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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Multiple Personalities & a London Street Market

I spent an exciting day at a business workshop in London.

My first shock of the day came when I introduced myself and stretched out my hand to shake one of whom I thought was a facilitator. She said; “no, you don’t need to shake my hand; I’m just here to sort out the video equipment”. My hand’s never been left hanging before. Hmm.

Thankfully I found a friendlier person in Vicky, the facilitator. She spoke slowly, carefully enunciating each word and with a smile. I think I’ll start to speak slower too.

Moving swiftly on I start to guess personalities and life histories of the rest of the delegates as they arrive.

The first to arrive was Sheila. Sheila’s in her mid-50s no doubt, very friendly with a cheery smile. When asked what her business was she proceeded to tell us how the company in which she had worked for 20 years went bust. So she took all her contacts with her and has now stared a business of her own, creating custom business stationery. She said the last two words with a nod. What we didn’t know at that time was she would go on to tell the whole story- nod included, each time she had cause to mention her business name.

Dot.

Dot is a little round with a lovely haircut; she seemed really busy even as she walked to take her place. Everything with her seemed so rushed, like she was only present because she painstakingly edited her plan for the day and managed to squeeze in a few minutes for the workshop. This was further evidenced when she was asked what she hoped to get out of the course. While others listed an average of 5 points, she only had one. What her business was? She had two. The first she’d run for 3 years- a service to transvestites. At that point I crossed out her name from the list of people I’ll be staying in contact with. She went into detail about the fact that she was a naturist turned swinger. I crossed out her name some more. Then she finally told us her second business which was in project management. She talked in detail too about that, I re-wrote her name while trying to see signs of trans-vness in her.

Kevin

Carpet Seller. Bless his heart he came with his daughter as he wasn’t computer savvy so she could help him out. Sweet guy, but had me wondering why he attended the course especially as he kept reiterating he was going to keep doing things the way he always had, even though the course was designed to reduce paperwork and make better use of one’s time.

Ruhul

I don’t think Ruhul knew why he was on the course. Recently arrived from Sri-Lanka, his bosses paid for and sent him on it, without telling him why. Lovely guy.

Lunchtime.

As Vicky wrote out our plan for the day on her flipchart, my eyes lingered on lunch time. You see years ago- in our student days Tinuke and I used to traipse around London, favouring good street markets. One of such markets was Leather Lane. I hadn’t been there in at least 15 years and couldn’t wait to go back. Vicky asked if 45mins was enough for lunch and I resisted the urge to shout NO!!!

Suzy's future bag?

The market has changed so much. Back then we used to buy high-street label clothes and shoes for a fraction of the price tag. There didn’t seem that many exciting clothes  any more. I saw some beautiful leather bags which I priced for Suzy, she needs a tote bag. It was £75 and retailed for £250. He’s usually there on weekdays and Camden market on Saturdays.

Street food.

That's my Daddy Chicken Burrito!!!

I had no idea we had street food in London, besides hot dogs and burgers. The market smelled delicious- Greek, Lebanese, Mexican, Mediterranean you name it all was sold on the street. It was divine. Reminded me of New York.  I went for Mexican and I tell you, it was good. Didn’t quite compare to Willy’s but it was pretty close. Now I had to face the challenge of eating it all up before my time (now 5mins) was up. And I did.

Thanks so much for reading, do come back!

Daddy.

When I grow up I want to be like my daddy. My daddy is the best father in the world. He has always been dependable. I remember as a child one evening while he was going out, I felt the need to say something more than just “Bye dad” so I said; “daddy buy me a book” and he did. I didn’t really want a book, it was a flippant request, more like an afterthought. That book became my favorite book for years. I don’t remember the title but it was a book with two stories, that was my introduction to stories with a twist at the end. I cannot even remember what it was about only that I read it over and over and over without ever getting bored.

Another time daddy had planned a surprise birthday party for mummy. It was at a banquet hall and all day there was a lot of ferrying of food from the house to the hall. On the final trip as daddy as leaving for the party, I hid in the back of the car. I could have made it all the way to the party but I announced my presence just as he pulled out of the gates. Daddy found it hilarious! He said; “if you were dressed properly I would have taken you”. He didn’t yell at me for slowing him down or making him turn around to take me back home. That’s my daddy.

He also has the greatest amount of confidence in me, he is absolutely certain that I can be anything I want to be in life, I believe him.  He allowed me to browse through his gory medical books, while mummy tried to stop me as she felt it was too much for a little girl to see pictures of abscesses and strange diseases. The skin ailments fascinated me the most. To think that a human skin could mutate into a mass of puss-filled rash always left me in wonderment. The stomach ulcers and the tumours on organs didn’t hold my fancy for that long, I guess because I didn’t see the inside of the human body regularly so there was nothing to compare it with, but the skin I did. There was one series of pictures that had the stages of an appendix from initial stage to it being burst. Fascinating!

Sorry, I got carried away there.

Daddy used to tell his friends that his only daughter would win the Miss world contest. He said it so often and with such conviction that I accepted my fate. Mummy on the other hand frowned at such suggestions. She didn’t appreciate the thought of her daughter strolling up and down some stage for men to look at. Lai-lai!

My daddy is very accomplished. He retired in his forties to do his own thing, when asked why, he replied that he had reached the pinnacle of his career and had to move in a different direction in order to keep growing. This is true- see post on alligator here

Can you see why I want to be like my daddy?

Did I mention it’s his birthday today? Please wish him a happy birthday, you should see him. He looks 20 years younger than he actually is. Happy birthday daddy, I love you!

Have a lovely day and thanks for reading 🙂