark these days in the morning, impossible to wake up, and dark when I leave home with the kids. And dark when I come home. London's going to be a nice break from this madness! I'm super excited about this trip as I'm attending two really interesting events, and will hopefully return home with loads of ideas and input! Just two weeks away now! (Yes, I'll admit it, I probably need a break from my kids too, and that might be part of the reason I'm so excited to go this time. Maybe.)

 

Also, not that it has anything to do with anything, except for contributing to making my life difficult, both nursery and school are reporting lice. It freaks me out completely, the idea of the kids getting lice. Anyone who's seen my kids hair (and my own, I guess) will understand me. So for now everyone has to wear their hair up, no matter what they think of it. Whatever the two small ones do think of it, they're thinking it rather loudly, unfortunately. I'll just stop complaining now and come back when I'm feeling more Pollyanna-ish, shall I?


Pirate Panda

by Hilla Duka - View comments

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Well, it's Monday, and I have a Pirate Panda for you. Complete with eye patch, pirate hat and wooden leg. And yes, I am aware that his scarf just makes him look french, but let's just roll with it - he's a french pirate panda, right? Right. 

 

Apart from making panda costumes, I've been fairly busy. I have a trip to the UK coming up last week of November, to attend to really interesting PR and Marketing shows, and I've spent a fair amount of time prepping for my annual appraisal, which actually went great and was lovely. When I say prepping for, of course I mean being nervous in no constructive way about. But all is well, and I still have my job. In fact, I have my job, plus some praise for a job well done. So now I'm sipping champagne (I'm lying, it's actually Cava, but champagne just sounds better) and congratulating myself on I'm not really sure what. Choosing the right place to work maybe? There are worse ways of starting the week!


Going home

by Hilla Duka - View comments

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I'm sure I've written something to the same extent previously, but it strikes me every time I go to London how it doesn't stop being home. The funny thing about going back to work is that you still get up in the morning, you still moan internally about the laid back tourists walking in their leisurely pace, or the tube minutes who seem to have no relationship to normal minutes. It's just the same. 

 

This visit was so good, I got so much from my meetings and from talking to the team there, and was able to balance productive days and interesting meetings with laid back nights filled with wine and laughter and good company. Just the sort of visit I really love!

 

And for those hard won skeptics, who think there's nothing more to London than concrete and crammed buildings and crowded streets, I offer this pic, taken early in the morning as I headed back to the airport. Enough said, right?


This view!

by Hilla Duka - View comments

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I just have to share this pic, taken just outside my hotel for my last trip to London. The hotel is literally just next to Saint Pauls Cathedral. So every time I went out for a smoke some fresh air, this was what I was looking at. The downside was that every hour on the hour, this is what I was listening to...

 

Still, felt good to not be stuck in old habits, and trying out a new hotel. Not that I had much choice, my usual hotel was full and this was the best I could do. Will I stay there again? For all the lovely views, probably not. Way, way to corporate for me. Lovely to stay at once, but next time I'll either be back at my usual hotel, or I'll try another one. 

 

I had a really good trip, and was able to combine some training sessions, meeting potential customers, and drinking wine with good friends, which is basically all the ingredients for a really good trip. Now it'll probably be until beginning of October until I go back, in September the Product department packs up and heads to Barcelona for a conference, and the entire company heads to Berlin for our People days. I wonder what my kids are going to say about me being away so much...?

 

This was Grange St Pauls hotel, and though it's usually a bit on the pricey side (like £300 per night for a single...) in the midst of summer I think I paid around £120 per night for it. It's absolutely lovely with large, clean and modern rooms and a great bar, though too corporate for my tastes. 


A room with a view

by Hilla Duka - View comments

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Though maybe not much of a view... Still, I like my dull hotel room view, as I like my hotel, when I'm in London. I try to make a point of staying at the same hotel when I'm in town, it gives a feeling of normalcy. It's not far from work, though far enough for me not to feel like I'm staying at work, and even though I dislike staying at hotels, I must admit I have a thing about hotel room windows. I enjoy sitting in the window, watching the world below...

After last week's visit in London, I actually, for the first time in years, have a holiday! Well, I'm easing into it, and will be working tomorrow, but the plan is basically to be off work for four weeks! Maybe I'll take the kids on a trip somewhere, lay by the pool for a while and relax... And even though it feels weird not being in London for almost five weeks (I've grown so used to flying over every two or three weeks) it'll be good to get some rest too! Switching on holiday mode as of... well, as of Wednesday, but you get the general idea!