I keep saying goodbye to people! And usually following it up with “you should come to Chicago” – even to people I’ve just met, which is getting a little weird – which if they actually did so should earn me some brownie points from Illinois’s tourist board. Last weekend, for instance, my very favourite people from Groupon Italy were in town, so we went somewhere in Dalston where trendy people buy cold chips for £452.50.
And with spectacular timing, my cousin Julie was also visiting that weekend, so we also got to meet, chat and pledge transatlantic visits. (If you’re wondering why I’m carrying a John Lewis bag, it’s because buying birthday presents for mothers is difficult without one.)
On Tuesday Caroline and Charles came for drinks around Angel, and reminded me how much I am really, really going to miss the politics+alcohol fuelled evenings our group has been having ever since the first year of uni. Especially when I point out that their revolutionary plan for moving Parliament out of London puts them in complete agreement with a certain Ken Livingstone.
The next day, I took advantage of still being in Europe to visit the Groupon France offices in Paris, and finally meet a bunch of people in person. (And, ur, also walk to the wrong address at first. Good job me.)
(Not done yet, sorry.) Next: Melissa for Friday night drinks, which had the added bonus of allowing me to say goodbye to the Corrib. Quite honestly, the truth about Melissa is that I never get tired of her conversation, and it’s been a privilege to have been able to share it even since I worked on School Wars.
Finally (for now) I popped up to Manchester to see Robert and Tash. Curiously, Robert and I chose to spend a fair chunk of this time watching Spy Kids: All the Time in the World which, as no doubt you will be aware, is the fourth film in the venerable Spy Kids franchise. I haven’t actually seen outings one, two or three, but I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to pick up the plot. Also, the final ten minutes feels a bit like a Republican commercial on ‘family values’: “it’s so IMPORTANT to SPEND TIME with your FAMILY” said all of the characters, many times, semi-threateningly.
But I’m safe, because Tash and I spent the rest of the weekend together eating tasty Indian food on the curry mile, feeding croissant to the ducks in the park (yes yes, probably not something you should do) and getting fed an amazing lunch cooked by Tash’s friend Yasmin. Who also threw in a baked Camembert, and conjured up much joy.
Tomorrow morning I pop down to the US Embassy for the next stage of Visa Quest: The Undiscovered Country. Wish me luck.
Remember the Fridge of Journeys?
In the last days of the flat, it’s time for a final tally. Impressive!
I was looking through my ‘little paper journal‘ from my Boston / California trip back in 2011, and found this scrap on the prospect of living in America. It’s a little reserved: by “I probably could” you should really read “hell, yeah!” – which is good news, because I am indeed moving to Chicago very soon to start a new role within Groupon.
This won’t be news to any of you, because ever since February I’ve been in the process of applying for the job, interviewing for the job, sorting out contracts, preparing to move out of our flat, finding somewhere to live, applying for a visa and organising a farewell party. (In case any Facebook refuseniks are reading this – it’ll be on Sunday, 8th June. Come along!) And although I’ve been holding off blogging about any of it – based on a superstitious fear that the whole enterprise would immediately unravel – I’m going to bite the bullet and say it. Assuming the US government doesn’t hold any great objection to me, I really will be moving to America 😀
And I’m impatient to get going.