Next up was my two month review with my boss. Here in the UK when you start a job you are on probation with limited rights and benefits (and it's easy to fire you); while you're on probation, you have monthly meeting to review how things are going. I reviewed the list of goals I made my third week there and was pleased to see I was making progress in all of the areas I was hoping to. Boss man said he was pleased with me overall and had no complaints and then wanted to talk about strategy for the next month. I liked this.
Then it was noon (before I knew it!) and I went across the street (well, down the street then across) to the National Portrait Gallery, where I saw this Lucien Freud retrospective. He's one of three artists I hadn't heard of before I moved here (David Hockney and Francis Bacon were the other ones) who are all just really famous in England. I thought it would be good for me to really get a good feel for his style and chanced the "sold out" sign on the website in hopes there would be tickets at the door: and indeed there was (just a half hour wait to the next slot). I enjoyed the show quite a bit, especially after reading this trashing of Damian Hirst in the Guardian yesterday and seeing the horrible self-indulgent, hagiographic exhibit of David Hockney's crap two months ago. Freud can paint; his paintings are often ugly but he is a master of the materials. I got through the exhibit in 1:15 despite the press of the crowds, but I have to say, it was really worth the effort to see it.
Back to work and nobody seemed very focused - the question was when would the drinks and food order show up for the party my team was hosting at the end of the day? Right about when I did, apparently. This meant my next goal was walking around the company giving away ice cream bars - an act which made me a real hit, I think, given the warm weather.
Then it was nearly time for the drinks party. All work had stopped. So what did I do? I headed out to get some money from the cash machine and get a massage. When I got back to work, the drinks party had started. WOO who put vodka in the Pimms? Really, it was a nice way to start the weekend! I left at 6 and headed over to the Young Vic (via the footbridge over the Thames) to meet a friend for "The Suit," a Peter Brook directed play about a man who gets angry at his wife and just can't get over it. When the play was over, I was unable to resist the call of the banana split for sale in the Young Vic restaurant. It was better than expected - sprinkled with pistachio nuts instead of walnuts, and honey instead of chocolate syrup (not that chocolate wouldn't have been nice), and all of the whipped cream my heart desired. I had a good catchup with my friend over our desserts while the sun slowly set (it was a short show). Then it was home and my roommate has made me another Pimms! Really, this is my idea of a GOOD FRIDAY. Hope yours was nearly as nice!