20 March 2007

What a Day! (The Great Bag Hunt, the Dry-run, and the Detour)

This morning I woke up early to go meet Beth and her friend (now my friend, too!) Geo for the Great Bag Hunt. What, you ask, is the Great Bag Hunt? Well, it’s only the “It Bag of the Season,” which went on sale for £5 this morning in select stores! Anya Hindmarch, a famous designer who started her career here in London, paired with We Are What We Do, the global social change society, to create a limited edition canvas bag with the slogan “I’m NOT a plastic bag!” stitched on the front to influence people to make a difference by not using plastic bags when shopping. According to them, every person in the UK uses an average of 167 plastic bags per year—10 billion bags altogether—and each bag takes several years to decay. If that’s how many are used here in the UK, there’s no telling how many are used in the US! Anyway, Beth discovered the bag and the sale and invited all “Us Girls” to join her in waiting in the cold to purchase one this morning. Seeing as how I’ve yet to find a job and have nothing better to do, I went! It was rainy this morning, but luckily it quit, and the sun came out to greet us for our wait. We met at nine and made it to the line, which was already at the corner, sometime around half past. The store wasn’t to open until 10:00, and I honestly thought we were going to freeze right there on the sidewalk.
Was the bag worth it? Probably not, but hanging out with a good friend and meeting a new one was! Plus, on the way home I found a cute toboggan for £1!

Oh! I forgot to mention that while sitting at Starbucks waiting for everyone to arrive, I received a call from one my agents, and we set up an interview with ITVfor tomorrow morning at 9:30. When I arrived back home, another one of my agents called to set up an interview with The Law Society (the British equivalent of the American Bar Association) for tomorrow at 12:30. It’s only about 20 minutes away from the first, so I’ll have no trouble making it to both, even if the first runs long. I always like to do a pre-interview dry run, if I have time, to figure out how long it should take me to get to an interview and so that I’ll know where I’m going and won’t panic the day of the interview. So, I run it through the London Transport Journey Planner, which is supposed to give the quickest routes to where you need to go anywhere in London. I’m so glad I did the dry run, because the stupid Journey Planner was WRONG! It not only had me getting off at the wrong tube stop, but also said the office was right where one would THINK the office would be, according to the street numbers. (One thing that is so annoying about getting around in London is that street numbers don’t run odds on one side and evens on the other; sometimes the numbers don’t even run consecutively!) Following the Journey Planner directions, on one side of the street were numbers 206-1 (odd numbers only, except for 206), and then on the next block was number 199. My Journey Planner map told me the building should be across the street from those buildings. Across the street, however, were 176, a park, a vacant lot, and then 256. I wandered around asking strangers where it was to no avail. Finally I called my agent to make sure I had the address correct and she confirmed it. About 20 minutes later, I finally found the place and discovered that I could have gotten off at a different tube stop, rode a bus for five minutes, and been there! I wandered around for another hour or so, scoping out the location of my second interview and timing how long it would take to get from one to the other and from each to the tube station.

By the time I hopped on the bus to head home, my feet were aching from so much walking in high-heeled boots; my cheeks were sore from the incessant wind, and my fingers and toes were frozen. Suddenly, however, my bus turned off its normal route! I jumped up and ran to the front, insanely thinking I must have somehow gotten on the wrong bus, but no, Chelsea Bridge was blocked off, and the bus driver had to let us off down the street, as he could no longer continue his scheduled route due to the road block. I got off and walked up to the police officer who was blocking the bridge. He informed me that the bridge was closed because the wind was knocking parts of the roof off our apartment complex—AGAIN. For those of you who do not know, last time we had major wind storms here in London, the girls and I ended up stuck in the park. I had gone to take them out, not realizing that the main gates were closed (we have a private entrance to the park from our complex). That time, they told me I had to walk to Albert Bridge and come back over Chelsea Bridge from the opposite side (the side from which I was coming today). This time, they were telling us (several people had gathered by now) that we couldn’t cross Chelsea Bridge from this direction; we would have to walk over to and cross Albert Bridge to continue to our complex through the park, which made no sense whatsoever because the park was of course closed again! My poor little feet just couldn’t handle that walk. If I’d had on flats; I’d have been fine, but (ouch!) those heels were killing me! So I sat down on a bench at the intersection and decided to wait it out until they would let me cross. Bad idea. After half an hour, the sky began to drop a combination of drizzle, snow, and hail, and it was dropping it hard. At that point, I jumped up and began the nearly two-mile trek over to the other bridge, across, and home through the park, which, luckily, was open when I made there. By the time I arrived home, my pants were soaked up to the knee and my shoes, socks, and tights were soaked through both entire feet. Beth and Geo: if we hadn’t stopped in that little boutique for me to buy that toboggan, I think my ears would have fallen off before I made it home! I did get some nice pictures on the trek, though, which I will share now…


geo said...

I'm glad to have visited your space through Beth and Rino's blog. Wow! what a lovely description of our little bag hunting adventure. I could just 'copy and paste' it to my blog. hehe...

Sorry to hear about the mishaps that followed. I think we should all carry ballerina shoes in our enviromental bags :)


Lauren said...

the first part of the day sounds great, but the second part sounds awful. i hope you got some rest after that and the interviews go well! keep me posted.