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Bon Journal

All in a day's work

After working round-the-clock and over the past weekend, I finally met my deadline. In anticipation of a warm, rainless day as forecasted by the BBC web site, I planned to spend the entire day outdoors.

First I cycled to the local bike shop to get my back wheel serviced. Then I went to London Business School for a swim. It was the best thing since sliced bread. The attendant was nice enough to lend me new goggles. I dived into the clean pool like it was the first time.

Two hours of swimming, sitting in the steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi gave me the mental and physical relaxation I badly needed. This left plenty of time to meet my lunch appointment at 1 pm. We sat outside and talked about the impact of the recession on employment.

Since I had arranged a 3 pm conference call, I then spent thirty minutes preparing for it - on the Internet. It was too great a day to sit inside. Thanks to my mobile phone, I was able to sit on a bench in Regent's Park and still hear California distinctly from my earpiece.

With half-an-hour to spare, I walked to my favourite secondhand bookshop to browse their basement full of music scores. It is a treat I award myself after hard work and a temptation I normally find hard to resist. There in the dusty basement with the persistent humming of flourescent light, I found flute, guitar, and piano music.

It was hard to tear myself away from rummaging for more music once I got into it. But it was getting late and I didn't want to get back to the bike shop after it closed. So I ran to the station and then to the shop. The guy charged me a whopping £53 for a new wheel, new saddle bar, labour, and grease agent.

Home at last - there was still enough time to check my e-mail and call my colleagues and contacts in the States. Working like this, I could be anywhere in the world. As long as I meet my deadlines, I'm safe.

24 August 2001