Date: 2 November.
Location: Breakfast Thieves, waiting for Lovelylocks, wanting to order everything in the menu, including the one with the brussel sprouts.
They say that whenever God/Vishnu/the tooth fairy/[insert higher power if your choice] closes one door he opens another. It's harder when he opens one before he closes the other. Add in an open window and matters quickly get very confusing indeed.
For a few weeks now I'm been contract-lawyering (such a hussy) for a health insurance/aged care/medical services/corporate wellness company. This week they offered me a wonderful job. It's everything I'd been looking for: a juicy M&A role but with mostly decent hours, working with a bright, fun team of lawyers, decent pay. Great health insurance. And all this with a strong female General Counsel as a mentor.
And then there's the fact that it's a company that truly embraces health and wellness, something that really resonates with me. They practise what they preach. Signs encourage you to take the stairs and stand up in meetings. Fruit arrives daily. The screens in the lift extoll the benefits of yoga and play. Catering options for meetings are strictly healthy: smoothies, salads, fruit, yogurt. (Awesome in theory, but I'm grateful to the resourceful secretary who snuck caramel slices into last week's 3-hour team meeting. Apparently she had to source them from a block away as all the cafés in the area have been warned off supplying traffickable quantities of contraband sweets to known employees. It's hilarious.) Unfortunately, the unaffiliated ground floor cafe makes these amazing breakfast sandwiches and, around 9am, the whole liftwell smells like bacon so I suspect the company's best efforts are being sabotaged.
But I've said no to the job because of the package that landed with a thick thud on my kitchen bench last week. Inside was my London employment contract, wrapped carefully in a luxe blue, branded compendium. Also inside were a congratulatory card, visa forms, health insurance forms, a pension plan, corporate policies and a form asking me to choose my preferred brand of Blackberry (or, as I fondly think of it, my 'electronic leash'). I picked up the heavy, branded pen — included in this showbag — and started initialling.
Now, the contract is signed and, more importantly, I've decided in my heart to go.
It's a hard decision when, really, I'm very happy in Melbourne. Summer is slinking in, it's spring racing season so we're all mani-pedicured up and wearing pastels and peep-toes, everyone seems to be planning a barbecue, work is striking that inspiring balance between too easy and too hard, my house feels like my home.
On the other hand, things are changing here too. Bunky is determined to move to Sydney with her newish beau, the other couples seem to be getting couplier and I find myself not so much excluded but just unfit for the sort of wholesome coupley activities they seem to enjoy, The Planeteer has her PhD and nature-based adventures to drive her, my sister is about to move to Brisbane for her incredible sciencey job, my dad is set to move house with his partner and his focus is definitely in that direction and, when I get together with high school friends, it's all, like, 'when do you think he's going to propose' and 'i think I want a beach wedding' and 'I really like the name Kyla for a girl'. And I'm like, 'pass the wine'. (And, sidebar, Kyla? WTF. No.)
I love them all. But sometimes you feel everyone is coming together. Right now, I feel everyone is drifting apart. Except, of course, my brother who continues to just drift merrily along like a blessed smurf.
So, soon, I'm going to have to introduce you to a whole new cast of London-based characters: some old friends and some new ones (well, God, I hope there'll be some new friends — please like me London).