Released On 13th May 2021
Dolly's blog: London baby
And it goes a little something like this…
After 15 months marooned in a scenic but achingly dull corner of rural Wiltshire (devoid of non-supermarket retail, decent coffee and anything that could sensibly be described as a restaurant) I am back! LONDON BABY!
Utterly over-dressed, I leap off the train onto the platform at Waterloo, smiling at everyone and warmly greeting the barrier attendant. I care not that my train is delayed. I gaze lovingly at Oliver Bonas. Benugo! Hello old friends.
I sashay across Waterloo bridge, cast a jaunty sideways glance at Big Ben, then lose myself in memories of late nights on the South Bank.
Arriving at work, I spend twenty minutes chatting to the receptionist and spot scores of colleagues I’d forgotten existed but am now delighted to see. I sit at my desk, drinking a coffee I didn’t make myself and that doesn’t require interaction with a dishwasher.
I don’t do much work.
Absolutely no home schooling is undertaken [shudders at the thought] and no family member “borrows” my charger then denies all knowledge. I am reunited with my office shoe collection.
Then it’s lunch! And in homage to The Olden Days I have a chicken and avocado sandwich from Pret-a-Manger (Pret!) and kombucha from Itsu (Itsu!). Because I can.
A lengthy and highly successful retail detour to Covent Garden follows, eventually returning to the office draped in high end shopping bags like an aged-but-still-got-it Cher from Clueless, minus the miniskirt and over-knee socks.
What’s left of the afternoon passes in water cooler small-talk with colleagues I’ve randomly bumped into and then (goodness is that the time already?) it’s drinks o’clock! I skip down the steps of the office with the enthusiasm of a labradoodle in pursuit of a squirrel and meet friends in a still cool but not too cool haunt from our pre-kids days. No one is on a screen. No one is on mute. We’re wearing sunglasses, slurping rose, and laughing so much it hurts.
So it would be rude not to go dancing. That place with the light up dance floor, for old times’s sake, hands in the air, lost in the moment and the sheer joy of being alive. Really alive.
None of this has actually happened yet. But it will. Soon. All of it. Because I’ve had “a good lockdown” so they say, but nothing tastes sweeter than freedom.
And as my Peloton instructor has reminded me throughout lockdown, “Honey, they can knock you down but they’ll never knock you out”.
So bring on the Roaring Twenties.
After 19 years of fee earning, Dolly now works in a management role in a London law firm. Working four days a week she is supported by a wonderful (though often absent) husband as they attempt to bring up three children aged 14, 13 and 10. She’s still mourning the charismatic dog who kept her sane and still can’t talk about that – but the lockdown puppy is helping.