Green Thumb

Here in London we have a small space for growing plants.  Without a balcony or garden, we are relegated to our living/dining room/kitchen.  I wanted tomatoes, basil and peppers, tastes of summer.  I thought I could manage to grow them here because we get a lot of sun since the windows face south east, which helps and my thought was to grow them from seeds.
Perhaps I started out a bit late in the season, but the beginning of April it still felt cold.  But I plated them in small plastic water cups and old yogurt containers. V can attest to the amount of attention I gave to these small seedlings. To my amazement they all sprouted and turned into large, healthy plants.  Even if they are in pots, not in the ground, and if they produce far less fruit because of that, I still feel a sense of accomplishment in seeing the few tomatoes start to turn red, the two peppers growing long and green as well as enjoying the bite of fresh basil.

It’s a way to see into the future, I thought, and know that when we have space, land, soil, earth near our house we will be able to produce enough for ourselves and neighbors.

Conversations

“We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.”

She is making a very valid, true point. I see this day in and day out here in London with around 85% of people I see on the tube looking down at a screen. Couples in restaurants looking at screens, not each other. People on the street running into you because they look down. I actually value conversation and I find that perhaps this is one thing that is challenging to some people here. Conversations are rare, especially in the city.  So what has happened to the conversation? I’m not for sure.  I think that the surge of technology like she mentions is partly to do with things, but also the fact that most of the conversations we do have tend to be short, and not directly related to who we are as people but more related to what it is that we want, need or ask for i.e. in a cafe or restaurant; at a shop or on the bus.

Here in London I feel that most of the conversations I have had tend to be with foreigners, not British people, but Italians, Spanish, Argentine, Americans, etc.  These people are looking for conversation here it seems, and also I have noticed, many have a lack of smart phones glued to their hands.  That is maybe not directly related, but if your plan is to practice your English, then conversations are a key element of that.  I’ve found many people here telling me that my accent is easy to understand, and that most British accents are not.  Word to that. I feel the same way about American accents now.  As gross as some can be, we can still be understood by most people (perhaps this is given to the wide spread of American t.v.?) and there are indeed many British people whom I can’t seem to understand at all.  One girl in particular at work I constantly ask her to repeat herself.

All in all most people just want to be listened to and feel the response from the person they are talking to that they hear them.  Without any response, verbal or non-verbal, then we feel like our words are meaningless and unnecessary so we resort back to not talking, or texting.  Not that by my writing these words here is it going to change society or the world, but I make a stand for myself.  I want to talk to you and listen.  I don’t want a smart phone.  Any online work, emails, etc can wait until I’m home.  I love being disconnected.  And if you want to walk around with your head down, that is your problem, not mine.  Don’t come complaining to me about people not listening to you.  Don’t walk into me on the street.  Watch where you are going.  Pay attention to your friends and lovers at dinner and lunch, please. Honestly nothing makes me more upset.  So called “quality time”.  Do you think your grandparents ever sat down to dinner together and just looked at their plates and didn’t say a word to each other? This is what it looks like when you see these scenes in a restaurant.

Talk people.

Ideal Job Ad

We are looking for a motivated individual with unique characteristics to take up a new role in our office.  Don’t let the word office turn you away, it is more like a large room where people have places to sit, stand and gather around tables.  We are looking for someone who can communicate effectively through good conversation as well as in writing and hopefully another form of communication such as photography or drawing.  Ideally the candidate should enjoy working in a slow paced environment where quality over quantity matters.  If you thrive in a fast paced, highly stressful and electronic/digital work place, this job is not for you.  If you like the sounds of the street over the sounds of an Iphone, this job is for you.  Fast paced overachievers are not welcome to apply.  If your background is in finance, you probably won’t fit in here.  If you enjoy working long hours, please look elsewhere.  Your time here will not be monopolized.  Your family life will be recognized.  Your personal time will be just that, personal.  We will never expect you to take your work home with you.  We believe in the separation of work and home.  You should be willing to take walks with others to discuss ideas, enjoy lunch time as well as be ready to spend a good portion of your day reading and contemplating ideas.  We are looking for a self motivated person who also functions well as part of a team, but not all of the time.  We respect your space and needs as an individual and your personal time at work will not be compromised.  If you have a particular interest in looking at the bigger pictures, thinking outside the box, going against the grain, bulking the status-quo, we are particularly interested in hearing from you. Education is important, and necessary for this role, but we realize that education doesn’t always come from schools and institutions, but also from the street, personal experiences and life in general.  Wisdom will be highly regarded.
If you think you fit this description stop past the office and have a coffee with us.  CV’s are not necessary, because we trust that you will tell us and show us who you are, and from that we hope we can see if you are a good fit.  Salary is NOT commensurate with experience but instead with potential.