Thursday, 16 October 2014

1 job, 2 jobs, 3 jobs, more

The last couple of weeks have been pretty exciting in the world of work. There was something in the pipeline for quite a while but I didn't really want to talk about it in case it all went horribly wrong and I looked like a fool for putting it out there for all to read. But, in a rare turnaround of events, it's not gone wrong, in fact, it's gone very right indeed! 

So I have one job. That one is 18.5 hours per week, it's steady, it's reliable, it's not a lot of fun. In fact, it borders on being as grim as libraryland quite a lot of the time so I don't really dwell too much on it. I go in, do my thing, come home and try to curb the ranting (deja vu anyone?), and count down the days until the rest of my week starts. 

The rest of my week? Oh happy days. I am now working with a friend who has his own consultancy business. I've been brought on board as an 'Associate' (get me!) and essentially I am responsible for social media management, project work, some research, some admin...basically whatever I can help out with. I am, to say the least, utterly delighted. I get to work from home, I'm not involved in any backstabbing or office politics bitchiness, our meetings are incredibly productive and it's all about energy and enthusiasm and feeling passionate about what we can offer people. In other words, I get to be exactly who and what I want to be. All those inspirational quotes that people are throwing around - totally feeling them. All of them. Brave new world indeed. 

That makes 2 jobs. My third job is not really a job as I don't get paid, but it's also all about the enthusiasm and being passionate and generally enjoying myself at work. Say what? Love my job? Never thought I would utter those words! That job is at my theatre group where in the last year I've gently nudged (read: forced) them to jump into the 21st century with all the feet in the place (and that's a whole lotta feet) and we've made leaps and bounds on social media platforms and general awareness building of the group. This week I've made a major accomplishment and encouraged them to support a local online ticket agent (very similar to those we shall not name who offer similar services). I met this guy at a networking event for job #1 but I am all about the sharing and felt like he would be perfect for the theatre. Several emails, an awkward demo, and much frowning and chin stroking later, a decision was made - we're supporting local. Yay! Once again I am delighted. 

This strange feeling is odd. I'm not used to it. I'm used to negativity and moaning and frustration - don't get me wrong, that is all still there for 2.5 days of the week but the rest of it - oh my. Who knew you could feel this good about your work? Even though I'm mega busy and my head is whirling with all the thoughts and my to-do list is so big I used up almost a whole notebook, I am loving the buzz and energy. 

I'm going to say it really quietly so that I don't curse it, but I want this to be my every working day. Hopefully it will be sometime soon in the future. 

I never would have thought when I left libraryland that it would prove to be such a turning point. Big style. Beyond big. Huge. Long may it continue...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Catch as catch can by Daniel Buren

We woke up in the Toon (Newcastle) to yet another glorious sunny day. We had one plan in mind and that was to head to the Baltic to see some light exhibition that I had read about on a blog somewhere. I literally had no idea quite how magical it was going to be! 

We were almost the first people through the door as it opened at 10am. Very rare to find us out and about so early. But it was well worth it as we practically had the place to ourselves. the 'some light exhibition' that I had read about was actually beautiful and magical and fun and whimsical, and even a bit trippy. Daniel Buren designs each exhibition in situ so it is created entirely for each space. He truly couldn't have chosen somewhere better for this light play with mirrors. The early sun meant that the colours bounced lightly off the walls, casting rainbows onto the floor and walls as I pretty much walked about with my mouth agape. 




The photos don't really do it justice at all. I could have spent all day in there just watching the light change but sadly Wavey was flying to Berlin today so we only had an hour to spare. Definitely the best hour ever, and even more so when we discovered that today was the last day for us to see the exhibition. Sheer luck!



Obviously I can't tell you to go and see this one as it's over now, but I would highly recommend should you ever get the opportunity to see any of Daniel Buren's work. I am definitely going to be doing some more research into him.

I spent the rest of the day mooching round the Toon, trying not to spend my whole bank balance in John Lewis's beauty hall, and enjoying the gorgeous Autumn day and bright blue sky. What a crackin' weekend. 



 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Stomping on cancer

As most people know it's been a tough old year in the Wavey/Dizz (Dwavey?!) household. The year started badly as first Wavey's brother and then his dad died, both from cancer. The impact of this awful disease reaches so far and has touched so many people that we know, in so many ways. We realised this even more so when one of our lovely friends from our theatre group was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 42 years old. It was about the same time that I saw a March on Cancer being advertised, a fund raiser, where across 16 cities in England, people would all march together in the fight against cancer. That is a very worthy cause indeedy, or words to that effect were uttered, and moments later we were signed up. 

Last night was the big night. Our march was in Newcastle, which is a big northern city just up the road from our fair town. We booked a night in a hotel and decided to make a real night of the march. There were well over 2000 people marching and we made a pretty impressive sight stomping along the quayside with our placards held high, and drums, and chanting. The various residents came out to support us, cheering us and clapping, and some delightful ladies in one hotel even showed us their support by flashing various parts of their anatomy, which I'm sure you can imagine raised several wolf whistles and jeering from the marchers. 

