What I learnt this week: SMILE

Week started with a job interview for an assistant teacher position.   The meeting ended with, ‘do you want to work for our recruitment agency instead?’  This was after I’d gone to the toilet and a guy jumped out from behind a door in an attempt to scare me.  As far as office jobs go, seemed like it would be a fun place to work!

The rest of the day was spent with a writing friend, near Oxford circus, learning how she cracked the industry here.  Very valuable.  Went for a run and had healthy dinner to start the week.  Was tempted by a bottle of wine but it was only Monday.  Employed self-control!

On Tuesday went back to meet the boss man at the recruitment agency.  Had a proper interview.  He was a nice enough but the pay he was offering was pretty grim.  And I know he didn’t mean to offend me but he mentioned the job was entry-level.  Meaning I’m a bit past that age, that’s why the pay would be low.  Thanks dude!

After that I was pretty deflated.  Was waiting to meet a friend of Liv’s in Brick lane, had two hours to kill.  Sad, I wandered.  Went to the chemist for supplies, thought I may as well make the most of the spare time.

Close to tears I searched for what I wanted (literally and metaphorically).  Suddenly an African guy asked with a bright smile, ‘can I help you?’  I responded with what I was looking for, he walked out from behind the counter to show me to the section I needed.  I noticed he had a sever limp, and had to drag his foot as he walked.

Here I was crying about feeling too old and this guy has an actual problem, and yet he can still smile.  If he could then I could.  I thanked him and went on my merry way.  His smile had helped me more than he could ever imagine.

I then went to King’s Store pub, near Liverpool street.  Sat drinking a nice glass of wine, which made me feel better.  Chilled out and wrote for two hours, which made me feel even BETTER.

Also noticed a quote Craig had posted on Facebook, ‘Not all who wander are lost.’  This was food for my soul.  I might be 29, heading to work in an entry-level job, whilst I pursue my writing career.  But I AM NOT LOST.  I know where I’m going; I’m taking the long way round!  The scenic route you might say.

Had a lovely Indian dinner with Clare, that night.  She showed me around Brick lane; the vintage markets, the famous bagel shop (yes, there is a famous bagel shop) and a secret bar where cool bands like (insert rock/indie band name) play gigs.

The second half of the week was spent in Scotland!  Woohoo.

Got the train with Kel and Linda to Edinburgh.  Much to their distress we stayed in a hostel.  Linda thought we were going to get murdered.  So we went out for drink to calm our nerves.  Ended up a bloody Irish pub.

The next three days were incredible.  Leaving Edinburgh, we drove through misty mountains, past incredible lakes and walked through dells in search of fairy’s.


Grahem our tour guide was hilarious, we sat up the front with him.  He  felt that Aussies and the Scottish were very alike as we tend to, ‘look on the bright side.’   Eg even if we are standing on the side of the road in the pouring rain, completely lost, trying to hitch a ride because our rental has broken down. We say- ‘hey, it could be snowing!’

The next two nights we stayed on the Isle of Skye, in the high lands.  Went out for dinner at the local pub, ‘Saucy Mary’s.’  And lucky us- an English navy team was in the area.  So the pub filled with navy boys.  What more could a single girl ask for?  Spent the night drinking, dancing and talking rubbish.  A certain navy boy may have stolen a kiss.

This week I felt homesickness try to drag me back to Australia.  But I realised I was creating a new life here and it would take time to get settled.  It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.  Thanks Pantene- best tag line ever!

In relation to what I learnt- the moment that I kept thinking about was the guy at the chemist smiling at me.  People realise the power of a smile.  A true smile, one from the heart is priceless.

I’ve always been fascinated by the kindness of strangers.  I think we get so caught up in our lives that we don’t realise that small gestures can mean so much.  I try to smile as much as possible; it can be bloody hard.  But sometimes you just have to grin and bare it.  Literally!


What I did that scared me:

  • Drank too much, went on a winding bus ride through the high lands, severely hung over.  Believe me, it was scary.


  • Visiting Loch Ness
  • Getting a job
  • Hearing this quote ‘wherever your feet take you, is where you are meant to go.’


  • Feeling too old
  • Being Homesick
  • Had an X-ray, to find out what is wrong with my hand.  No joy there.  Apart from the cute guy who did the X-ray.

Funniest moment:

  • Anytime spent with Grahem.

What I learnt:

  • Not to underestimate the power of a smile.


2 thoughts on “What I learnt this week: SMILE

  1. Great reading Sal. And yes have to agree about the kindness of strangers and a heartfelt genuine smile to brighten the day. Enjoy what comes up next xxx 🙂

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