Les Miserable is an actual joy! | London | Week 3

Week 3 in London done! Breaking news is that my stay has been extended by another week. I don’t mind too much, I think because I know it’s not forever, that I am more able to cope with it.

This week was VERY special as my very lovely husband paid for me to go and see my most favourite musical, Les Miserable. So on Tuesday, I made my way across London and visited the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. The performance was SOOOOO amazing and much more than I even expected. The revolving stage, the barricades and the exceptional performances from all the actors was just breathtaking. I cried like a baby and the only thing missing was my Michael, who is the most generous and kind man ever. Thank you Michael, a little bucket list thing ticked off. 💗

I worked VERY hard all week and on Wednesday evening, I needed a moment of calm, which oddly enough, I found in Marks & Spencer! M&S is a very familiar place to me as we have a massive one quite close to home. Oddly, the bras, knickers and general surroundings made me feel sort of “at home” so I treated myself to a new bra and felt better for it. Being in the capital and in such a busy city is such an alien thing for me and can be overwhelming at times. When I leave my hotel in a morning, it’s like joining a high speed motorway rather than stepping out onto the pavement. The pace of the people borders on manic and it does take some getting used to. But my hotel is nice and the team I am working with are all in the same position and super supportive.

So 2 more weeks in London and then the fun really begins. Aarrgh.

G x

<<See Week 2

>> See Week 4

Weight Loss October Update | Getting Healthy

So as you can see, my weight loss has slowed a little, but it is still progressing, as I have now lost 35 lbs/2 ½ stones/15.87 kgs. Not bad eh?!

Weight loss is often called a journey as it has bumps in the road and of course, I am going to be honest and share mine with you. September was a funny month for me as I struggled to focus on Weight Watchers due to my impending secondment to London. Overall I lost 3.5lbs, which is good and so I am not going to beat myself up too much.

My secondment started just over 2 weeks ago and again, my Weight Watchers is a little harder to stick with as I am away from home and can’t cook. But to try and allay too much damage I have fallen into the following routine:

Breakfast in my Travelodge: 2 x pieces of brown toast with a small amount of Jam on each & fruit salad & a cup of tea.

Lunch: A Boots Shapers Sandwich with a low fat packet of crisps.

Evening Meal: Various

Snacks: Fruit

So as you can see, I mostly do OK, but it’s the evening meals that are tricky. In our first week in London, as I am working with a group of other staff members from around the UK, we all did something together most nights. However this week, we all did our own thing. There are also MANY temptations throughout the day as our group are feeders and there has been cake and biscuits every single day. I haven’t had one, although I have had the odd Percy pig when I was struggling a bit with energy.

One thing I did come across in my Timehop App, was a still from a vlog I did a couple of years ago and I really noticed the change in my face:

Changing Face

So even though my weight loss has slowed, there have been semi-unusual circumstances and I HAVE managed to keep it going. But of course I couldn’t finish this blog without sharing my amazing London Bridge victory!

and I really wouldn’t have had the confidence or fitness to do this at the beginning of May. Go me. x

 

I made it to London Bridge | London | Week 2

So I have made it through another week in London. This was week 2 of 4 and in case you haven’t already seen it, go and have a look at last week’s post!

This week was really full on, just like last week with us trying our best to learn the complicated new system that we have to show staff how to use. I have to be honest, my brain was a little fried by the end of the week and I was SHATTERED when I got home.

However, the highlight of my week was a personal victory of mine in that I managed to walk to London Bridge from my hotel (over a mile) without getting lost!! Now this might not seem like a massive deal to you, but I have got NO sense of direction and was just THRILLED to make it there and back without too much bother!

I have to say though, it’s not exactly relaxing walking through central London as the sheer amount of people walking at you in all directions is an assault on the senses. The route I took walked past many cafes, restaurants and pubs and I had to weave in and out of crowds of smokers blocking pavements, all the while trying not to breathe in the smoke. Yuk.

I have been thinking that I might try to find a pub to walk round, but as the clocks go back this weekend, the evenings will get dark very quickly and I am not sure a park at night is ideal. Someone I am working with suggested that I go to something called SkyGarden, apparently it’s free and gives a panoramic view of London. So come back next week to see if I manage to go.

