Troy works in “The City,” a part of town where high-rises are stacked on top of other high-rises which are stacked on top of other high-rises and oh, the ancient London Wall. Banks. Investment Funds. Real Estate. Dark Suits. Pretty People. Lots and lots of smart brains. It’s intimidating.
I have only visited The City once since moving to London, but over E’s spring break, she and I put on our big girl pants and ventured out of our comfort zone to join Troy for a mid-week work lunch.
Standing in a bright blue dress and leggings with a baby strapped to my front, I stood out like something fierce amidst the sea of sophisticated office people sipping their champagne at the plaza’s pop-up bar and pacing circles around me as they took their calls outside.
E and I were out of place and grateful that Troy soon showed up to sweep us off through a maze of streets and alleyways to escape that high-intensity atmosphere and slide in to the neighborhood surrounding it.
We were being drawn out of the shadows of those tall buildings and toward an environment that seemed more forgiving, relaxed and fascinating. We’d reached the Whitecross Food Market – a street market with vendors selling everything from German sausages to Indian Tikka Masala and simple salads. And yet every direction I looked, I still saw suits.
But this time was surprisingly different from the aura surrounding them back at the Plaza. They were smiling. They were sweating. They were real.
And then it got better.
After collecting our Chorizo sandwiches and green juice from some of Troy’s favorite vendors, we walked around the corner to Fortune Street Park, a small city park. It’s 90% playground 10% coffee stall seating, and yet you wouldn’t believe the sight! There were suits EVERYWHERE! On the benches, eating in groups under the shade of the big tree on the playground…and even stealing a quick second on the swings before heading back inside! It was polar opposites. It was completely unexpected. It was fun.
Which of us doesn’t turn in to a child when we hit the playground?! Eager to test out the limits of the swing or the suspension in that wobbling motorcycle? Well, I thought it was just me – that SAHM who spends too much time in the sandbox, no longer in the adult world with grown up expectations (aside from nurturing my child to become one of these people, of course) and annual reviews – but low and behold, I am much comforted to find out it’s not true. It’s all of us. And it’s great, if you ask me. We all need a little fun to break up our days!
Let’s just hope they didn’t return to their desks as worn out from all that play as Ella did…