Friday, 27 April 2001

Old News - Newsletter April 2001

Today it is my turn to be the sick person coughing and sneezing in the internet cafe. I caught another cold the other day which is taking ages to go (I'm sure I got it from this place to begin with!).

I am still unemployed - it's been a month now and the charm has worn off. I am also out of money and am spending my tax savings. And no, I don't have any other savings apart from some Unit Trusts doing really badly! I've spent most of the last 2 years out of work and done some serious international travelling, which has used up my money as I made it. I am currently 2 months in salary arrears, and I can't afford to pay myself. Nice. I am starting to look at permanent roles now, as the contract market in London is really bad. I went for an interview on Wednesday for the shift-work job, and they rejected me - wah! Been feeling a bit flat about that, as I'd thought the interview (1 and a half hours thereof) went well, and got all excited about it, only to be turned down. I think my last workplace is trying to get hold of me, but I'm not that desperate!

The new flat is nice. It's very quiet, and I have painted the bedroom a warm yellow and got new bed linen in the same colour so it's warm and cosy. The lounge I have painted a warm peach, and it has changed the whole atmosphere. The whole flat was painted a pale cream, which is OK, but dull and boring and in this climate you need warm bright colours. We're not meant to change anything as the place is rented, but I don't care any more. If they object when I move out I am happy to paint it back to cream. I have also put up a couple of heavy duty shelves in an alcove in the lounge. It's kind of in a dead space behind the door, and I have moved all our boxes of hiking, skiing, camping etc gear out of the bedroom and into the shelves, which has also made the bedroom feel a lot more welcoming. Mountain Man keeps his bike below the shelves too, and it is a very handy space. I have got an extendable shower rail set up in front of the shelves, and now I just need to get some material for a curtain to close off the storage area.

I am going to put up a heavy duty shelf in the bedroom next week to act as a desk, and then I can move our free standing shelves onto it and set up my printer etc, which at the moment is in the lounge. I found a stack of abandoned chipboard cupboard doors outside against the building, and have been salvaging them as my shelves. I guess they're not wanted as they are out in the rain and starting to go rotten. It's a lot easier than trying to get a proper desk, and will be way easier to move. Now I just have to find a wall unit for the TV and books!

The flat has a little flower bed in front of the lounge windows where I have planted out all my geraniums and they are looking very happy. I am growing all kinds of patio and hanging basket plants from seed, which I will plant into the flower bed and into window boxes when they are big enough. It's been fun watching them germinate and slooowly get bigger. Funny - everyone thinks a 'basement flat' is below ground with no windows, and I keep having to explain that we're just sunken by a foot or so, and get plenty of light in the lounge. The bedroom's a bit gloomy as it faces an alleyway, and that's why I've painted it bright yellow! We haven't used the garden yet as it's still quite wet and cold, but I am really looking forward to summer and having a private place to lie in the sun, and to have braais and sundowners!

I am going to dig out my drawing things next week too I think - it suddenly occurred to me that I could be doing drawing in all this spare time rather than moping! I also joined a gym on Monday, and started a diet (all this hanging around at home has piled on the pounds!) so I am taking advantage of my free time while I still have it. Now all I need is some hot weather so I can tan, and I'll have the housewife thing down pat!

Thursday, 19 April 2001

Old News - Newsletter April 2001

Hi all

Sorry I've been so quiet, but I have to use an internet cafe at the moment, and I always seem to have someone with a streaming cold next to me, so I get out as fast as possible. Today the bird next to me is sneezing and coughing up a storm - lovely!

Our Easter weekend was great - we arranged at the last moment to join friends on a trip to Ireland. We had a superb time - wierd ferry crossing times notwithstanding, and saw a lot of Southern Ireland. It was stunning, and we had a balmy days followed by wet and chilly ones - so we had all seasons in one weekend. We're all very keen on going again sometime.

I started job hunting yesterday, and have a couple of possibilities lined up. Not perfect, but we shall see. One involves shiftwork - 8 hour shifts rotating - which I am not convinced about - but it's close and is offering a LOT of money. The other is in Bracknell, and takes about as long to get to as my last job... they also want to pay little money so I'm not terribly interested. Will keep you posted if I get to the interview stage.

Hmmm, what else? I have run out of money, so can't do any more decorating at the moment. I had fun moving seedlings around this morning though.