The whole experience was special and emotional and slightly overwhelming. There were several times when the lump in my throat was the size of a tennis ball and I hoped that no-one asked me anything cos I couldn't speak. But we're so glad we did it! It was the first of its kind and I'm sure it will lead to many more in years to come. 

The setting was pretty magical as well with all the sparkly lights, so here's a few images of the night. Some are good, some are blurry, but they all reflect what was well and truly a great night! 






 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

15 Days

I'm baaaaaack! Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was missing...? 15 days. It has been 15 long days since we've had an Internet connection and it has felt like an eternity. I know right? First world problems or what, but there you go, we needed us the Internet and we needed it badly. And neither of us is ashamed to admit it. It was tough! It didn't help that we didn't have a phone either, so all those 0800 numbers that are generally free? Not from mobiles they're not. My mobile bill will be through the roof but that's a whole other story. Anyway I digress. 

What's been happening? Well we can finally say that our house has sold. The deal is done, good and proper, the bank balance is a daily reminder...HOW MUCH?! And we are fully settled in the flat, in all its miniature glory and testing little testy challenges. Oh what are they I hear you ask? Well...

We have two sinks, how decadent or what? But the big sink leaks, muchos leaks. So we have to only use the little sink to pour water away. 

We have no washing machine so I am regularly to be seen up at my Ma's house hauling black bin liners full of washing from my car. It truly feels like a return to student days, except that I never did that whole bring your washing home thing cos I had enough trouble getting me and my small bag on the train from London without including dirty washing into the mix. 

The upstairs neighbours have two grot bags, in turn they allow said grot bags to run like crazy things around their miniature flat or cry endlessly and then shout at them to shut up. Or they are taking furniture apart using power tools in the wee small hours of the morning. Totally weird. And with no care for their downstairs neighbours whatsoever. 

The bath panel has a massive crack in it and it's taking all of Wavey's willpower not to rip all the seal out and re-do it. In this instance I can see it being bath seal - 0 and Wavey - 1. 

Most of the radiators are about 6 inches wide so we permanently have soggy towels. 

The temperature is crazy and the duvet is often discarded. This could definitely be good come the colder months. Not a fan of being cold. 

The kitchen is teeny tiny and when I do my shopping I have to unpack it bag by bag or it ends up on the floor. It is a struggle for us both to be in there at the same time. 

We still only have one set of keys so Wavey has to wait in the car park for me to come home. 

Having said all of that, we are warm, we are dry, we are not homeless. 3 very positive things. We still don't know what is happening with the house we have offered on, only time will tell. 

But we have the Internet again. Rejoice, rejoice! Normal service will now resume. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger

They warned me. So many people warned me that moving house is the most stressful thing you can ever do. At this stage, I can concur with all those people and completely and utterly add my voice to those warning ones. Don't do it. Just don't. 

I think it was March when we started all this. To be honest, the time has just blurred to this sort of cloudy vision far off into the distance. So since March we've been living this pared down existence, where we removed all the things that made our house personal and altered it to be this house that other people would want to move into. Weeks went by, viewing after viewing, and nothing happened. Until we got the offer, which we deliberated over, and finally decided to accept. At this point I hoped for plain sailing. HA! Oh what a naive fool I was.

To cut down what has turned into possibly the longest saga ever known in all of house moving, we thought it was all finishing on 29th August. We'd be done, we'd be dusted, we'd be living in our next house, all would be fine and dandy. The first thing was that the people who we were buying from decided that they didn't want to move anymore. 2 days before we were due to complete on our house sale. Oh (polite understatement). We were pissed, we were disappointed, but we didn't throw our toys out of the pram, we carried on as normal adults and set to planning our next search. 

In the meantime, the sale of our house is bubbling away under the service. We hire a van. We move some stuff into storage. Surprise surprise, the proposed date didn't happen. Van remains parked outside. We chalk it up to more experience. 

Then skirting-board-gate happened. 

Then tree-survey-gate happened. 

In another meantime we find a flat that we think we can live in for a few months, and good news! We find another house that we really like. We offer, they accept, yippee-do-dah, let the happy jigging commence. 

Then we thought we were completing on Friday 26th September. 4 whole weeks later than the original date. Surprise, surprise, with no sign of Cilla Black, we didn't complete. Somewhere way up in a chain, that wasn't even supposed to exist (but that's a whole other tale) a vital piece of paper was missing and solicitors were not going to play nice. At this stage our house buyer was halfway up the M5 with her house contents travelling behind her. I think there might have been tears. 

Then compost bin-gate happened. 

This was yesterday. First time we had ever heard of this, but contracts would only be exchanged on the condition that we removed the compost bin from the garden. Erm, excuse me (polite understatement #2). I think Wavey might have turned the colour of beetroot. I got so stressed, I literally could have laid down under my desk, cried, and then gone to sleep. 

Seriously. 

Tonight Wavey is going to sort out compost bin-gate. 

