At the end of last week, I flew off to London for a couple of days to spend the Friday playing Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki’s game Cashflow 101 with Judith Morgan, and a few of the fabulous women in Club 100.
It seemed a rather decadent thing to flit over to London just to play a game, but it also sounded like fun and adventure, so of course I just had to do it.
It was a great opportunity to just say fuck it, have some laughs, learn a thing or two, test my mindset and body (first travel since knee injury last October), and meet and hang out with some of the fab chickies I spend a lot of time with online. Why deprive myself of all that??
So I booked the trip in total faith that everything would work out just fine… and it did.
I lived in London for about a year in 1998-1999 and it’s a place I love returning to. Each time almost feels like the first, as I tend to stay in different parts and discover new places, faces and ways of being in that great city. This time I stayed in Brixton, where I’d found a lovely room with private bathroom on Airbnb.
Brixton is really unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The best way I can think to describe it is a bustling hotchpotch; a mess of noise and activity mingled with the ever-present smell of dope. Reggae/rap/ragamuffin and combinations of all three blare out of car windows. Men and women stand on footpaths and street corners preaching the word of God; groups of people huddle together talking loudly and animatedly – no, they’re not arguing, they’re just talking.
Brixton Village offers an eclectic mix of delicious food options, and I had the absolute pleasure of sampling a couple of them: a Jamaican place called Fish, Wings and Tings, where my friend Sally and I tucked into a delicious (but spicy… but delicious) roti, and a great little Italian tapas place called Casa Sibilla, where four of us lost track of time on the Friday night as we ate, laughed and talked about life, entrepreneurship, dreams, the universe and everything.
So now that I’m back in Toulouse, I’m happy to report that the transition back to French suburban quiet after my little adventure was rather pleasant, but as I take stock of those 48 hours spent across the pond, I want to say Thank you, London.
First of all, thank you to Easyjet for not cancelling my flight and to the French air traffic controllers for not going on strike (a regular occurrence, especially in summer). Thank you to the Big U for having my back at the airport: prior to leaving I’d been obsessively worrying about how I was going to manage to get my bag up in the overhead lockers (crappy hands and wrists from years of lupus- and sarcoidosis-induced arthritis and inflammation), but plane delays meant they needed people to volunteer to put their luggage in the hold to speed up boarding. Yeah!
Thank you to the man at the Gatwick Airport train station ticket booth for reminding me that bad, grumpy service is not just a French thing, and for selling me the wrong train ticket, which would lead to my next lot of thank yous…
Thank you to the Gatwick Express train inspector for not fining me when he discovered that unbeknownst to me I had purchased the wrong ticket, and for the short, comical interlude when he exclaimed “Oh no!” then paused for dramatic effect before saying “You’re on the wrong train!”, leading the passengers around me to panic thinking they weren’t headed to Victoria Station after all.
Thanks to him for telling me instead that I would probably get stopped on arrival at my destination to pay the price difference.
Thank you to the woman sitting next to me for telling me that there probably wouldn’t be anyone on the gates at our destination and not to go looking for someone to pay, but instead to just walk right through the gates.
Thank you to the old man who had secretly been following the debacle and who followed me through the gates, happily cheering when I made it through without having to pay extra: “Yay! You made it through!” he shouted, raising a victorious fist in the air as he walked by me with a huge grin on his face and a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Thank you to the crazy, stressed out commuters at Victoria Station for reminding me of why it’s such a blessing to live in a smaller city, work from home and not have to commute.
Thank you to the lovely young man at Brixton Tube Station (yes, I did just say “young man”. Yikes!), who approached me with a big, kind smile and said “Can I help you up the stairs with your bag?”, and once up the top stopped to make sure I knew exactly where I was going to get my bus and wished me a lovely evening and a pleasant stay.
Thank you to Sally of Well Spent Days for so patiently waiting for me, hanging out with me, being open to trying new foods and new places; for her wonderful, calming company and for carrying my bag down four flights of stairs for me on my day of departure!
Thank you to all the Cashflow 101 attendees for good learning, great laughs and insights, and to Judith for treating us to delicious lattes and cappuccinos in glass Bodum cups (yes, I really liked those).
Thank you to the girls for circles driven around Streatham Hill and Brixton, lost in a zippy little Clio, and for great food, conversation and bonding. Mildred, you were really rockin’ those jewels!
Thank you to Kaff Bar for delicious breakfast waffles and a great atmosphere, and to Sally, again, for sharing that moment with me on our last day there.
Thank you to the dozens of naked people on bikes for a good chuckle as my train pulled out of Victoria.
Thank you to the lovely guy at the Estee Lauder counter at Gatwick Airport for spending so much time putting creams and makeup on my face even though he didn’t have the product in stock that I wanted to buy; for sharing good conversation and a great laugh, and for signing off with a “Next time you’re around with a bit of time to spare, come back for another play!”
And most of all, thank you to my body for being strong throughout (the gym is paying off!!) and to the lupus for playing nice and letting me enjoy the moment.
I’ll be back!
P.S: Thanks to Sally for the lovely picture of the tea cup and saucer set I bought at Brixton Village and promptly broke, leaving Sally to glue the pieces back together!