Still not networked. *sigh* I just got back from a long walk at lunch, through the market, and then the churchyard and park. I bought some organic pumpkin seeds and dates at a health food store (I’d been told that they had sunflower seeds, and they did – but not in the shell). Phil is going to be gone for two weeks, at a training course for his job. I’m very nervous at the thought of being alone here for half a month – I just barely started driving alone! Plus the house can be a bit spooky at night, like all houses, I suppose.
Still no internet access, and I’m too stubborn to just trash what I’ve written so far, so I am adding to this, and it will all go up in one great lump. I think I’ve about finished what I’ll be able to do without being able to look at the site or at any reference materials. I’ve done infinite versions of designs for the site, and at this point I’m just wanking if I do any more. :(
Phil really likes his job, although they’ve said that they’re going to send him away to Leeds for two weeks of training. Wonderful. I’ll be living by myself for half a month. Ah, well, at least we’re both working.
Friday the 13th, and things are wonderful! Still no internet access, as you can see, but I’ve been trying to keep busy. Very strange to just sit here without the capability to do my job, knowing that I am new here and on my probationary period, and I can’t do anything to prove myself! Very unsettling.
Things are going well. I feel a bit melancholy this morning, as it’s the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks; there have been memorials all morning on the BBC. In an indirect way, though, I think it brought me here. Many people have said that they began to live more for the moment, and not just let their lives slide by, after the attack. I know that I have certainly changed my life…I am married, living in a country that I am totally in love with, and I’ve started to build a completely new life. It’s wonderful.
Phil is on his second interview this morning, at a local radio station for a copywriting position. They liked the two sample ads that he wrote, and scheduled him to come in again. If he gets it, most of our financial problems will eventually be solved. We need a second car, though, as we won’t be able to commute together.
Once we’re back on our feet, we’ll be able to travel and explore a bit. There is SO much that I want to see! The rest of Europe, of course, but also things that we can do on a weekend here: London again, Stonehenge, Wales, Scotland. When my family comes over I want to see Ireland…I’ll wait, I think, until I can do that with my sisters and my parents. That would be quite a moving experience. (Phil, of course, is very lukewarm on going to Ireland.)
Postscript: I called Phil at lunch, and he got the job! Wonderful, wonderful…we’re going to go out to a pub for dinner tonight and celebrate. I wanted to talk to him longer, but a stout old lady was glaring at me fiercely through the glass. That’s right – it was my first time in one of the old red phoneboxes. :)
We had a minute of silence in the courtyard in memoriam of 9/11; I had tears in my eyes. Now, I’m back at my desk, looking for something to do. (I’m still waiting for internet access here at work. I’m working on what I can, but with no access to the site, there’s not much that I can do. I’ve felt a bit like an orphan.) Ah, well…at least we’re a fully employed family, as of this afternoon!
Went walking in the park today, picking up conkers under the chestnut trees in the park. I worked most of the morning in the garden, tidying up and pulling weeds and bastard nettles. It feels good to have a lazy weekend after a busy week at work. :)
Phil is on the front page of two of the papers, after a letter that went out to both the Chronicle and the Guardian (as well as to the police). It is attached here. Pics are here.
As a recent new resident of Congleton, and living near the park, I’ve been dismayed to see the local vandals doing their bit to ruin it for the rest of us. Only recently the bridge was burned and needed new planking; I hear that the bird cage was vandalised, and now the fencing leading to the bridge. I know this because I witness a group of kids doing it. I tried to call the police to alert them, but on calling the local station was re-routed to Macclesfield calling centre, who informed me that Congleton Police station was closed (this is 7 pm on Sunday Sept. 1st). They transferred my call to Northwich, and it rang, and rang and rang. I hung up, and called Macclesfield back to ask if there was an alternative number; “No” said the dispatcher, “It seems that Northwich are taking their time answering the phone tonight..” and she transferred me again. It rang, and rang and rang. I gave up. I decided to do something myself, so I pulled out my camera and shot a few frames. The quality’s not great, but I’m enclosing a few in the hopes that someone will publish them and shame someone into coming forth with some names. After I took the photos, I tried Northwich again and let it ring for a long time – upwards of 30 rings. In frustration I hung up, and am now writing this letter in the hopes that some justice, other than that provided (or not) by the local police forces, will prevail.
