I'm still here. No contract and nothing looking promising.
Trouble is...I am finally settling into a new routine. And enjoying it.
Bed at 10pm. Read until about 11pm (2am if the book's good). Alarm set for 8.30am. Wake before alarm. Check news and weather on phone. Turn over...think about going back to sleep. Then bounce out of bed in a 'determined to make this a good day' manner. Get down the stairs. Put music on. Put kettle on.
And so on.
The days are literally flying by. I've done the obligatory housework, visited Mandy-Lee G (the person who is always there when I am at a loose end) several times, been to Ikea, painted a hall table, decoupaged things, cut Jessica's hair, baked, drank too much coffee, drank too much tea and other 'semi-retirement' type activities. Though I haven't joined a Bridge club (I have NO idea what Bridge entails - but I watch TV...I know old women and bored housewives play it).
Of course I look at the job boards online every day. But there isn't a whole lot doing right now.
I finally heard back from one recruiter. It was a no in terms of an interview. I'm not too disappointed - the client short-listed two people with more relevant experience. I was told that the reference they received was excellent (thanks to that chap - you know who you are). And, of course, thanks to the recruiter at Hydrogen for letting me know. I'd much rather receive a phone call to tell me I wasn't successful than not hear anything at all.
The weird thing about not working and waiting for the next contract is that the week flips. Suddenly I don't want the working week to end - as once it does I know that there are two days before the next jobs are posted, or the chance of a possible phone call. So I want the week to last.
It's Friday tomorrow. I am getting a little fidgety again. The anxiety of another week gone by and no interviews lined up.
So I am in weird place - loving the time off...but desperately wanting to land that perfect contract. The one where the hours are long, the week drags, Friday's are sublime and I go to bed each night mentally exhausted but feeling that I am making a difference.
On that note...here's a picture of a swan and her cygnets. Taken years ago, at Dunham.
Not a great deal going on with me at the moment.
I did rip some wallpaper down today. It came off in great sheets - very satisfying. However when it got to the fiddly bits that needed the steam thing I suddenly had a more pressing engagement - in my cubicle office. You know - emails to check and level 2267 on Candy Crush to try and beat.
I have now officially lost count of the number of potential comms contracts that I have been contacted about. The current fad on LinkedIn seems to be recruiter bashing (that and people showing off their new desk / IT kit on the first day of their new jobs). I would never criticise recruiters on there. Are they mad? The people who hold your next 6-12 months in their hands and you tell the LinkedIn world they're all shit?
I've not had a bad experience with recruiters over the past however many years I have been contracting (10? 12? - who knows) - just the occasional frustrating wait for a call back when they're 'representing' me for a role. This is one of those times. Do they not know I am going insane? I know - they're busy.
When I start out looking I have every intention in waiting for the perfect role. Give it a week and a half and I am anybody's. Go on - throw a permanent internal comms role with an insurance company in London at me...guaranteed I will be able to sound excited at the prospect.
I am trying hard not to do that at the moment. I am trying to stick to my guns - no internal comms, transformation / change roles only, nice big chunky programme, something I can get my teeth into, a challenge, not too bothered about travel (so long as the rate reflects the role / additional costs)...etc.
But if those damned recruiters of 'god-knows what they have put me forward for' don't come back with some sort of response soon I will get cross. ('Get cross' was one of three potential endings to that sentence. The others involved blasphemy, blood, sweat and tears).
Anyway - here's a picture of a Herdwick sheep I took years ago. With added texture. For interest. Because sheep are a bit dull right?
This time of year is always the time that I start to think about making changes:
No...I'm not ready to retire just yet and neither is Stu. Way too young for that!
I am just so uninspired by our surroundings. Altrincham feels grubby (this could be due to the amount of building work going on at the end of our road). I want to be able to see more than the occasional robin, long-tailed tit or blackbird who brave our tiny garden. I want a view that stretches for miles. Where are nearest neighbour isn't within touching distance.
On the subject of neighbours - we live in a terraced house. We're not particularly unlucky with neighbours. We have a great couple next door. On one side of us.
I really try hard to like the other two. But to be honest they are pushing my patience. We have lived next door to them for over ten years - with two growing children and two border collies. You'd think that through the kids' teenage years we would have had complaints about music blaring. Or perhaps a comment about the dog's barking at odd hours. But no.
They held back...only to release their middle-aged moaning, over the past 3-4 years,against Joe: Joe and his tv and a previous girlfriend's high-pitched voice. Seriously I got an in-depth account of just how irritating her voice was. I also learned that the neighbour knew exactly what time said girlfriend would be round and what shifts she worked at a local supermarket. A tad creepy to be honest.
The latest complaint came in the shape of a rather formal, signed letter - to Joe. The day after he had a few friends round - late on a Saturday night. Just to clarify...I would be annoyed too if my next door neighbours were making a racket (music and loud voices) at 2am. But what I find quite odd is that they didn't make any complaint at the time of the crime - they waited until the next day. And even worse, in the letter they also referred to a similar occasion the previous year (which they didn't mention at the time) - where they had just learned that a close family member was terminally ill. And how learning that on the same day as Joe had friends round was truly distressing. HANG ON A MOMENT. What the hell is the point of saying something now - months after the fact. Knock on the door at the time...explain to Joe (who isn't a complete ignoramus btw) and ask him to be more considerate.
Shit - this has turned into a massive rant. But they make me cross. I'll stop...my blood pressure is rising.
Back to a change. So, to avoid killing my neighbours, we are starting to consider a move.
Of course as Joe is still 'living at home' (his clothes, TV and playstation live here) I might have to ask the neighbours if Joe can move in with them.
Actually I can't get off the topic of the neighbours.
So here's a picture of my little angel
So we're home. The sun is out. The third load of washing is drying. And I've been through the majority of photos.
The memories are still fresh in my mind - and those that may fade are written down in a little notebook (the only shopping I did at the airport this trip).
The highlights of our Norway experience:
And here's a photo summary of the trip...