I’ve been with Pembroke and Rye for almost exactly a year. Yet, I’ve never stepped foot in our new office.
I’ve heard countless chatter on Teams – but never actually met my colleagues.
As football flags are lowered and hoots dampen here in Fulham, I’m now getting ready for ‘Freedom Day’.
From Monday, I’ll be able to go into work. Not every day, as my team works flexibly. But I’ll no longer be tethered to West London living.
Someone may need to lead the way to Eccleston Square.
I’ve already been to the hairdresser, though I think she got a little carried away. I liked my curls.
My next jab is booked for August. Yes – I am one of the younger ones.
I’ve started collecting my belongings for the first day back.
My housemate slipped in a few treats – and a reminder about office manners.
Thankfully, I’m exempt from wearing a mask. No fogged glasses for me.
I’ve been mentally rehearsing the route to SW1. Starting with the bus, then trotting by the river.
I imagine getting a seat on the top deck, although I will have to scramble up quickly before the driver lurches off. I hear my mum’s voice – and keep my feet off the seat.
On the top deck the windows will be wide open. The smells of Kensington so different to Fulham. There is less litter on the pavements – less exciting for some.
With Victoria alongside me, the streets feel busier. In my dream everyone seems in a great hurry.
I’ll bound up the steps of the office, dodging the marble pillars and chasing the ping of the lift. Freedom beckons.
But, I’m nervous too. Will the touch of colleagues be safe? Will they find time to guide me to the roof terrace? Will I have my own space?
I guess the quiet afternoon snoozes will come to an end - and I may need a change of apparel for those client meetings.
But, if you have a chance to come and visit me, and the team, in Thomas House in the coming weeks – you may find me a little smaller than you imagined.
I’ll give you a warm welcome, rather nearer your ankles than the handshakes with my colleagues.
But remember, Feisty might occasionally bark, but she never bites.