I got up very early and put my hair back in a plait again, but it was already falling out by the time I arrived at the train station, so I took it out and finger combed my hair. Might as well have it loose and nice than tied back and messy. I smeared on concealer (whenever I threaten to get a course of antibiotics, my skin starts behaving) and put some mascara around my eyes. What I really need is some kohl. I have liquid eyeliner, but I'm not steady enough with it yet to trust myself in a rush. I bought some food from the station café this time, having learned my lesson with buying food on the train. I settled down to read the last few chapters of Waterlog by Roger Deakin. My parents bought this for my birthday back in September and I've been savouring it for months now, I love the writing so much. I recommend it to anyone who likes swimming, exploring, the environment and British history.
Unfortunately, there was a pack of teenage girls behind me who were giggling like hyenas. It was far too early in the morning for that kind of silliness. I was distracted near the end of the journey by a certain man wandering up the aisle. It was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Now, this will mean nothing to most of you, but imagine a semi-famous chef of your particular country, one who is worshipped by your mum. That is HFW. I stared at him walking past, not quite able to believe my eyes. Then I started grinning out of the window in sheer disbelief. Of course, the hyenas spoilt it by cooing about him to each other. I wanted to smack them over the head so they'd shut up. He went past one more time, so I couldn't be mistaken, it was him. I should have known from seeing him that the day was going to be a good one.
When I reached the Islington Business Design Centre, there was already a queue of course, but it was so much more organised than the previous one. Once eleven o'clock struck, we were let in quickly, simply giving our e-mails to people at the reception and moving forward. No silly freebies. The building is beautiful, well-lit and airy (the frame's Victorian, so of course it's lovely), like a shopping arcade for businesses. I could have just wandered around looking at things, but I thought I'd check out my stalls first, since you get a whole hour before public entry if you're Fast Track. I went to Angela Mortimer, found out about the International branch and then headed to the Civil Service stall; I also picked up a leaflet about interpreting. They want French and Spanish speakers in Berkshire and Middlesex. Very strange. Apparently, the Diplomacy stream is very competitive, so I need to be prepared for that.
Then I went to another interview seminar, which was quite informative, bought some roast vegetable soup for £2.60 (not bad for London) and took it outside to eat, since I was fed up of sitting and listening to people talk about what I should do with my career. After that, I wandered down to King's Cross St Pancras, stopping off in a Body Shop branch on the way, because there was a 50% sale on. I found a wonderful turquoise beach bag for £5 (MORE than 50% off that!) and bought it on my card, then used it to store what had been in my old bag, plus the old bag itself. I went to Great Malborough Street, found Grant & Cutler (which is the best foreign languages bookshop in London) and bought a French book I studied in my final year for my undergraduate degree and liked so much. La vie devant soi by Romain Gary, if you're interested, and what's sad is that it was £4.90, cheaper than a children's paperback in English, let alone an adult one! After that, I wandered down Charing Cross Road, browsing bookshops at my leisure, which was wonderful. There were so many books I wanted to buy (Borders presented me with the choice of yet another wonderful Madeleine L'Engle book) that I didn't buy any of them in the end.
After that, I went to Leicester Square, where all the film premiers happen. There was one happening that evening, actually, for Over the Hedge. I was more interested in the Ben & Jerry ice cream store. There's nothing better than sitting in Leicester Square, eating ice cream at your leisure. Paddington was my next destination, to meet godricgal. We went to a wonderful café (a proper one, not the ridiculous British version that shuts at six), ate a little something and talked a lot. Then she went back to work (poor gel) and I went back to Waterloo (the long way round, I should have just stuck with the Bakerloo line until I got to Baker Street, then switched to the Jubilee line, never mind). I was just in time to catch the 20.20 train to Salisbury, and thus ended my long but enjoyable day in London. I only wish all my trips were like that.
And I have an announcement to make: today, I got my exam results. Not only did I pass, I got a Merit. :D This has made my day.