Exploring the city



Sisley’s first day at the office

Sisley had looked up at her map how to take the quickest way from the hotel to the UK office and despite the traffic jam in the mornings which the receptionist warned her about and she had considered that in her route she had made her way through in about twenty minutes. She was introduced to the new department the marketing manager who was her direct report and responsible for her.


Standing in a typical sixties build office some colleagues in Germany had already told her about. One huge floor separated in two divisions the black rubbers, amino acids and some plastics and on the other side all dealings with the white agents for chemicals. You would see the open plan office with the sales desks and on the side the manager’s offices with glass windows, each having a marketing assistant placed in front of their office, so that the assistants were still part of the open plan office and the classical corner office for the director with the PA desk in the front.


Also in sixties style, Margret, who had the look of an original Marilyn Monroe. Blond hair, red lipstick and that bombshell size body covered with maxi jersey dress. There was the over-sized good soul who did the logistic part, the bossy, snippy Grace and the conservative one in an old-fashioned girly look dress Iris, the “I-know-it-all-girl”. The four woman who were all around age fifty and part of the office Inventory.

marketing desks

The Marketing assistants were quiet young twenty two year old Diana and twenty five year old San the Indian guy who took the Wallstreet business approach or at least tried to be a copy of it.

Two sales consultant who would be occasionally in the office but most times they would consult customers. Here was Susan a calm and quiet girl from Australia who’d started with the company a half year ago, who seemed really a friendly person. And Sisley’s sales friend who she had already met in the hotel who would now come in pretending not to know her.

On the other side were a girl from Germany doing the Marketing Key Accounts, she was part of a special developing training program and came from the same head office as Sisley. They had the same desk placements as on the marketing side Sisley worked for.

The guys who would deal with the customer queries, logistics and a very young guy who she had previously met in Germany where he had worked as a trainee.

In addition, the finance department was on that side and then there was the sales assistant who would lose his head in anything but his work: James. He was sitting opposite the huge retriever, the filing system that was for the whole company, so every time you would file something you would have the pleasure to chat with James.

After the introduction from her Marketing Manager Dave, Sisley was introduced to all employees of both departments. So, the first hour passed with a hundreds “nice to meet you”.

At eleven she had an appointment with the PA of the CEO of the company. She complimented Sisley’s English, gave some explanation about the organizational stuff, and made some arrangement with a real estate guy who would show Sisley a flat, where she could move in within the next two weeks.


At lunch time she was ready and went with the people from her department to a pub near the office. Half of the crew went for chips and guess what? Gin tonic or a lager.

An hour later all the staff was back at their desks working the afternoon through. Margret the Marilyn copy got an order from her boss, not understanding a single word he had explained right after the lunch, she was at her best mood thanks to the gin tonics.

She was looking at Sisley asking: “Did you understand what he was saying? Than you do it, I’m slightly drunk.” Than giggling. For Sisley it was funny to see someone at work with this kind of attitude she had to smile about it. She quickly did the ordered task and Margret was very thankful for Sisley to be there.

Sisley left a bit earlier to meet the real estate agent who showed her a beautiful flat in an old refurnished school building that had now eight beautiful decorated flats.

school flat

The house was built in stone and set in an L-shape with an area as a car park. It was a beautiful flat and in a good condition. Sisley agreed and the real estate agent made all arrangements so she could soon move in.

That was great as she did not expect such a standard for housing as England was known for a housing standard you really had to get used to when you came from Germany. But here she was positively surprised and agreed for this beautiful flat to become her new home….



Kisses for breakfast

Sisley had spent the afternoon walking through the shops and got a great outfit for tonight, she had bought some leather leggings, a white shirt with big letter graphic print and she got her hair done with some new highlights at Tony and Guy.

party outfit

At six thirty she was standing at Strand waiting for John and his girl-friend who had promised to pick her up for the concert. Opposite the road Sisley was staring at a huge poster displaying Rob, the singer she had previously met and partied with in London, the weekend before she had moved up North. The header was showing – live in concert tonight.

And there a limo was stopping the window got down, a girl shouting “Hey, Sisley, jump in!” Behind the girl was John smiling at Sisley asking “Are you ready?” Sisley was surprised she had no idea they would come with a stretch-limo, but then got in. She only knew John was a drummer of a band, she had not even asked for the band’s name but it seemed this concert was bigger than she had expected and yes, it was.


They drove towards Echo Arena, the biggest concert hall in town and the excitement was growing. They stopped. John passed on some backstage passes for Sisley and his girl-friend, then he left and took a separate entry. The girls went to the main entry. And yes, this was actually Rob’s concert, Sisley couldn’t believe it. Inside was a massive stage build with a bridge running over the audience’s hall in a circle.

