Emma moved to London a week and a half ago, but has two weeks there before starting work next week. Linda went to see her last week (for a mother-daughter shopping trip), while I have gone to see her this week, mainly, it seems, to help her get her bearings a little more. So our plan is to have a long walk round the local area, so Emma knows where everything is.
First stop is Borough Market, less than 10 minutes walk from where Emma is living. She actually does know where this is but is keen to take me there so we can have a good look round on a weekday (when it is less busy). It is like a really big version of the Oxford Covered Market, but without the shoe shop! We treat ourselves to mulled wine, and cakes, while Emma also buys one or two things for the house. Then looping round the back of the market, we go to a Sainsbury's for Emma to pick up more things, then back to the house.
But our main expedition is to Covent Garden, about 25 mins away (and which could provide the route for Emma to get to work if the tubes continue to be on strike occasionally). It is a really nice walk along the south bank from Blackfriars bridge to Waterloo. We mainly talk about the things Emma has managed to sort out while in London. She seems to have taken on most of the admin duties for the house and so has been organising all sorts of things like council tax, internet access, tv, and so on
There is a food market in progress at Covent Garden, but Emma is keen to sit down at one of the cafes, so we can chat. A string quintet is playing classical music outside one cafe and we settle there. Talk moves on to starting work and the few tips I still have to pass on before the big day on Monday.
From Covent Garden, we walk to Leicester Square and Piccadilly, from which point Emma would be able to find her office. She pops into Boots and we print loads of photos off a USB stick so Emma can make up some new photo frames. While there, Jerome rings to say that after yesterday's best trading day ever, today's is the worst so far. Another new research project - is there an equity stop that makes sense?
Next stop, Camisa's Italian deli in Old Compton Street, then Blackwells, where I buy Emma a slightly tongue-in-check book on Management Consultancy. Then we find the Cake shop near the English National Opera, which we went into once last year.
And so it begins to get dark and I leave Emma on the Strand, from where she is confident that she can find her way home. I walk back to Marble Arch to get the coach home. Lots to think about - yet again, a strange feeling of melancholy (and not at all because we have lost 500 pts trading!)