Also this week, my evenings where pretty low-key as everyone kind of did their own thing, with most people feeling tired and just wanting to chill out in the evening. I did have fun one night when my youngest niece face timed me as it was her birthday 🙂 Let me tell you though, having a video call with an 8-year-old is hilarious as she whizzed the phone left and right, I almost got motion sickness! She was just too giddy to show me everything she had got for her birthday, it was very cute.

It is also very funny how quickly I have settled into a routine, getting up for breakfast at around 7:20am and being back in my room for 8:00am. Putting my stuff in more or less the same place in the room. All these things make me feel a little more grounded and “at home”. I’ve got 2 more weeks in London and then we start showing PT staff how to use the new system. It’s a huge task, which is quite pressurised, but it will be worth it in the end.

Bring on Week 3 I say!

G x

<< See Week 1

>>See Week 3

Staying in London | London | Week 1

Before I start, let’s catch you up.

  1. I work for The Prince’s Trust
  2. Until last week, I worked on the Team Programme in the North West of England.
  3. Last week I started a 4 month secondment working as a Training Manager (still at PT).

Got it? then I will continue.

My new role involves being part of a small specialist team that is going to train 900 staff on a brand new multi-million pound system that is going to change the way we work. NO pressure at all then.

My week started last Monday (16th) when I caught the Virgin Pendolino from Warrington Bank Quay Station down to London Euston. I am quite lucky as even though this journey is approximately 260km as the crow flies, it only takes 2 hours on the superfast train. Result.

A little underground later and before I knew it was arriving at Moorfield Tube Station, a few minutes walk from Prince’s Trust House. Within the Trust this is our head office and is known as PTH – so on we go.

Prince’s Trust House

We spent our first morning, getting to know the new Training Team and actually delivered a 5 minute training session we had all been asking to prepare in advance. Mine was a session on how to create a chart in Excel and I thought it went quite well – Happy days. I did of course make a complete faux pas the minute I arrived, as I lost my security pass within MINUTES and subsequently has to pay a £10 fine. Good start Gill, good start.

Our team is made up of other Prince’s Trust secondees from around the UK, so it was great to meet them and fab to hear Welsh, Northern Irish, Scottish and English voices all in one room. We actually bonded quite quickly and it seems that we are all feeders and each day we were together, someone brought something in to nibble on and my Weight Watchers resolve was tested most days  (although I didn’t cave)

I was booked to stay in a Travelodge which was a short 7 minute walk from PTH and honestly the JOY of being able to walk to work every day was something else. My usual commute to the office is horrific as I live 21 miles away from work, which can take anything from 35 to 90 minutes on a bad day. The Travelodge itself was everything you would expect as a basic hotel but it was clean, my room was a decent size and the staff were friendly and helpful. Not sure what more I could ask for really.

One tip though, if you ever stay in the Travelodge on City Road in London, ask for a room NOT on City Road as they are much quieter! 🙂

As I was working in London Monday to Friday this week, I knew I would have to sort something out for our evening meal every night. Half of us were staying in the Travelodge and the other half of us were staying at  Premier Inn about 15 minutes away. It was funny actually, as I recognised that this whole process is a marathon, not a sprint and so I knew I would have to pace myself. Also most of the other people are much younger than me and so up for much more each night. But as it transpired the following happened:

Monday Night: We all went to Pizza Express
Tuesday Night: I went to the pub with 3 of the other peeps after work whilst most of the others went for a Curry on Brick Lane.
Wednesday Night: I went for a Chinese with 2 of the other peeps. Most people had a chill night.
Thursday: Almost everyone, except me and one other person went to “Ping Pong” social. I got some food from Tesco and had a room picnic!

 

We have got another 3 weeks training the trainer with everyone though, I am sure there will be lots of opportunities to do stuff. I actually was really nervous the night before I left for London but by the time I got there, I was fine.

I have been to London loads of times before, but only for the day or on holiday, I have never stayed for work, so this whole thing is an adventure. In a way, I wish I could film my short commute in a morning to show M just HOW many people I pass. Everyone walks at “Race Pace” in London, yet no-one looks where they are going! Everyone  is on their phone so you hear almost every language possible within every 5 minute walk. It’s a world away from Newton-le-Willows.



My week finished with a mad dash across London as Moorfield Tube Station was closed and I had to literally run with a colleague to Liverpool Street in order to find another way back to Euston. We did make it on time thankfully and I have never been more pleased that I got a sneaky 1st class ticket. And relaxxx.

Week 1 done and another 3 to go. Can’t wait.

G x

>>See Week 2