Monday, 15 July 2002

Old News - Newsletter July 2002

I am madly busy at work, and I have had my cousin J and her husband D staying for the last month, so things are a bit busy at home too.

J and D are immigrating for a few years, and have shipped over everything including the kitchen sink and the cat (!). They are having a little trouble organising their lease references as D is employed from SA, which involves a lot more paperwork, but hope to move into their own place this weekend. It has been pretty cool having them staying though, as they have taken over cooking and washing-up duties, and they provide a nice buffer between Mountain Man and myself! Seriously, they’ve been a pleasure to live with!

Mountain Man has found work at last! He is back at the first company he ever worked for in the UK – having stayed in touch with people there and so getting the role through his contacts. The job market is so bad here that he would not have landed anything via normal channels. He was out of work for 4 months in the end, and is very chuffed to be back at work! (If you are thinking of coming over to do IT, be prepared to do barwork for a long time before you get a break!)

Mountain Man and I are getting along ok, but I cannot wait to get out of our flat-share. It is like living with a wayward and annoying little brother, as I still care about him but now have no control over his actions! And I’d prefer not to know what he gets up to! He has booked a place in P’s digs from September, so has somewhere fun to go to. He spends most weekends either with P or B (both complete animals), and I am happy for him that he has found somewhere with friends.

Mountain Man is being sent to Angola (!) for a month from mid-August, getting back the very day we have to move out of our flat! So he’ll probably move his stuff out before he goes, otherwise I can’t see it working! I am looking forward to him being gone for a while ;-) hee hee.

My job has gone from months of standstill to flat-out ballistic. The deadlines are stupid as ever, and I am certainly not noticing the days go by! They still won’t pay overtime though, so I am not killing myself! With the market the way it is I will be staying on here for a while longer, even though they don’t offer any perks to really make being permanent worthwhile. I suppose a steady salary is seen as a perk these days! Ho hum.

I have decided to move to Reading in September when we get out of our lease in Putney. Reading is close to work (20 min), yet only half an hour out of Central London, so I can still pop in for dinner and shows (don’t stop inviting me)! It is quite a big town, and has a university, so there is a good vibe. It is also an old town, so has some character. I need to live somewhere lively, otherwise I might as well get a cat and turn into an old woman right now – so little villages are out! I am looking for a little place on my own, and perhaps I will buy a little flat late next year when I have the deposit and know the area. It is about time I hoisted myself onto the property ladder! Once I am settled in Reading I will be looking into evening classes in painting and cookery etc as the weekend thing really isn’t working out! And there are loads of walking clubs around that area – I am so looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to living alone for a while too, and being totally selfish! My music, my TV, my mess, my diet and my hair in the bath – ah sweet singledom.

My gyming is going well, but I am doing something wrong as my fitness level has risen but my weight has not changed :-(. Drat. I have noticed clothes getting slightly looser, but perhaps I need to change my diet too to see a result. A little difficult with a full house! It is definitely the plan for when I move out though – a week or two of chicken salad and Tuna steak. Mmmm! I have bought myself a heart monitor and I am trying to exercise to a plan now, so maybe it just takes time. *Sigh*

My little old car is really not handling 60 miles a day. Its gearbox was a bit dodgy to begin with, but has been deteriorating badly lately! I have now lost fifth gear completely, and am nursing it along with the remaining four. I never could drive above 60mph (90kph) so there is not much difference really! But it is really irritating, and as I was quoted at least £600 to get it fixed (the car only cost £350) I am getting rid of it while I still can. I have found a pristine little red Citroen, 1997, 44000 miles, £2700, and pick it up on Wednesday! They are taking the old one as a trade-in for £200 (luckily they didn’t test-drive it) and I can’t wait! I might even be able to travel at the speed limit for a change!

That’s about it. No travel plans until November when I go to SA for a few weeks to see long-lost friends and family and their babies! I will be contacting you all there closer to the time to persuade you to take a day off to come to the beach, go wine-routing, or simply braai next to the pool with me! I am really looking forward to it!