The show had started and while Rob was singing Angel’s he was rocking over that bridge, getting really close to the people. He stopped at the point where Sisley and Rob’s girl-friend were standing and asked the two to join. Sisley screamed and jumped in the air she couldn’t believe it and now the three were singing and dancing running over the bridge and at the end of the song in the middle of the stage Rob looked at Sisley and kissed her.


Of course, he had recognized her from the weekend they had partied before. He was the one who went off with one of Sisley’s friend who had been disappointed because Rob had had a different idea of a one-night stand than her that night as he his was rather a “menage a trois” or more. So, Sisley wasn’t surprised that he just kissed her as part of the show. It was great fun, Rob gave them a wink and the last song played than they all disappeared backstage.

It was a blast, but it wasn’t over, yet, they now moved on to the after-party. At five thirty they took their way home all sitting in the stretch limo again including Rob back towards Strand.

Sisley still had her car at the pier, but she really was too tiered now for taking a drive home and Rob asked her to stay with him the hotel was close to the pier. Sisley smiled, what was that an invitation?

And, yes, she agreed.


A few hours later Sisley woke up, she remembered they had partied here with some more people. This wild party scene she just had had on her mind had that been real or just a dream? She shook her head and wasn’t sure about. But now there were only the two, Rob and her. And yes, Rob was laying close to her and all she could feel on and about him was pretty real, Rob smiled at her and the morning started with kisses for breakfast.


Drop off &Liverpool

The weekend was over.

After dropping Nicole at the airport Sisley took the M3 towards the North to Macclesfield near Manchester where she would start her new job.

At 11 pm she had finally arrived at her hotel. The first two weeks she would spend in the hotel and then moving into her new apartment rent by the company.

The next morning Sisley woke up early and had a look through the room: a terracotta colored carpet with a flowery pattern on top of the marble floor, a red rose flower wallpaper, curtains in a thick dark green and a small flower mix print from yellow, blue to red.

London house islington

Yeah, and the reading lamp next to her bed on the side table: flowery, a mixed pattern of a wildflower potpourri. Yes, exactly the traditional British style. Walls decorated with the world famous Sanderson flower wallpapers and not to be missed: shortbread, a tea cooker and a choice of assorted tea were placed on the sideboards.

Sisley pulled back the curtains and against the usual rainy weather in the North of England she found a cloudless blue sky with bright sunshine. She took this as an opportunity for planning a trip to Liverpool and Manchester as she would start her Job on Thursday only….


Right after breakfast Sisley jumped into the car making a stop on the next gas station to get a map of the northeast area, filled up her tank and moved on towards Liverpool city. An hour and a half drive and she arrived at the pier.

She parked her car and went over to the peer staring into the water of the River Mersey. The water was more dark and muddy, rather than fresh and clear, but Sisley was fascinated as it was flowing, rough and wild, moving in a fast rhythm. She remembered the song “I’ve got a feeling” from the world famous Beatles who first started playing songs here in this City. Somehow England really had its own Rhythm.

High Tide River Mersey

Standing there she looked back to the weekend the times she had spent with her friends how far away this all seemed to be now. Time had passed from old school days to now, everyone was moving in their own stream in different directions.

One was living in London, Mel starting a new career in finances, Nicole was staying in Germany and had her focus more on marrying a well-situated man and keeping her life in comfort without much effort, another close friend would shortly move to LA in the US and Sisley would stay up North for a year to further her career with the company.

Two years she had to wait for that move after her apprenticeship that was the rule by the company and yes, she had made it, she was the one chosen from the many applicants and she was only 23 years old by now.

Not really knowing what to expect but looking again in the waters of this wild flowing river that was moving on fast she knew she wouldn’t stand still, that this was a time of change.

The days in the office of the last two years sometimes had felt heavy and long and she had sometimes felt bored. Breathing this fresh air now felt really good and she was excited for a new experience in a new city,  new country.

She had been in England only once before at age sixteen, she had spent a week in London with her mother where they had seen the Musical “Cats” that was so popular at this time and Sisley always had that passion for dancing.

She went to the little shops at the peer, looked at a present exhibition “Dali’s life” was at the Tate Liverpool branch. At the exit she met a guy and they started talking about having lunch at one of the little coffees. They still offered Brunch John suggested one of his favorite drinks a “bloody mary”.


Sisley had had that drink already at the London weekend. The history of the bloody mary was as complex as the drink itself. Reportedly named after Queen Mary I of England, it had become a global phenomenon and graces the tables at the best brunches. Sisley wasn’t sure if she was a fan of this drink but was thinking why not!


John was a drummer from London and he was playing with his band here in Liverpool and Manchester this weekend. Asking Sisley: “Don’t you want to come to our show tonight? I’m sure it’s going to be a blast….