Saturday, January 21, 2006

From Osama to whales

Well, I was all ready to have a good chat about Osama tonight, but I'm too exhausted so watch this space.

Yesterday I had a bad day. Today was better. I was feeling encouraged by the fact that I haven't had 'the fear' on the tube this week. Having just sat down to write, I've realised that I was off sick on Monday and I went to Manchester today, so I only actually traveled beneath the surface for 3 days. Not such an achievement as I was leading myself to believe. An achievement all the same.

I've spoken about my lack of motivation at work before. It doesn't seem important. I keep oversleeping. I can't concentrate. My short term memory is on a par with the days when my staple diet was marijuana and white wine. I can be a bit of an anal perfectionist these days ('these days' being pre 7th July), I can't abide messing up, especially at work. This has meant that I rarely do. Yesterday I did.

It all started when the client I was going to see today called up and told me she thought our presentation was 'crap'. In the old days I would have defended myself, done my best and if that hadn't worked would have put the phone down thinking it was her problem. I know our presentation was great. They used to call me 'the rottweiler' at work, I didn't take any prisoners. Yesterday I tried to explain my opinion, but she kept the upper hand. I put the phone down and I cried. CRIED! Jesus, it's a job, a client, what is wrong with me?!

As if that wasn't bad enough, the whole scenario upset me so much, I had long conversations with my client's boss, I sent emails, I tried to rescue the situation. By 4.00 I had done all I could, I ate a belated lunch and calmed myself down. I looked at my diary and my heart leapt into my mouth, in fact it leapt out of me completely. 2.30 meeting with new client, huge job we've just won. I FORGOT!

He was charming. I told him I'd got stuck in a meeting and he seemed to completely understand. Then he said 'I was just worried about you, I thought you might have got stuck on the tube or something'. God I nearly cried again, not his fault, but he didn't know quite how close to the bone he was.

So today I went to Manchester for my sins. I schmoozed. I smiled, I flattered, they love me again. Mission accomplished! So I have saved one near disaster, I have a feeling, in my current state of mind, there will be many more.

I arrived at Euston to be confronted by a picture of a whale on the front of the Standard. I had to go against the grain and buy one. The girl in front of me said 'It's not April is it?' 'So have they found the Loch Ness Monster in the Serpentine?!'. A whale in the Thames.

It has always been my dream to see a whale. I have seen dolphins galore and they never cease to bring joy to my heart. On the 7th July I eventually made it to Cornwall. We woke up the following morning to find the bay teeming with basking sharks. It was magical. Today the whale was hanging out in Battersea, where I work, I was in bloody Manchester.

Tomorrow I'm going to get up early, forsake my run for a bike ride. I'm going to cycle along the Thames and look for the little beauty. I hope he will survive his visit to our wonderful city. I hope the shock doesn't kill him. I hope we can heal each others souls and live to see another day.