Thank you for your time,
Yours, Phil Worthington
Haven’t had much time to write, as I’ve been very tired in the evenings this week – I think I’ve been spoiled by being off work for so long. But yesterday at lunch, I sat on a high hill in a rolling green park, underneath a huge, old tree, listening to the church bells. And then I went back to work.
I am working now, as web designer for a college in Leek. As this is the week when classes start, I still feel a bit lost, but once things settle down and I can start discussions about what needs to be done for the site things will be fine.
I have to take a shower and get dressed, but I’ll write more later. I finally feel as though I’ll be able to stay.
Time to relax – I’ve been working all day on design ideas for one of the sites that we’re doing. That’s the trouble with freelancing (aside from never being sure if you can pay the rent) – you don’t shut your computer off at five. ;) All in all it was a good day, though, very productive.
Post a few pics of the house here. No, I didn’t clean up before taking them. :P
They found the two girls’ bodies today…I knew they would, but I am still very sad. As a parent, I can imagine what those poor people must be going through. I don’t know how people survive losing a child; I know they do, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to drag yourself through every day of the rest of your life after that.
Another early morning, very grey and cold. We have an appointment this afternoon with a business interested in having a site done for them, so I am trying to get some work done this morning. Still sending out resumes, checking the papers and job sites every morning.
Last weekend we went to a Traction Engine Rally, as our neighbor had given us tickets to it. (No, I hadn’t the slightest idea what a traction engine is, but hey…they were free.) It wasn’t bad, actually. I wandered around, completely stuffed with these gorgeous hot, sugared doughnuts, looking at the crowds and the machines.
I really like how people go everywhere with dogs here. They take them shopping with them, to the park, and to events like this; so many people had dogs. I would love to get another dog, once we’re finally settled and we’re working. Phil’s allergies would probably go nuts, though.
*sigh* Back to work…
…I just feel like it at times. Phil and I are still not working, and we’ve pretty much reached the end of our savings. Every day we send out several resumes for jobs that we are usually overqualified for, and usually we don’t get any kind of response back. I don’t know why. It’s been very difficult to keep a positive attitude, which is why I haven’t kept up this blog, and also why I haven’t kept in touch with friends and family as I should have. This has been very tough. I would sign up with a temp agency, but I’m really not a secretarial type, and I hesitate to take a job while I continue looking…it would be unfair to them for me to “sick out” for interviews and then quit as soon as I could. I’m going to have to get something soon, though – no matter what it is.
Confidence is at an alltime low.
Otherwise, all is well. Phil and I have been reasonably good to each other, in spite of being cooped up together with no money to do anything. (Ok, so he puts up with me.) We’ve picked up a few freelance sites, which is good, and once we get those completed (we’re waiting on data from the businesses), we’ll be okay for another month.
Hey, it can’t rain ALL the time, right? ;)
Due to the lack of internet access, it’s been a long time since I was able to update this. Unfortunately, this will be a condensed version of my first weeks here. I am writing this from my re-assembled computer, in the second bedroom of the townhouse that we have rented. I am very happy – or would be, completely, if at least one of us was currently working!
The house is wonderful; it is a Victorian townhouse built in 1834. The front room, for company, has rose/gold/cream wallpaper and a dark, carved fireplace. The middle room is for family, eating, and watching TV (FOUR channels, only!!!), and has a second fireplace. The kitchen has been newly refitted with dark-green and brass fixtures, and has the original tile floor and a stable door leading into the garden, which needs a lot of work. Upstairs are the two bedrooms, one blue and one in Indian reds and yellows, with elephants. Hey, they came with the house. I love it – it’s a very beautiful place, and should the owner ever wish to sell, we would like to buy it.
We’ve been busy setting the house up, unpacking, and doing some minor exploring. As I said earlier, we made the trip down to Devon, and both of us preferred this area. There were a few nice villages, but the buildings had more “old world” charm here. Exeter has difficult to get a feel for, and there didn’t seem to be a “center,” or a heart, to the city. We got lost multiple times, driving in the sheeting rain on the largely one-way streets, and became discouraged. I think we made the right choice; it’s good to be close to Phil’s family, as they have been wonderful to us. If we can just find work, we will be very happy.
Click here for miscellaneous pics.
Click here for pics of Little Moreton and Haddon Halls.