Monday, 23 December 2002

Old News - Newsletter December 2002

I can't believe xmas is nearly apon us! Remember how long it used to take when you were little? Now December flashes past!

Apart from being told that I won't have a job next year, this has been a rather nice month ;-). Lots of people have made the trip out to see me and my new home, bulbs are coming up in my garden, and the birds have found the feeders hanging outside the lounge window! I have a robin, a couple of blackbirds and a tit or two so far. A kestrel too, but I think he was after the birdies rather than the seeds! The birds don't like it when I am in the lounge, but I hope they'll get used to me.

It certainly has been a good month for dinner parties, and my liver is taking a beating - ah well, that's what the festive season is for!

My plans for Christmas involve going to my cousin J's in Reading. Northerner and I are visiting them on xmas eve for snacks, then returning again for xmas lunch. It'll be a very family Christmas this year, as my Aunt and cousin are also visiting J and D at the moment. On Boxing Day I travel North with Northerner to see his family, returning via a remote pub on the moors and a stop at his brother's on the North East coast. I hope to pop in at J and K's on the way home on Sunday.

For New Years I am going for dinner in London with friends. Northerner is on call that night, so has to stay soberish! Shame.

My Dad is arriving in Newcastle today, having spent a month sailing a diamond mining vessel up from Cape Town (for ship building work). He's going to be coming to visit me in a week or two, which is great! Northerner's a little jumpy about it though... heh heh heh. And towards the end of Jan my Mom arrives back after a 3 month summer holiday in SA. I'm hoping they don't overlap - can you imagine!

Jobwise it is a rather slow time to be looking for work! Recruitment agencies are closed this week, so I am not even getting nuisance calls. I did go for two interviews last week, so there is a bit of work out there. It seems my skillset is reasonably marketable at the moment, and my willingness to be flexible about where I work is opening up the market a lot. Both interviews were ok. The one, which I WANT, I don't think I got. The other I think I did get, but I DON'T want it! They are both going to get back to me next year anyway.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and an excellent New Year!

Friday, 13 December 2002

Old News - Newsletter December 2002

My company informed my department yesterday that we are going to be made redundant on the 31st of Jan 2003. Since they acquired us at the beginning of the year we have failed to make a profit, and so they are disbanding as much as possible. It's not really a surprise, but it is a shock! I was expecting to get no bonus or increase, but to lose my job is a bit much!

I'm still a bit stunned and it almost doesn't seem real...

The job market is terrible, and the Dec/Jan period is the worst time of the year to be looking for work (if anyone knows of a job going, please let me know), so I don't expect to find anything soon. So I am cutting back expenditure as far as possible, as I'm sure you can imagine, so you won't be seeing much of me!

I will be getting some kind of redundancy package, which I hope will keep me in my home until mid-March when my lease ends (there's a couple of nasty clauses which make breaking it undesirable). After that I am going to be looking for floors to crash on, but I'll be picking on people closer to the time!

I'm glad I had the chance to go to SA and spoil everyone, and I'm glad I've already bought all my xmas presents! Luckily I hadn't actually booked any of the planned holidays for next year yet!

This is probably for the best, as I was hating my job and only holding on until the market improved. Now I have no excuse not to get out there and sell myself!