Things I Love About My New Job

1. The pub has been a part of Clapham Common since at least 1665.

2. Its named after an actual windmill. Not a fake one.

3. There are lots of lovely people working there, all from various parts of the world, including Spain, Poland, Malta, France, the Caribbean, Scotland, England, South Africa, and, of course, Australia. They make amusing jokes about me perhaps having especial trouble walking because I’m now in the Northern Hemisphere, and that must be confusing to me. Much more original than your standard, ‘Hide your purses!’ convict-Australian jokes.

4. One of my colleagues thought I was Irish. And also younger than herself (she’s 23).

5. I got to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and bring chocolate cake with a candle in it to a man in the pub.

6. The pub allows kids up until 8pm, so every so often you’ll be going about your chores and you’ll look up and see a pair of saucer-shaped blue eyes staring at you in amazement. You never knew sweeping and collecting glasses could be so interesting.

7. The pub allows dogs on leads in the outside areas, so sometimes when you’re cleaning up, you’ll suddenly find a pair of soft, brown eyes staring up at you, begging to be patted, played with, or at the very least given a smidgen of the delicious smelling food that you are carrying oh-so-far out of reach.

8. There are many Australians around, both on the waitstaff and in the pub. And, contrary to how I generally react when I meet my fellow countrymen overseas, every time I heard that nasal drawl cutting through the general pub clatter, talking about ‘Adelaide’ and ‘Enmore Road’, my heart softened and resisting the urge to draw up a chair and ask them where they were from and what they were doing in London, I gave a rueful smile and headed back to the kitchen feeling a little bit more at home.

9. I get great pub meals for a ridiculously low price.

10. I’m getting paid.

11. After one 10 hour shift, my whole body aches. Every last bit of it. My toes ache. My toenails. The tips of my hair ache. But this is an amazing thing. It feels so good to come home from a seriously exhausting day’s work with your eyes slightly blurry from how exhausted you are. I’m reminded of Irina’s speech on work in Act One of ‘The Three Sisters’, and though we all know how that turned out (go read the Spark Notes if you don’t), I think she was actually on to something. Sure, after a few months of this I might be sick of coming home and feeling like I won’t be able to move for a week, but right now I am loving feeling like I have completely wrecked myself from actually using my body in the way that it was meant to be used (in that, it was active. I don’t imagine my prehistoric ancestors were running giant mammoth rib plates around cave restaurants. Except in ‘The Flinstones’, of course).

12. Everyone at the job seems to be really young and funky and fun. And even if my back feels like an old lady’s right now (currently being soothed by a hot water bottle as well….), I do somehow feel younger and cooler just because I have been deemed eligible to work at the same place as them.

That’s all I can think of right now. There was probably more that I thought of as I was doing endless rounds of the pub picking up glasses, but I can’t remember them anymore. Suffice it to say that I love the new job and I think I’m doing a reasonable ok job of it. They seem pretty happy – I had a ten hour shift today and am doing another ten hour shift tomorrow. Wheeeee!

Actual Windmill. Not actual pub.

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