A trip down memory lane

Last week, as you know, I took a trip to Westminster. For me, it was a trip filled with memories. My first ever job, when I was 16, was as a football analyst for a statistics company. The job was in St James Park, which sounds glamorous. In reality it was anything but. The offices were in a basement with very little natural light. Certainly, in the room I worked in, there was no natural light, not even one window. It was a difficult job on many levels, not least because I was a bolshy teenager who thought she knew best. However, I digress. The other analysts and the journalists were a fantastic bunch of people (I ended up marrying one of them). It is a place which holds such an important part of my heart. I did a lot of growing up there.

So, when our meeting had finished, I took a walk down Victoria Street, peeking though the gates of the old office and peering through the doors of the pub we so regularly frequented. Before you comment on my age, the bartender knew how old I was and, as such, I was never once served in there. However, I spent many a happy hour drinking pints of water while my colleagues got less and less sober. The pub was frequented by the Chelsea Pensioners and I tended to take my cue to leave when one of them started trying to chat me up! 

From that one job I made a huge amount of what I hope to be lifelong friends. They came to our wedding and have celebrated the births of our children, as we have theirs. We see them less regularly now but when we do meet up it is as if we saw them yesterday. Perhaps it is because it wasn't a good working environment that we all became such close friends. Thrust together in the face of adversity.

As a 16 year old girl, I could have been treated so differently by this large group of men (as I was in  other companies since). They took me in, as one of their own. Treated me like a sister, or daughter and took me under their wings. They looked out for me on nights out. They vetted potential boyfriends and teased me when I said stupid things. Most of all, they were there for me whenever I needed them. It is the only company I have ever worked for where I am still in contact with at least 50% of the employees. They really are a cracking group of people.

The best thing which came out of that job was obviously meeting my husband. Victoria and Westminster hold so many memories, both good and bad of the beginning of our relationship. I was so young when we met and I am so proud to be married to such a wonderful man. We celebrate 13 years of being together this year and 10 years of marriage. I know at least that I definitely made one lifelong friend from my first ever job in a big city!
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