Thursday, September 8, 2011


Earlier this week I was on a secret mission at an undisclosed location (okay, who am I kidding, the knowledgable reader will quickly decipher that this, as any secret mission in the world of research, was a job interview). It was a single day trip, by my own request, since I am still not comfortable leaving Zoe at night if not necessary. It was a very strange experience to simply get into a black mercedes at 5.15am, doze off before reaching the airport, stroll through security (because all I had was a laptop and a book) and walk directly onto a plane taking me off to another city, in fact another country, where I then spent a good 6 hours before reversing the trajectory and ending up in the grotty London Underground at 10pm on a train that was stuck for 10 minutes in the tunnel. This was the only hiccup of my travels. As I stepped back into our little 19th century apartment on 2nd floor, the only evidence that I had spent the day in another country was my Ramlösa water bottle, which I had refilled with English tap water upon landing in Heathrow.

The most surprising part of the trip to me was how little I missed Zoe. Or how little I worried about her. The 'mission' had been planned only two weeks previously and the day, which they give you and which you cannot change, was less than ideal: it was Mark's second day at his new job, only one week into our stay in London so the childcare I had arranged was not somewhere I felt comfortable leaving Zoe at for 12 hours, even if the nice childminder (as they are called over here) had offered. Instead Mark brought Zoe with him the 1 hour commute to work and dropped her off at his boss' house where a nanny was taking care of her little one. He apparently went back for lunch and then picked her up again late afternoon. I was blissfully unaware of all of this, since Mark had been the responsible husband and said, after a brief discussion of what I was to do, "Don't worry a thing, you go to your meeting, I'll figure out what to do about Zoe". And with that I had turned my focus to preparation of the meeting. When it came to the actual day, I enjoyed baby-free travel, particularly the 2 hour flight from 7-9am that provided me with time for a dearly needed nap, since Zoe had woken up at 2am and stayed awake until 3am, leaving me to twist and turn until 4am where I had had to get up. She clearly knew something was up.

As for the outcome of my little mission I have to wait a couple of weeks. But if all goes well, this will be my way of getting into the next step of my professional life. Or that is, start getting paid again for all the work that I do.

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