Posts Tagged ‘events’

On Monday, I didn’t go to Windsor Races. Negotiating getting out there and back home to Surrey without a car was too much. It can take up to 1.5 hours to get home from London after peak hour on a weeknight, and I’m still not feeling proficient enough at navigating around England and organising myself and Jed to get to events on a school night.

However, I did decide to apply for a permanent position in the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change (yes, that’s right, another DECC) as they had a general recruitment round closing on 6 July, one of which was a set of positions titled “policy adviser”. I rang their contact to see what the deal was, and it seems there are 70 positions going over 7 pay grades. I spent most of the week getting this application ready, which was sent off yesterday afternoon. Either I’m a shoe-in as I have the experience they’re after, or I completely misjudged the position description and they are after a middle manager. Doing a direct comparison of pay scales would lead me to believe the first, but there was a criterion about leading and developing a team which concerns me. Oh well, all will be revealed in time.

We had lovely tapas meal in Reigate on Wednesday night, to allow us both time to recover from a rather emotional Tuesday night. It was the predicted 3-month blow-up of reality hitting home. This has all been a bit tougher than I was letting myself acknowledge it would be before I left. This time round my move overseas is semi-permanent and I’m doing it without a support network. Dealing with my own slight panic at the lack of taken-for-granted security that comes with knowledge of a society and a wide network of people to interact with, while emotionally supporting a partner who aches for a different life but doesn’t quite see how to achieve it, nor really believes he (we) can do it, and also doesn’t ever seem to have had anyone tell him he’s doing a good job.

Work [1] has also been a bit slow of late, with many of my projects either waiting on feedback, being taken to meetings for approval without me being informed, or decisions being made without telling me so I can keep up. This was fixed later in the week, but it’s made me realise that this position is one of those that has lots of potential, but the working practices will eventually drive me batty. Perhaps I’m not cut out for local government work? The constituency is too close and too apparent, and hence upper management reacts more easily.

Friday night I cooked an experimental Japanese dinner, which was very tasty. Although, since a large plate of gyoza was the centrepiece of the meal it would have been hard to make it untasty. J

Saturday and Sunday Leylah was over after a week in France, and we mostly stayed around the house. It must be an odd space for her (and hence for us when she’s over) as she spends half her time there but I suspect it’s not really ‘home’. Partially there’s no space that is specifically hers, so at frequent intervals she will declare that she is ‘bored!’, but listening to the tone of voice I suspect that she is actually ‘lost’, not knowing what to do, and not feeling she has permission to make changes that would stop her being bored. Previously it was a house of two Bachelors where a girl child would come to visit, and mostly get waited on. Since I’ve arrived we’ve created a bit more structure, furniture and belongings have been moved around so the place is a bit nicer to be in and she can get to glasses and plates (and has been told she can use the microwave to reheat food!). It’s a work in progress, but will probably only improve in a big way when we move somewhere else, sometime in October.

Lastly, on Saturday night I saw my beloved Cat Empire in concert in London. Which made it the 7th concert of their’s I’ve been to in 2.5 years. They are that enjoyable and varied. I went with 4 of Jed’s friends (there was a last minute mix-up with Leylah so Jed stayed at home) who had not heard their music before and I’m glad to say they loved it. However, they also made me go to the Australian themed walkabout pub nearby (where I proceeded to have a rant that it wasn’t an actual Australian pub, there was no Cooper’s available, and there was no beetroot on the burgers), and then we had Australian themed meat pies afterwards. The pies were really good. The pub wasn’t.

[1] I know I’ve not actually said what I’m doing. Short story: it’s pick-up project work for a London Local Authority, initial 3 month contract, which will likely get extended unless I find permanent work.

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Last week

Since I seem to be reticent to make theme based updates at the moment (partially because I want to write about work, but don’t feel I can do so while I am at work, but the writing bug doesn’t hit at home) I’ve decided to start a weekly “what I did last week” post. That way daily life can be conveyed, this gets updated more frequently so I don’t lost touch with people, and I get a record of what I’ve done. Everyone wins!

Last week was the week of flatmate changover. We lost Andy, who is a nice chap, but so not the sort of interactive flatmate I’ve come to love and appreciate, and gained Robbie, who probably is. We’re all doing our respective geekeries together in the main room, for starters, rather than gaming, drinking and smoking in a bedroom while Jed and I are in the main room. Also, joint household organisation actually seems to be happening with two organisation freaks in the house. Yay!

In the process Jed and I moved into the larger bedroom. Originally the plan was to move away from Redhill soon after I arrived. We’ve decided to stay here until mid-Autumn so that we can get a better financial position, and get a bit more settled into life together, before inflicting the stress of moving house on ourselves. This means we now have double the wardrobe space (my clothes are no longer getting pressed while hanging up) and an extra 3 ft in length, which has made an amazing amount of difference.

On Friday afternoon my manager took the 3 recent hirees on a tour of the Borough, to see what facilities we were looking after and the differences in the various communities. The weather was lovely and it was good to get out of the office and find out about various parks and markets in the area. This is one of the reasons I’m happy to be doing this work at the moment, despite the fact that it’s become apparent that they’ve not really got a plan for what they want me to do, just that they should have someone to do this work; it’s a good way to learn about my new city/region.

A dear friend, Ms Decline, got married on the weekend, and I was her best man, so the week was also spent preparing for this. Mostly this involved buying a tophat (pics on Facebook, until I can snaffle a couple to load onto Flickr), some fun presents, and working out where to go. It was a very relaxed, lovely ceremony. It was good to see Dee quietly, radiantly happy, including making the entire gathering giggle while she signed the fake register for photos. She has the most adorable, infectious giggle. Predictably we ate too much at the wedding brunch, and then spent the next 24 hours recovering. Good thing I’d booked a massage for Sunday, to help with this recovery.

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