As my lovely sister pointed out, I’ve not done an update in a while. Sorry, work got really busy and involved, which reduced my time and brain power for writing here. Which, in turn, is a shame for communicating with all of you, and fantastic for feeling a lot happier at work.
This mirrors my current headspace in general. Life has become much happier and more stable in recent weeks. It feels like I’m definitely out of the adjustment-freakout period of moving countries and into the wing-spreading and sorting-out-finer-details period. It’s lovely.
Relationships: A big part of this is that Jed and my emotional upheavals have settled down into happy being togetherness. Much less insecurity, less reactiveness, more support and understanding. It’s really nice and feels like what we both knew was possible when we made this decision.
Partially it’s because Jed seems to be much happier in general. He’s sorted our quite a few things in his head recently, as well as feeling more confident in himself. Not drinking has made a massive difference to his moods.
All of this has meant that weekends with L are lots of fun. She’s happier, as she’s sensed the difference in Jed, and me. We’ve had a couple of weekends of fun play with lots of giggles and NO SULKS from anyone. Brilliant! She’s also growing up, there’s hints of teenager starting to creep in, very interesting to observe.
Work has discovered I’m actually quite competent, and they are giving me bigger things to work on. Both good and bad ;). I don’t update this as frequently, for instance.
Bec recently commented on a Facebook update that they’ve got me working on an odd range of things. I’ve started to keep a project log so that I have something to refer to when writing job applications. Here’s the list of what I’ve been doing since May:
- Analysis on resident’s perceptions of their local area and how our services impact on that
- Developing an action plan template for managers to address high levels of sick leave (Sick leave here is an entirely different kettle of fish to Australia, might write that up in a Things that are Weird post)
- Negotiating a service level agreement to deliver training for women as pool lifeguards
- Scoping a project to drive ongoing improvement in our services to improve our performance ratings for independent auditors in future years (this one got pulled before I’d had a chance to finish scoping it, oh well)
- Writing the consultation on a proposed infrastructure upgrade looking at the effects on residents’ amenities and biodiversity
- Liaising with all sorts of people to determine the legal definition of a piece of land in the Borough so a fete could be held there (this one was weird, frustrating, in the end it all came down to teacups)
- Looking at Air Quality issues in the Borough
- Assisting with the set up of a Muslim Women’s organisation
- Co-ordinating a set of project proposals across the directorate for residents to vote to spend money on, which has involved ensuring that the funding fits the way that a section wants to deliver a service and ensuring they understand the implications for securing funding in this way. This has been challenging but also good as it’s the sort of work I enjoy doing.
- Writing a case study for equalities issues in our library system
- Assisting with the project scoping and delivery of a physical move of the Borough’s car pound. Including coming up with the idea of how the building should be laid out to ensure customer and employee flow works. The project manager’s been running around telling everyone I have an “alien-like spatial awareness”. Those 2 years of Civil engineering weren’t completely wasted.
This diversity of tasks is part of the reason I’ve been floundering somewhat. Every project is so different I almost have to start from scratch. Back in June I turned down an interview for a 2 year contract in order to stay here as I felt it was somewhere I could learn about how the English government and policy system works. Sure enough I have, more quickly that I would have in a more niche or focussed position.
I’ve been confirmed for a final stage interview for a position with the London Waste and Recycling Board. The position they’re filling is very like the one I had in Sydney, albeit with a more commercial focus, so I’ve got a decent chance of getting it. Overall, feeling more confident about work/career at the moment.
House: We’ve not yet moved, which is the major frustration at the moment. We were rejected by the landlord for the property I mentioned in my previous update, as we are both on temporary contracts and therefore deemed to not have a stable income. Despite the fact we’ve both demonstrated we can pay rent at that level and our contracts have been stable for 6 months, and we’re earning more than enough to pay the rent. We found this out on the Tuesday before we were due to move.
That landlord is apparently very finicky with his tenants, and we were told by the estate agents they’d be happy to put us into any of their other properties. So we changed our holding deposit (£350, not a small sum of money) to another property, and were due to due a lease on Monday. However we’d need a guarantor to underwrite us. A GUARANTOR! FOR A RENTAL PROPERTY!! Gah!
Jed’s father agreed to do this for us. Unfortunately there was some confusion about when they needed the paperwork for this and the form went in on Tuesday. Also, I am really worried that his status as retired and supported by private means won’t be enough for these guys and we’ll be rejected again.
This is all despite me having enough savings in the bank to cover a year’s worth of rent. Apparently this isn’t good enough “as I could just go and buy a car nest week” GAH! I am coming to understand why estate agents are so hated here, I have NEVER been subject to this level of financial scrutiny and distrust. Except by immigration officials when I applied for a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa for the UK, and, well, that’s their job.
I’m loathe to call for an update to see if we’re OK, as I don’t want to have to deal with the disappointment if we’re not. Nor trying to work out if we can get the £350 back (which is that holiday in Paris I’ve not yet taken, at the least). I wrote them a long email last night to support our case and explain the situation to the landlord, so maybe it will be OK?
If it’s not… it’s going to be tough. Technically we gave notice to be out of the property we’re in by the end of the month. Our flatmate is staying there so that’s not as dire as it sounds, but he’s lined someone up to move in. However, he’s not on the lease, and Jed is, which means he’s got no legal rights there (neither do I), but that’s a messy way of dealing with it. Also, I’m not sure how much longer my sanity can cope with living there.
Ultimately I’m hoping and praying(pleading) that we’ll be able to sign a lease next week, and it will all be OK, and life starts to become even more stable. Almost a year of living somewhere I considered to be temporary is not good.