In reverse order, so you don’t get worn out by the home-related words, of which there will be many:
I’ve been rather sick for the last week. First was a head cold that I caught from Jed. Overall rather mild, didn’t need to take time off work, but still sniffles and fuzzy headed not as good as being well.
Then on Thursday I spent the day in bed (and the neighbouring bathroom) with a stomach bug. Thankfully it was a 24 hour bug, but my stomach has been very delicate since. Eating has been problematic, with my energy spiking and crashing ever since whenever I eat (or don’t for too long). Not very fun, but I’ve had this happen before and know what to watch out for. Hopefully it will even out while we’re in Devon and in time for Christmas. Being fed regularly might help, rather than the ad hoc eating patterns Jed and I have on weekends.
The interview last Wednesday, so you can all stop crossing fingers, etc. The job was quite similar to the one that I had in Sydney, that I enjoyed immensely. I walked away from the interview thinking it had gone reasonably well. Felt I’d stated my case as a desirable employee, my knowledge of waste infrastructure projects and experience in case managing them, and that I’d built a rapport with the Chief Operating Officer. As long as I was what they were looking for then I’d be fine.
I received an email on Thursday stating that I’d not been successful. In the midst of being sick this didn’t really register, but since then I’ve been feeling a quite lost and despondent. Not sure where I belong or what I’m doing or where to go from here. Income is not an issue (yet) as my current employers keep renewing my contract. But, it is increasingly apparent that the team I’m working for does not fit my workstyle. Almost detrimental to my confidence and sanity in many ways. I need something else. But if it’s not a job with London’s Waste and Recycling Board then I’m a bit lost where my skills and knowledge are needed, where I should be targeting. What to do as a small fish in a large pond.
I’ve been feeling this very strong urge to run back to Sydney (and take Jed with me) and beg DECC for a job again, for the security and stability I had in Sydney. If only this was feasible. Perhaps I need to learn to live with a modicum of uncertainty and instability?
They’ve invited me to call to discuss the decision, which I will do on Monday (if there’s time after the drive to Devon) or Tuesday. I’d really like to know the basis for the decision, if there’s something I’m overlooking during interviews, or whether it was simply that there were more qualified candidates that pipped me to the post.
Right then, HOUSE
We’re mostly settled in, still a couple of boxes to be unpacked, but mostly these are books that need a home on the bookshelves rather than anything important.
We’ve been furniture and house shopping, a lot. IKEA is next to a stop on the tram line that runs from the top of our street, and Croydon is a major shopping centre, which is both a blessing and a curse. Our landlady has told us to make the place our home, as long as we patch up the walls when we leave. So we’ve bought some lamp covers, a rug for the backdoor, other sundries to replace things that were left in Redhill, or were just nice.
We have a bed for L, which she helped to choose. It has 4 drawers under it for her things. Thankfully she’s going through the “I don’t want/like pink!” phase, so we didn’t have to discuss why the pink one would be a bad idea. We also got her a quilt and some sheets. So, a much happier L. Well, she will be when she sleeps in it.
We’ve ordered a couch (sofa), a real one. Not a hand-me-down. Not a foam one with removable covers. Not someone’s street-side discard. Not a futon converted into a couch. A real one. Red fabric, 2-3 seater. Jus fits into our tiny living room. It arrives in early feb. In the meantime we have a nest of sofa cushions, beanbags and blankets which is providing a reclining space.
We’ve worked out how to use the oven, which has no symbols on it. Only burnt two dinners in the process. We got the landlord’s son (who lives next door) to fix the shower head and the door in the bedroom. We don’t have the TV connected yet, so there’s been lots of rewatching of DVDs. It’s been cold as we were trying to work out the thermostat, so lots of snuggling in bed.
The only downside is the the house has a “condensation” problem. Read: rising damp (I think). This means that all corners on external walls develop condensation on them during the day unless we leave the extractor fans on. Within 2 weeks we have had mould growing on some walls. We have inherited a dehumidifier from upstairs which pulled half it’s capacity out of the air in the bedroom in one 12 hour period. There was mould growing on the seals in the washing machine – although I gave it a good clean today and an outlet was blocked with a bandaid, so this may be unrelated to the condensation – The landlady is aware of the problem, and has surveyors coming over sometime soon to look at the corners of the building. Jed has noticed a blocked downpipe which might be dumping the water under the house. Who knows, whichever way the ABC’s Spotless series has come in handy in the last week. Oil of cloves will be applied when we get back from Christmas in Devon.
The local area reminds me a lot of Marrickville. Wide(ish) streets, 1930s semi-detached houses intermixed with low-rise flats. Partially paved gardens, a strong ethnic minority presence. Occasional clusters of shops, including a small and friendly cafe at the end of the street. There’s a tram that runs the length of the Borough connecting the outlying suburbs with the centre, with the aforementioned shops, and one of the main train stations between London and Brighton. While I don’t quite feel at home yet (it takes me a month or so to feel at home in a new place after moving so often in my adult life) there’s definite potential for this to be a house and area I’m happy in. Much more so than Redhill, for all Surrey’s leafy greeness.
Jed loves it, he’d not really comprehended how much happier he’d be moving away from Redhill, living with me. He’s realised that part of what he loved about Newtown was about it’s urban nature rather than Newtown specifically.