In the meantime we've both knackered our left arm by hauling furniture around, we have so many boxes in the spare room of the flat that we've lovingly named it the 'box room', we have no washing machine and have to come up to my mam's house to wash our undies, we have no internet (first world problems) which we are not coping with at all, we only have the free channels on the tv and are already missing vital television watching, the big sink in our flat leaks, there's a hole in the bath panel, and our landlord only gave us one set of keys so sometimes one of us has to sit in the car park until the other one gets home. 

Which brings me around to the title of this blog post. This year has thrown up numerous challenges in our lives, my mam reckons someone (who is this person and why are they picking on us) is testing our relationship to see what we can cope with. We get it! We can cope! Trust us, please end your testing now. We've passed, like A***

Tuesday is the newly proposed date for completion. Contracts are exchanged, the compost bin is almost empty. Will it all go ahead, or will Dizz be sending a message from the grave? Watch this space... 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The travelling pants

Wavey reminded me of a conversation that we had when I worked in libraryland, along the lines of me saying, "I never get to go anywhere..." Fast forward to now and these days I'm rarely in the office. I'm usually in my car, satnav plugged into the cigarette lighter, radio on, driving off to some meeting or other. I kind of like it, and I'm kind of massively out of my comfort zone! It's a heady mix that often leads to Nervous Nelly moments, but I'm being really really brave and each day is a new achievement. I'd like to say it's all plain sailing, but combined with the evil house move stress I've had some wobbly moments this week. 

As I was driving home from York today, which took about an hour, I cast my mind back to when I lived in London, and would think nothing of travelling for up to 2 hours to go and meet people and do exciting London stuff; at one house I lived in, including the walk to the station, my daily commute was 90 minutes! If someone asked me to do that now I would laugh in their face. No thank you kindly job person. Which of course got me to thinking about how everyone else is doing the daily grind to get to work. 

Take Wavey for example, he works 30 miles away from our house so each day he does 60 miles! Tizz sometimes goes on a ferry to get to work! The best commute I ever had was when I worked in the next town along and it literally used to take me 6 minutes from my front door to the car park. It's all relative I guess, and it's a part of life for everyone. 

What do you do as you travel? I like the radio, as it feels less lonely and more like a conversation. Plus I get to sing along to all my favourite songs and often laugh out loud. When Wavey and I go on road trips we always have the iPod with a mix I've usually created specifically for the journey. I think we all do something that helps us get through that journey. 

So, as well as trying to open a banana and drive at the same time today, I was planning this post. It's kind of rambling but there go my thoughts when I'm in my car. That's all. 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Reduced

When we thought we would be moving into our new home a couple of weeks ago, we did a whole heap of packing and many many trips to our storage container. Now, weeks later, when we're still waiting for an actual moving out date, it's odd for the house to be so bare. Everyone comments when they come in, and the only way I can describe it is unloved. We don't really love it anymore, as we're moving onto the next phase, and the new owner has told me she loves it but until all her stuff comes and she makes it her own, it's this version of unloved nothing-ness; it's kinda sad. And it doesn't really feel like coming home anymore, mainly due to how much everything is reduced. 

Take our eating stuff for example. Whereas before we had big piles of plates and bowls, now we're operating on the absolute minimum and have two of everything. So basically if anyone comes round to eat with us they might have to bring their own cutlery, or I create a menu that is entirely based around eating with your fingers and happily provide the napkins - pizza anyone...? 

This is going to sound really vain but the thing I am least enjoying is how much my wardrobe is reduced. We took most of it to Wavey's mam's house, which is hardly miles away and easily accessible at any time, but I'm operating with this reduced choice of wardrobe. Oh! It makes me sad. I love all my clothes, seriously I do. I don't have anything that sits in the back of the wardrobe not being worn, I mix it up day after day to make sure I give them all the love they deserve. But right now, I have this whole capsule thing going on. I have all my work clothes, which are not many, as I'm not a huge fan of the bizness dress thing (stop repeating yourself, they get it) and then the rest of the time I've lived in jeans. Like every single day. And some variety of vest/tee with maybe a cardigan if it's a bit cold. Bor-ring! 

And the same pair of shoes. That I paid £6 for in Tesco, and have most certainly earned their keep. Literally never had them off my feet. They may walk away by themselves soon... I'm already regretting packing away my boots as Autumn is fast approaching (or is it actually here? I can never tell) and boots will soon be needed. I've already mentioned to Wavey that I think I need a trip to the storage to seek them out, otherwise it means going out and buying new when I have perfectly good stuff in there that I love (and miss!). Oh the dilemmas. 

I'm curious to know if this capsule thing is what most people have going on normally? I know I have a lot of clothes, I'm never ashamed to admit that, but I reckon when you make good use of them there's nothing to feel bad about. How do you do it though, if you only have like 2 jumpers to choose from? Is it all about the accessories? Even they are reduced as I foolishly packed them too. 

So the moral of this story is: never believe estate agents who give you moving out dates. It's entirely possible they are lying to you. 

Anyone got a spare fork we can borrow...?