24 May, 2012
So yesterday, Leicester Square 'opened'...everyone rushed to enjoy sitting around it's perimeter, and after working hours (I guess) a few people got to go inside and enjoy it's charms...this morning, the point of those *huge* gates has become apparent...because it's closed again...
Now, I'm not sure this is going to be a permanent arrangement (although it's hard to see why they would need the gates otherwise), it's very probable that they are just there in order to protect all the stages and things they have put up for the opening celebrations, but after being closed for something like seventeen months, I was sort of looking forward to having a little walk around! Fingers crossed, once the great big stage is taken down and it's just 'a park in a square' again it really will be 'open' to the public...
23 May, 2012
22 May, 2012
So got got London Bridge yesterday on the way home, and my new 'normal' train -the 1759- wasn't on the board -bit odd- not delayed, not cancelled, just not there at all...! So I checked out the nice big 'Fastest train to destination' board above platform 6 and lo and behold, with the new summer timetable, the 1759 has been transformed into the 1757 (no skin off my nose, I'm normally sat on it for a few minutes waiting for it to leave anyway)...so I settled down into my seat and watched the world go by, noting that the only significant change to the journey, other than leaving 2 minutes early, is that we sat and waited for 2 minutes outside East Croydon instead of pulling straight in...leaving me wondering quite what the point of the change was...
21 May, 2012
Well, even though I had to sneak this shot through a small gap in the perimeter fence, frankly I think you will agree with me when I say that any further attempts at delay by the contractors could be reasonably met with Paddington Bear-like hard stares by the local council...
It *looks* totally finished on the surface, a quick sweep round with a stiff brush and perhaps we can all go out and eat our lunch there...? ;)
Update (lunchtime) - Yep, so one guy with a pressure washer, twenty guys just standing around watching him = basically, the job is done...mentioned it to the guy in reception and he said "Yep, all done now, give 'em three months and they'll have the barriers down"... ;)
18 May, 2012
Wow, not sure what it is about this menu...the extremely reasonable prices maybe? The lure of the promise of carefully balanced spices? Perhaps the mouth watering ingredients they have laid out for your delectation...
...a real surprise there isn't a queue around the corner for a table... ;)
17 May, 2012
16 May, 2012
15 May, 2012
Ah...here we go - TFL's brilliant plan for transport during the Olympics - get all the regular London commuters to stop using public transport for the duration! To help promote this they are handing out great big fold-up maps of London clearly marked with walking times to various tube stops to all and sundry...the danger present in doing this, of course, is that suddenly everyone realises that most of central London is pretty compact and they probably should have been saving their tube fares all along... ;) Not that I mind, I don't have to get on the tube (for work) any more anyway...hehe... ;)
Oh and I got my second freebie today (on the left there), a couple of sachets of specialist extreme-sports underwear detergent (naturally!)...We'll see how well it works on my extreme commuter pants and socks... ;)
14 May, 2012
Wow, absolute chaos outside the office at lunchtime, metal barriers gone up everywhere, hundreds of guys installing forests of fake trees (with fake crows)-
-massive outdoor screens looping the movie trailer-
-hundreds of square feet of medium-price astro turf-
-loads of TV crews-
-and *lots* of security guards, who, apart from (clearly) moving on all the dedicated fans who had been waiting since early morning (perhaps even yesterday), also wouldn't let me back into the office via Leicester Square, I had to walk all the way around the outside-
...today, being politely shared between the Empire and the Odeon - which is nice, I always assumed they fought tooth and nail for the right to host each one...
It looks like the (hardcore) fans have been camping out overnight (pic above taken from office reception window) - a quick bit of searching revealed that the movie is "Snow White and the Huntsman" and the stars wandering around outside my office at about 1730hrs (which mean's I'll be walking out directly into all the fun - no pictures please! ;) include Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth...Oh and apparently I walked right past Will.I.am in reception this morning too... ;)
What a star studded day! ;)
11 May, 2012
Oh my goodness, just found out that 10,000 people are going to be commuting into Trafalgar Square every day to watch the Olympics on giant screens, not to mention all the days when Horse Guards Parade is going to be turned over to the beach volleyball competition...there is some discussion in the office about changing standard working hours for the duration of the games...
In the meantime, this TFL website has got some tricks, tips and details...
10 May, 2012
Still getting used to how things are going to work around here, obviously it's totally tourist central, so simple things like grabbing a McDonalds for lunch is prohibitively expensive compared to home (wasn't quite prepared for £6 for a Big Mac meal, but there you go), one other surprise is that *no-one* I have spoken to is prepared to go to any of the cinemas around here, apparently the ticket prices for new movies are between £16-19 if you want to watch them in Leicester Square(!) and thats before Nachos, popcorn and drink, so it looks like it's still going to be heading to Crawley if I want to watch a film (oh well) despite the obvious convenience of being able to just pop next door to the Odeon (I can see the roof out of the window by the lift behind my desk)-
The other slightly strange thing I have noticed (over the last couple of days) is that a lot of restaurants seem to have outdoor 'greeters' (like you get on the Canary Islands) who run over clutching menus to try and steer you into their establishment, intertestingly they all seem to avoid me (meaning I obviously don't look like a wealthy, hungry, slightly gullible, tourist)…however, in the space of ten minutes walking around in Chinatown *three* people (including one person who came rushing out of a Chinese medicine store upon seeing me) asked me "You wan Chinee massage?" - to which I politely issued a slightly bemused negative response…surely I can't *already* be putting across a 'stressed executive' vibe? Can I? ;)
09 May, 2012
Wow, managed to get a seat on the Charing Cross train this morning, *never* thought that would happen (although yesterday I did have to stand all the way home, well, until Merstham anyway)...
Took my MacBook Pro home last night, hooked it up to my Wifi and (again Wow) once connected to the VPN it was *exactly* like being sat in the office, all network drives etc. intact, put evernote on my Android 'phone and it synched up right away...I have to say, first impressions of being in a completely Mac office is 100% impressed...
If it weren't so stinky and rainy I'd be out and about taking some pictures of the area, but it doesn't look like it's going to be anything like good weather until the weekend, so maybe next week... ;)
08 May, 2012
So, first day at the new job today! Commute is *amazingly* easy in comparison, one quick change (still overground) at London Bridge to Charing Cross then a two minute walk (through Trafalgar Square)-
- into Leicester Square (which was supposed to be all refurbished by now but still looks like a building site in actuality)-
- I've had a little tour of the building -
- lots of radio studios, chill out zones, photo posing stations (etc.) and an extremely nice terrace balcony looking out over the London sky line on the floor above my new desk (I'm on the fifth floor, so no more daily ear popping lift rides for me!)-
-and have my "Apple Mac 101" training session after lunch (yep, no PCs in this office, I'm sat typing this on my brand new MacBook Pro laptop as a familiarisation exercise)...
We're going to get into the meat and potato of the new role tomorrow (once all the HR/security/IT bits are sorted, which will take up most of today, so for now I'm playing with the free wifi, enjoying the free tea and coffee (and free milk - yay!) and wondering who I'm going to bump into in the lifts in the days to come (bloke I am replacing met George Takai one day)! ;)